International Development Placement

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Development Studies

Module overview

Please note: Numbers on this module are capped and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis

The placements will be with organisations engaged in development work; some placements may be online (enabling students to work in organisations elsewhere in the world), others will be in the UK.

The placement involves students participating in development-related organisations. These may specialise in areas such as research, campaigning, para-legal work, policy, aid, gender, racial justice, labour etc. The aim is to allow students' prior academic studies to inform and enrich their experience of professional practice, and the exposure to professional practice will in turn inform and enrich their analysis of development practices and processes.

The placement will also provide invaluable experience as students embark on careers after graduating. .

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

LO1.    Research and prepare for working in development organisations. 
LO2.    Demonstrate knowledge of the institutional history, structure and culture of the work experience provider, the work that the organisation does, and how this relates to wider field(s) of development practice  
LO3.    Apply learning from placements to analysis of a specific development interventions 


This will be a combination of instructional seminars and work placement. The work placement will typically be over a period of 4 weeks in Term 2, subject to the specific organisation. 

Scope and syllabus

Taught instructional seminars may include topics such as the following (please note this is an indicative list only).

Instructional seminars:  

  1. Introduction to the placement: overview of the module goals, structure, assessment, how to prepare for the assessment 
  2. Different types of organisation and activities that students will engage in.
  3. Making the most of the placement experience. This session is about establishing clear expectations for the placement based on the agreed work plan and helping students to identify potential areas of interest and learning opportunities.
  4. End of placement debriefing session - to evaluate the experience, and narrow the topic of the assessment.

Reading list

  •  FORMTEXT FFFFFFFF00000000140000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Ricketts, Aidan. The Activists’ Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Participatory Democracy. London : NewYork: Zed Books, 2012.
  • Cornwall, Andrea (2017) The making and unmaking of a democratic space. In: Alvarez, Sonia E, Rubin,
  • Jeffrey W, Thayer, Millie, Baiocchi, Gianpaolo and Laó-Montes, Agustín (eds.) Beyond civil society: activism, participation, and protest in Latin America. Duke University Press, USA, pp. 63-80. ISBN 9780822363071
  • Pringle, T. (2017) A Solidarity Machine? Hong Kong Labour NGOs in Guangdong (Critical Sociology 4-5)
  • The New Urban Immigrant Workforce: Innovative Models for Labor Organizing: By Sarumathi Jayaraman, Immanuel Ness (New York, Rutledge 2015).
  • The class strikes back : self-organised workers' struggles in the twenty-first century, edited by Dario Azzellini, Michael G. Kraft (2018, Leiden: Brill).
  • Feminist Organizing: What’s Old, What’s New? History, Trends, and Issues, by Christina Ewig and Myra Marx Ferree, in The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, Edited by Georgina Waylen, Karen Celis, Johanna Kantola, and S. Laurel Weldon (OUP, 2013).
  • Chun J. (2017) The Affective Politics of the Precariat: Reconsidering Alternative Histories of Grassroots Worker Organising. Global Labour Journal
  • INCITE! (2007) The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.
  • Mohanty, C.T. and Carty, L.E. (2018) Feminist Freedom Warriors: Genealogies, Justice, Politics and Hope. Chicago: Haymarket Books.
  • Cox, L. (2018) Why social movements matter. London: Rowman and Littlefield International.



Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules