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Postgraduate Studies in Developement Management

Five modules make up the core elements of our Postgraduate Certificates, Diploma and the MSc in Development Management:

T877: Development: Context and Practice
T877 explores contemporary debates on ‘development’.  It does so in inter-disciplinary fashion, and with an understanding that development is not confined to a particular geographical area but is happening anywhere and everywhere,  presenting us all with challenges that are professional and personal, practical and political. It confronts conventional understandings of development and encourages critical reflection on how development is best undertaken, from local through to global levels.

Above all, it demonstrates the need on the part of managers to appreciate the significance of context – historical, cultural, social, political, economic – if they are to bring about development.

The analytical and professional/practical skills presented encourage understanding both of what development is and might be and of how it is and might be done.  The module thus provides an excellent grounding in development studies and a sound academic framework within which to build up skills for managing development, the concern of our wider postgraduate development management programme.

Dinar Kale, Senior Lecturer in International Development and Innovation, reflects on T877 Development: Context and Practice:

T878: Capacities for managing development

Development management engages with the multiple challenges of ‘development’, and this module sets out to build up the basic capacities for managing those challenges. It rests on the assumption that management – any management, anywhere - is essentially a political and ethical process, a matter of the use of power to bring about desired goals in contexts characterised by conflicts of interests, values and agendas.

The module teaches a range of skills needed and used by any manager, skills to do in particular with strategic thinking, research, advocacy, planning, policy making, and evaluation.  The teaching is sharpened by exploration of the use of these skills in development contexts, contexts where the issues are issues of freedom, of well-being, even issues of life and death, for individuals, organisations, communities, and nations.

The module – like the Postgraduate Development Management Programme as a whole - is designed for managers seeking to develop these skills and willing and able to reflect on the politics and ethics of their use.  It is of relevance to managers in any sector – public, private, civil society – anywhere.  No less importantly, it is open to all who have to manage, whether or not they are called ‘managers’.
In all this, the module demonstrates that capacities for managing development are quite simply capacities for managing.

Peter Robbins, Reader in Sociology of Science, Technology and Development, reflects on T878 Capacities for managing development:

TU872: Institutional development

Institutions are critical for the success and sustainability of development processes.  Managers – whether in the public sector, the private sector, or civil society – need the capacity to analyse the institutional landscape, design appropriate institutions, and establish good inter-organisational relationships.

More This module aims to develop those capacities by:
  • exploring the theory of institutions and institutional development
  • examining the policy and practice of institutional development, in a variety of fields, including poverty reduction, governance, and humanitarian interventions
  • exploring how relationships built around competition, coordination and cooperation underpin institutional development
  • demonstrating how the skills of mapping and modelling, negotiating and brokering, contribute to institutional development.
The module examines issues of power, explores ways in which values, meanings and worldviews shape policy and practice, and shows how development management is always a negotiated process.  In all this, it addresses and responds to the overwhelming experience of development management practitioners that the success or failure of their interventions depends primarily on getting the right relationships in place.

Hazel Johnson, Professor of Development Policy and Practice, reflects on TU872 Institutional development:


T879: Conflict and Development
Conflict is found in all societies and takes a variety of forms. Any development intervention must deal with both the causes of conflict and its consequences. Additionally, some development interventions themselves generate conflict within societies. This module addresses the multi-faceted nature of conflict the complex causes, the diverse impacts conflicts have on development, and the range of actions that can help mitigate conflicts.

Throughout, issues of direct concern to practitioners – such as how to assess the background to conflict, how to engage with those involved, how to work with diverse agencies, how to formulate interventions, how to evaluate their impact – are at the forefront of the study material.  The module also examines how organisations respond to conflict, as well as the consequences, both positive and negative, of those responses, from social, cultural, economic and political perspectives.

By equipping development managers and others working on or in conflict situations with both analytical and practical tools, the module will help them to intervene in ways that are sensitive to these complex contexts.

TU874: The Development Management Project
Development managers are often called upon to undertake investigations that contribute to changes in practice and policy.  The Development Management Project, the final, compulsory element of the MSc, provides an opportunity to learn, develop and practise the skills required for such an undertaking:
  • establishing the need for an investigation 
  • defining the problem under investigation
  • identifying ways of investigating the problem
  • carrying out the research
  • analysing the data gathered
  • making an evidence-based case for change
The project is individually chosen, the choice determined by the student’s own passions and priorities.  The process is guided by learning from previous modules of the Masters Programme. And the product is a report that makes the case for change in the understanding of, and the practice and policy related to, a significant development management problem.

Richard Pinder, Lecturer in Development Policy and Practice, reflects on TU874 The Development Management Project: