menu icon
Development (Context and Practice) (T877) Credits from The Open University

Development (Context and Practice) (T877) Credits from The Open University

Key information

Qualification type

Credits from The Open University

Subject areas

General Studies

Course type


Course Summary

This course will have particular relevance for you if you are working, or want to work, in development-related fields in the UK or around the world. It explores development practice and the context in which it takes place. It asks you to think about development activities from multiple perspectives ? to think ?out of the box? ? about what development activity and theory are all about. It takes a multidisciplinary approach to development, highlighting the interconnectedness of different historical and theoretical perspectives as well as the contradictions between these and the reality on the ground. This course provides an ideal introduction to international development, facilitating the building of skills that will give you a good grasp of contemporary development theory and practice.

In this course you will explore the context of development, examining what development is, the complex of issues that make up development, and how development happens at different places and times in history. You will also examine development practice, and more specifically development management, and its theoretical underpinnings taken from many different disciplines. You will be asked to think critically about the way ?development action? (the activities of stakeholders who directly and indirectly engage in development) is conceived, practised and managed. You will look at development action in many forms: from the local to the global; from established practice to more emergent activities; from the large in scale, scope and impact to the small. You will also address a number of key questions about the way the international development context has been shaped: What historical legacies shape the present? What social, economic and political relations shape development? What processes of power and public action influence the making of development policy and its implementation? Alongside these questions, you will question your own place within development, encouraging you to engage with development as a critically reflective practitioner. How are you influenced by the context and practice of development? How do you influence that context and practice? This course presents an overview of major development issues and ways of addressing them. It facilitates the development of skills essential both to understanding the context, and to engaging in the practice, of development, using a variety of study materials, including journal articles and book chapters, contemporary case studies on film, and interactive web content. You will be expected to use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Different course options

Distance without attendance | Run at the client site in the region of United Kingdom | 6 months | MAY

Study mode

Distance without attendance


6 months

Start date


Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (overall cost)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

Not known

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent), or have had experience of working, in a paid or voluntary capacity, in a development agency (local or international).