AZA1001 - Introduction to development studies - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Dr Fay Hodza

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The purpose of this unit is to introduce the field of development studies and to investigate the development problems and challenges faced by states and communities daily. Key development issues are placed within an international context, as issues pertaining to sustainable development in South Africa are compared with those in other emerging economies and less developed countries, particularly in Africa. Key debates in the context of contemporary development dynamics are raised as informed by development theory.


On successful completion of the unit the student will be able to:

  1. Be familiar with the main conceptual issues relevant to the Unit: development, sustainable development, under development, theories and concepts relating to late developing states, and key societal factors relevant to development, such as the role of the state, economic growth, education, food and hunger, development aid, civil society, gender issues, health, education, food and hunger, and international development.
  2. Examine the dynamic interplay between people's lived experiences with poverty and associated inequalities in society and development strategies put in place to address these issues.
  3. Understand key debates on the meaning of development and poverty and articulate his/her own perspectives.
  4. Identify, describe and analyse different processes of development at all levels of society.
  5. Successfully undertake a variety of research and writing tasks.
  6. Demonstrate improved oral and written communication skills, particularly in relation to the analysis and explanation of ideas and the development of an argument.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 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