KE7044 - Global Development Futures

What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to provide you with a critical understanding of key debates shaping Global Development Futures. The module examines cutting edge developments in the sector, in the context of demands for innovative responses to issues such as climate change and adaptation, equitable resource management, and decolonising development, including nascent technical fixes and conceptual frameworks disrupting the contemporary development landscape. The module uses the lenses of ‘infrastructures’, ‘economies’ and ‘communities’ to develop an in-depth understanding of innovations across a range of scales, which are re-shaping local and global economies, and the way development is practiced. Practical exercises will help you apply your critical understanding to real-world case studies.

How will I learn on this module?

In this module you will be encouraged to reflect critically upon key drivers of innovation and the ways they are changing development ideas and practice. You will be exposed to often contrasting development debates and practices through research-enriched teaching and learning. The module will be delivered through a workshop-style of teaching, including a mix of multi-media analysis, seminar-style activities and discussion, practical exercises, and student-led presentations. The sessions will draw significantly from active research projects in which the module teaching team is involved. This module will be assessed formatively through presentations and in-class discussion around analyses of critical case studies; and summatively through an individual essay and a group podcast project. You will also be expected to engage in private and self-directed study. The MSc programme, module guide, internet site and tutor prescription will provide a clear framework for this study.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

On the module you will be academically supported in several ways. First, the teaching team will be available in person during workshops to guide you through the module and answer any questions. Second, you will be able to email the teaching team and meet them during set office hours to ask questions. Third, the module has an online electronic learning portal website that guides you through many frequently asked questions. Step-by-step recorded video tutorials will be provided using Panopto, to assist you in completing the assessments to an expected high standard.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To develop an in depth understanding of global development innovations and their implications for vulnerable groups.
2. To critically consider the challenges posed by future directions and activities to understandings of global development and implications of development in practice.
3. To develop an appreciation of the thinking and approach of key global development actors.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. . To develop and enhance skills in collecting, interpreting and presenting global development data.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. To develop an appreciation for the importance of experiential learning and to reflect on its impact on your own development.

How will I be assessed?

The workshops will support the formative assessment for this module through ongoing interactive discussions and debates. development of the knowledge, skills and values listed in the MLOs.

You will be assessed in two ways.

1. 30% - 15-minute small group podcast, including interview(s) with academics and practitioners. Example HERE.
2. 70% - 3,500 word essay

Individual comprehensive feedback will be provided for both formative and summative elements.





Module abstract

Students engage critically with key conceptual and policy debates relating to the political and logistical challenges of global development futures. We consider the diverse range of critiques that have been made of emerging development innovations, context-specific environmental challenges and agendas for (and from) poor, marginalised and otherwise vulnerable communities. We explore contexts where novel approaches have the potential to shake up how global development is conceptualised and practised. We consider how technical fixes for social and environmental challenges are changing development outcomes and how these fixes have the potential to reinforce existing power asymmetries globally. The module’s assessments reflect the focus on developing your critical skills and career goals. Classes are informed by cutting edge research. Emphasis is placed on developing your interdisciplinary understandings of public action beyond your current professional, academic or institutional experiences. There is a focus on promoting thinking about research and practice across and between groups, organisations, sectors, regions and disciplinary boundaries.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
3 other options available

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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