Professional development course

Global Development Policy and Perspectives

Course details

From 20 July 2020 until 31 July 2020
Institute of Development Studies

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Strengthen your knowledge of global development and grow your networks for positive change.

This intensive ten-day course for aspiring researchers and practitioners of global development provides insights into the most pressing challenges of our era.

Delivered by IDS in partnership with the China International Development Research Network, the course has been developed specifically for individuals based in the UK and China to help strengthen cross-country networks and foster future leadership for development globally.

The course combines class-based sessions taught by leading practitioners and researchers with visits to key development agencies to provide a practical understanding of development projects and programmes of both local and global scale.

Course aims

This course aims to equip participants with knowledge about current thinking and practice on global development issues. This may include but is not limited to:  aid and poverty; business and development; climate change; global governance; participatory methods; women’s empowerment; health and nutrition; and urbanisation. In particular the course seeks to provide participants with:

  • longstanding links with key emerging academics in the development field in China and the UK
  • a broad understanding of global development perspectives and skills in applying this knowledge within a group setting and with real world examples
  • exposure to a number of world-leading institutions in development research.

Who should attend?

Applications are invited from highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in building a career in international development or the humanitarian sector with a global perspective. This course is only open to individuals based at an institution in China or the UK. You may be currently undertaking a PhD in international development or development-related studies, or employed in the development sector.

How you will learn

Learning with take place through a number of varied and interactive methods, including real-life case study analysis, social events, institutional visits to donors and consultants, group problem-solving activities and classroom lectures. The course is limited to just 20 participants to optimise the learning environment.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, you will have:

  • An overview of key stakeholders in the development landscape
  • Insights into key methods and methodologies employed in development research
  • Knowledge of the key areas and themes in global development, including progress and ongoing challenges.

And you’ll be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of:

  • Development landscapes: key actors, organisations and issues.
  • Conceptual and analytical tools used to analyse development issues, including how to identify and assess sources of data and evidence.
  • Future issues in global development: opportunities and risks.

Entry requirements

The course is taught in English. To derive the maximum benefit from the course, you should be proficient in English and able to take an active part in discussions. Your English needs to be of an intermediate standard or higher. Ideally you will have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or above, or a Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) score of B2 or above. You are not required to take an IELTS test, this is a guide only.

You must have a master’s degree to apply. You may be either enrolled in a PhD programme, or be employed in, or have significant experience of, the development sector. You must be based at institutions located in either China or the UK. Your application must clearly demonstrate a commitment to building your career in international development or the humanitarian sector with a global perspective.


This course is fully funded under the auspices of the China International Development Research Collaboration, therefore there is no cost to participants. Travel, tuition fees, institutional visits, food, accommodation, visas (where applicable) and all other associated costs, will be covered by the Institute of Development Studies.

How to apply

Before applying please read our short course  Terms and Conditions (pdf) and Code_of_Conduct (pdf).

The application procedure is a three-stage process:

Stage 1: Apply by completing the online application form. The deadline for applications is 22 March 2020.

Stage 2: You will be notified within two weeks (3 April 2020) as to whether your application has been approved or not. Successful applicants will receive the Stage 2 application form to be returned by 15 April 2020

Stage 3: Once your Stage 2 application has been received, you will be sent confirmation of your place on the course and a letter to support your visa application (if required). When your visa is confirmed we will make your travel arrangements.

You are responsible for organising your own visas (where needed). Please note that UK visa applications can take months to process.

Coronavirus update: We continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and have introduced a range of measures that will limit social interaction and potential transmission. Although applications for our short courses remain open we advise participants who incur any travel costs (e.g. flights, accommodation, visas etc) to ensure they have adequate travel insurance, as stated in our short course terms and conditions.  If your course is cancelled, we will refund your course fees in full.


About this professional development course

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