KE7038 - Development Research, Management and Practice

What will I learn on this module?

This module will enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the tools, techniques and approaches that shape development research and development practice.

The first part of the module will cover an overview of development research, a recap of the key techniques used to enable data collection, and an exploration of the challenges researchers engaged in international development face around research practicalities and ethics. You will, through a range of group activities, develop your own ability to plan research projects in the context of development practice.

The second part of the module will explore the tools, techniques and approaches that development practitioners’ use. These will include stakeholder analysis, needs assessment and monitoring and evaluation. This part of the module will also explore key debates around participatory methodologies and livelihoods approaches to development research and practice.

Each session will explore academic debates around the method, tool or technique as well as examples of those approaches in practice. Throughout the module you will actively engage in planning and developing research and practice interventions and will respond to real world challenges that development practitioners and researchers regularly face.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is designed to support you to critically engage with cutting edge ideas about development research and practice and to develop your own practice through this learning.

You will be supported to learn through interactive workshops that include a range of learning and practice based methodologies, including: lectures, group discussions and debates, scenario response workshops, group and individual presentations, concept/practice mapping projects and interactive question and answer session.

Throughout the module you, along with your peers, will be involved in critiquing the approach of leading development practitioners and will be supported to develop real world solutions to real world development problems collected from leading development actors.

A key component of the practice sessions will be the review and deconstruction of a range of practice based tool kits and case study material as produced by leading development agencies, state departments and funders.

Throughout the module individual and group tutorials will be available to support you to develop your own knowledge, understanding and application of development research, management and practice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Underpinning this module is a commitment to support you to develop your knowledge, understanding and engagement with new concepts and ideas. As a result you will be supported through classroom activities (as outlined above), engagement with your peers as well as through interactive tutorials with the module tutors on a small group and one to one basis. All of these steps will enable you to think critically about research, management and practice and to develop your own practice.

You will also be able to access a range of academic support (including academic skills around reading, writing, research, literature reviews, referencing etc) and pastoral support (including, health and wellbeing support and guidance) from our award winning student services and library teams.

In addition, if you have moved to the UK to study from overseas, then additional support will be provided for international students with a focus on helping you settle in to the university and the city, understanding culture traditions in the UK and explore academic expectations. Additional English language support can be accessed should you need further support.

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. You will demonstrate an extensive knowledge of the challenges development practitioners face when working in international development and the solutions that organisations develop to these challenges, with a particular emphasis on development research and the tools and techniques of development practice.
2. You will demonstrate a critical understanding of the changing nature of development practice and the ways in which development practitioners and development academics respond to these changes.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. You will be able to identify and plan development research and development practice initiatives within appropriate ethical and practical frameworks.
4. You will be able to reflect upon your own position, and identify professional opportunities within the changing context of International Development.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. You will demonstrate an appreciation of the different contexts in which development research and practice takes place and sensitivity when planning development projects and interventions.

How will I be assessed?

This module will be assessed through the completion to two pieces of work that bring together the practice focus of the module and the academic rigour that underpins the module:

1. 1,500-word essay reflecting on a (co)facilitated participatory practice exercise (MLOs 1, 3, 4)

2. 2,000-word research proposal for a project in a development context (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)





Module abstract

This module provides an opportunity for you to further your understanding of your own position within the broad context of international development, through a critical analysis of key tools and techniques used in development research and practice. A key focus is on developing critical understandings of research methods, techniques and strategies in the organisation, administration and management of development, as well as on enabling you to develop your abilities to select and use methods and tools in appropriate and productive ways. The assessments reflect the module’s focus on developing your employability skills, particularly through gaining an understanding of key tools used in the development sector, such as log frames, needs assessment and tools for monitoring and evaluation. Emphasis is also placed on developing your understandings of the competing arenas of public action beyond your current professional, academic or institutional experiences, with a focus on promoting thinking about research and practice across and between groups, organisations, sectors, regions and disciplinary boundaries.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
3 other options available

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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