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Program Design and Development


Credits: 4 ECTS

Second semester

Elective Courses




This course provides students with a practical introduction and a critical appreciation of international development work. It introduces them to a set of approaches and tools that are used by international development practitioners in the design and development of projects in the field. The course encourages critical reflection of the tools and approaches used in international development today. In particular, it considers the value of different approaches across different social and political contexts and the trade-offs of involved in using these tools and approaches. The course will also consider the merits and value of “project-based” development more generally and also the respective merits of different design and implementation approaches to specific social programmes and their political-philosophical underpinnings.

Students will also learn about different types of project and the realities of funding these projects. They will gain a deeper understanding of considerations in project design particularly the broader institutional and political issues faced when they enter the world of international development. Students also learn essential team working skills by working in small groups to analyse a problem situation, design an intervention and present this in the form of a project proposal.

This course aims to develop students’ practical understanding of international development in terms of project management and planning and also its practical implementation. It will, therefore, use practical exercises and case studies, which will enable students to develop the skills necessary to design international development projects. It will prepare students who might be considering a career in international development whether that is with international organisations and NGOs or national development agencies.


This course has two forms of assessment:


  • Project Proposal (70% of the group grade)
  • In-class Presentation (10% of the group grade)
  • Project Concept Note (20% of the group grade)


  • Individualized Group Grade (70% of the final mark)
  • Exam (30% of the final mark)

Final Grade = Group Grade*Peer Assessment (70%) + Unseen Exam Grade (30%)

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)