Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSustainability Environment and Society
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Craig Thorburn


The unit deconstructs the concepts of 'development', 'progress' and 'underdevelopment' before embarking on a historical examination of how various theories have been translated into policy and action. It then looks chronologically at the rise and demise of various doctrines and approaches, focusing on the role of international development aid and trade. It engages the core question of 'What can reasonably be said about the causes of changes in a country or a region's 'level of development'?' Through case studies, it underscores the particularity of individual countries' experiences, while attempting to draw out what are the basic principles that can be compared across time and space.


  1. Understanding of basic historical and theoretical contexts of notions of 'development', both as a focus of social science and government practice
  2. Understanding of how the literature has approached the analysis of international development policy and practice
  3. Through examination of country experiences, a sense of how to put these into particular context, and to examine critically their applicability to analysing and assessing development policies and practice as they have varied over time and between countries; also, the extent to which development policy and practice has been driven by 'ideas' rather than indigenous political and social realities.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study