Minor in Development Studies – Richmond University

Minor in Development Studies

The Minor in Development Studies introduces you to the economic and political state of countries around the globe and how these interlink. You’ll begin with courses on the rich and poor, politics and culture and then you can choose 3 of 11 courses available in sustainable development, economics and a wide range of country-specific courses such as ‘Islam and the West’, ‘Power in the Americas’ and ‘Modern China.


When I signed up for Richmond little did I realise what an exceptional experience this would be; a multi-cultural bubble with fantastic faculty and inspiring students, all in the heart of London. The three years I spent at Richmond were not only invaluable but laid a strong foundation for both my personal development and professional career.

Aleksandra KordeckaDegree in International Relations BA

It’s not just about study, this is your story

Studying abroad

Whether you’re studying in another country, or studying here at the university in London, with Richmond University you have the opportunity to study abroad. That could mean trying out university in London for a semester to a year, studying overseas at any of our partner locations across the world, or taking part in a world internship – designed to give you the experience you need to complement your programme.


We offer career support and advice throughout your studies (through the Careers & Internships Office), doing everything we can to make sure you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Just by taking part in a liberal arts degree, you’re learning a wealth of transferable skills, including learning to adapt to the working climate – essential criteria employers look for. You could also benefit from work experiences and internships as part of your programme; giving you an extra advantage at the start of your career.

Post graduation

  • Embassy of The Dominican Republic
  • European Commission
  • Moody’s Investors Service
  • PwC
  • US Department of Homeland Security

Programme Structure

Minor requirements – US Credits 18 – UK Credits 72

DEV 3100 (3 CREDITS) Development and Culture: Reps Film Lit

This course introduces students to key ideas relevant to the study of culture and development, with particular emphasis on how the global South is represented through film and literature. It provides students with a broad understanding of the debates and issues related to globalization and the politics of representation within various historical and cultural contexts. Relevant themes such as race, gender, identity, migration, wealth and poverty and the environment are explored across different regions including Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

DEV 4100 (3 CREDITS) Rich World / Poor World

Provides students with an introduction to development studies, seeking to explain both the existence of and persistence of a Poor World from a political, sociological, historical and economic perspective. The course addresses numerous issues as they affect the Poor World, and studies relations both within and between Poor World and Rich World. Topics include colonialism and post-colonialism, processes of industrialization, food security, inequality, nationalism, aid, democratization, and conflict, as well as an introduction to theories of development.

DEV 5100 (3 CREDITS) Global Development Politics

Examines the global politics of development and of developing states, and various social, economic and environmental themes surrounding post-war attempts to promote development. The course will consider both development theory and practice in the context of globalization, and provide an overview of the history of global development from economic miracles to failed states. A range of contemporary development debates and issues are addressed.

plus any three of the following:

AMS 5200 (3 CREDITS) Power in the Americas

This course aims to look at how the Latin American region was shaped by and in turn helped shape the contours of the contemporary global order. It has three main inter-related objectives. The first seeks to understand what role the ‘invention’ of Latin America has had on the development of modernity, particularly in the North Atlantic region, but more generally at a global level. This will involve specifically looking at the emergence of European colonialism as implemented in the Latin American region, its role in the formation of modern capitalism and the resulting social impact this has had in indigenous and colonisers alike, particularly with regard to issues of social inequalities of class, race and gender. The second objective will involve looking at the nature of power structures within the region and how these have manifested themselves at an economic, political, and social level. Finally, the course will seek to assess Latin America’s role in the contemporary global context, paying particular attention to the implementation of and responses to neoliberal globalization within the region and what these experiences can offer our own societies in terms of seeking alternatives to dominant economic, political and social models.

DEV 6200 (3 CREDITS) Sustainable Development

Examines the theoretical assumptions and practical outcomes of ‘sustainable development’. The course explicitly focuses on the political, social and economic complexity of managing environmental issues in developing states. The tension between developmental and environmental issues is often a determining factor in the formation and implementation of policy at both national and international level, and sustainable development has provided a framework for managing these tensions.

DEV 6205 (3 CREDITS) Postcolonial Theory and Development

This course seeks to examine key arguments by theorists of postcolonialism and their implications for development studies. Postcolonial theory has offered some of the most profound critiques of Western modernity’s self-representations and claims to truth and progress. Such critiques have significant potential to reconstruct dominant understandings of development, gender, social change and emancipation. Thinkers studied might include Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, Aijaz Ahmad and Leopold Senghor. Themes studied might include empire, gender and sexual politics, representation, minorities in Europe and diaspora, decolonisation, resistance and liberation.

ECN 5100 (3 CREDITS) Economics of Transition

This course takes a case study approach to the examination of the challenges of economic transition in its broadest sense. The progression of material covered on the course is from economic theory to the study of policy options adopted by the global multi-lateral lending agencies in the 1980s, 1990s and to the present day. The case studies used are intended to illustrate the theory and the policy framework discussed. Questions such as what priorities led to the changes in Eastern Europe and whether trade and price liberalization schemes can work and at what cost, will be studied.

ECN 5105 (3 CREDITS) Economic Problem of Developing Countries

This course discusses questions such as: ‘Why does the level of economic prosperity vary between countries? How is the difference itself to be measured? What is the range of measures available to improve the lot of the world’s poorest inhabitants? What role can organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank take in this process? On this course you will be exposed to a range of material designed to encourage you to link theory to the practical implications faced by policy makers and the policy choices they make.

INR 5405 (3 CREDITS) Miracle To Meltdown: East & SE Asia

Follows the developmental trajectory of East and South-East Asian states in the post-colonial era. The course will address both the international context and the internal social, political and economic dynamics of these states. Particular emphasis is placed on different theoretical and empirical explanations for both the phase of rapid economic growth and development (the ‘miracle’) and the 1997/1998 Asian Economic Crisis (the ‘meltdown’). The international relations of the region are addressed through a study of ASEAN, and of the political economic significance of the ‘hot’ Cold War in East and South East Asia.

PLT 5100 (3 CREDITS) Politics Of The Middle East

Deals primarily with the politics of the Arab world, although Iran and Turkey are discussed where appropriate. Deals with issues of political and economic development in the region, as well as with geo-strategic and international concerns. This course is thematic rather than national in focus, and addresses issues such as nationalism, religion, revolution, democratization, gender politics, the politics of oil, and external influences on the Middle East.

PLT 5410 (3 CREDITS) Islam and The West

The aim of this course is to focus on the historical, political and religious relationships between “Islam” and the “West”. Islam has for centuries been Europe’s neighbour and cultural contestant with a history of conflict and co-existence. Since September 11 there has been increasing talk of a “clash of civilizations”, but globalization has also created an interdependency of faiths which requires greater co-operation, understanding, and dialogue. A recurrent theme of this course will be whether it is possible to separate the world into monolithic entities called “Islam” and the “West”. Why is one defined in terms of religion and the other a geographical designation? Further, we are increasingly witnessing “Islam in the West”. Muslims are not confined to the Middle East but have spread in large numbers to Europe and the United States and there have been Islamic communities living in the Balkans and in parts of southern Europe for centuries. Another theme will be the relations between religion and state in Islam and Christianity. Is Islam inherently resistant to secularization as some scholars believe?

PLT 5415 (3 CREDITS) Politics Of Sub-Saharan Africa

Follows the attempt to promote stability, economic development, and democratic systems of government in sub-Saharan Africa, and engages with the core issue of the relationship between the state, civil society, and external interests in the region. The many social, political, economic and security problems that hamper the development project are addressed, by following a historical trajectory from the colonial era through to modern times.

PLT 5420 (3 CREDITS) Russian Politics and History

This course focuses on the political evolution of the world’s first Communist state – its birth, development, collapse and recent transformation. The course will introduce students to the major developments in Russian politics and history over the last century, from the revolution of 1905 to the First and Second World Wars, to the Cold War, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union and to its successor.

PLT 5425 (3 CREDITS) Modern China

Examines aspects of China’s history such as the Opium Wars, the downfall of the Empire in 1911, the growth of nationalism and the ensuing civil war, the rise and decline of Maoism and the role of China in world politics, with particular reference to its increasing economic importance.