International Development (BA (Hons))

the United Kingdom

For more information about International Development at University of Portsmouth, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 - 4 Years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time, sandwich

Course starts

International course fees
find out

All study options

About International Development at University of Portsmouth


On this BA (Hons) International Development degree course, you’ll learn to address some of the major global challenges of our time such as poverty and hunger, environmental sustainability, universal education and health care.

You'll expand your understanding of the role and purpose of cooperation between governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisation (NGOs) in international development, using this to gain insights into strategies to improve people's lives on a global scale. 

This course is ideal for a national and international career in roles such as community development, advocacy, policy development and public affairs. You'll have the confidence and ability to take what you learn on this course to make a positive impact in areas such as gender equality and women’s empowerment, democracy, human rights and conflict and security.

What you'll experience

  • Your learning won’t be limited to the classroom – you'll have opportunities to work with development organisations in the UK or overseas
  • Study multiple avenues for positive development, including economics, human geography, politics and international relations, to find solutions that could include changing policy at a national level, managing relations between governments and developing budgets for sustained advancement
  • Be taught by staff who are committed to their research in the field, such as Professor Tamsin Bradley whose research is informing schemes to help support women across South Asia in their search for equality
  • Get experience during your studies or as part of an optional work placement year with an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) such as the British Council
  • Learn from professionals working in the sector – recent academic enrichment events include a guest lecture from the Senior Strategic Advisor to Oxfam, a visit from an NGO based in Peru, a series of training events with RedR UK and sessions led by our colleagues and graduates working in the sector
  • Put your expertise into practice in Model United Nations events, in collaboration with fellow students from International Development and International Relations
  • Have the chance to learn a new language, enhancing your employability in an international workplace

Work experience and career planning

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in international development, giving you the chance to grow your professional network and enhance your CV.

We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.

Students have completed work placements at organisations such as:

  • British Council
  • Otra Cosa Network
  • GlobalGiving
  • Freedom from Torture
  • SEK International Schools
  • TearFund
  • Catholic Agency For Overseas Development

Internship opportunities

As part of your core course programme, you’ll take part in a 'mini' internship connected to an ongoing research project at the University. You’ll choose from a number of internships that have been carefully selected by your lecturers to further develop your skills in areas critical to a career in international development, such as communication and project management.

A previous student interned in a communications role for Gender Focus, a research team involved in areas such as gender-based violence and cultural practices that harm women and girls. Their responsibilities included social media management of the Instagram account and organising research webinars.

Volunteering opportunities

Volunteering for local, national and international charities is a great way to build up work experience before graduating into the world of international development. Taking on a role with a local charity, or interning over the summer for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) shows future employers you have a passion for making a difference and an independent drive to develop your skills in the industry.

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities to match your ambitions.

Our Volunteering Team in the Careers and Employability Service supports around 100 local and national charities and not-for-profit organisations. Each year, our students volunteer more than 60,000 hours at organisations including Motiv8, the Mary Rose Museum, Citizens Advice Havant, Portsmouth Football Club and Portsmouth Mediation Service. In 2019/20 student volunteers alone contributed £493,700 to the local economy.

Module Details

Year 1

Core modules in this year include:

  • Global Development – 20 credits
  • International Development: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits
  • Introduction to Development Studies: Policy & Practice – 20 credits
  • Key Themes in International Relations – 20 credits
  • Performing Like a Pro: Skills for Professional & Academic Success – 40 credits
  • the Making of The Global South – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Year 2

Core modules in this year include:

  • Economics and Politics of Development – 20 credits
  • Global Environmental Issues and Concerns – 20 credits
  • International Development: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Analysing Foreign and Security Policy – 20 credits
  • Development Economics – 20 credits
  • Development and Democracy in Latin America – 20 credits
  • East Asian States and Societies – 20 credits
  • Empire and Its Afterlives – 20 credits
  • Gender in the Developing World – 20 credits
  • International Community Development – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits
  • Learning from Experience – 20 credits
  • Managing Across Cultures – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
  • Russian & Eurasian Politics – 20 credits
  • Study Abroad – 60 credits

Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Dissertation / Major Project – 40 credits
  • International Development: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits
  • Rethinking Aid and Development – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'state Fragility' in Post-colonial Africa – 20 credits
  • China & East Asian Economies – 20 credits
  • Ethnicity Class & Culture in the Developing World – 20 credits
  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future – 20 credits
  • Global Health – 20 credits
  • Independent Project – 20 credits
  • Learning from Experience – 20 credits
  • NGOs and Social Movements – 20 credits
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates – 20 credits

Programme Assessment

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

You’ll be assessed through:

  • examinations
  • case studies
  • projects
  • presentations
  • book reviews
  • assignments

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 8% by written exams, 23% by practical exams and 69% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 27% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 63% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework

Student Destinations

When you graduate, you'll have an extensive range of skills including analysis, criticism and argument, communication and problem-solving that you can use in your future role advocating for and creating pathways to positive change. You'll be ready to take on roles in organisations that put people at the heart of their strategies and policies, in areas such as policy and outreach.

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level with a Master’s in International Development, or take the next step into research that could inform policy with a PhD. Discover the areas you could make a difference in by exploring the research taking place at Portsmouth around Area Studies and Global Governance.

No matter what route you take, the skills and knowledge you develop on this course will prepare you for a rewarding role making a difference in the lives of others.

This course gives you the skills for careers in areas such as:

  • international community development
  • civil service
  • fundraising, campaigning and advocacy
  • policy development
  • social enterprise
  • corporate social responsibility
  • public affairs
  • project management

Our graduates have gone on to roles such as:

  • programme management, support and evaluation roles for international agencies and non-governmental organisations
  • fundraising development coordinator
  • human rights advocacy
  • media and digital content lead
  • social researcher
  • community development practitioner
  • sustainable sourcing specialist for multinational corporations
  • teacher

Our graduates have worked for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government departments and companies such as:

  • Save the Children
  • Street Doctors
  • the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • the Department or International Development
  • Shelterbox
  • British Chamber of Commerce
  • Universal Music Group

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studyFull-time, SandwichHow long you will study3 - 4 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Entry requirements

104-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include History or another relevant subject.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at University of Portsmouth to prepare for your chosen course:

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