AP3ID5-Uganda Field School

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Eleanor Fisher

Email: e.fisher@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

THE MODULE IS TAKEN AT THE END OF THE SUMMER TERM OF PART 2 (For BSc International Development, Environmental Management and Geography students). Numbers are capped at 10 people and BSc ID students will have priority.

An experience of studying abroad for 16 days at the Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST) in Uganda. The aim of the module is to expose students to the policy and practice of international development through an immersive experience of being in sub-Saharan Africa, directly exposed to development issues and a different culture and way of living.


• To develop skills for generating an in-depth case study on a student-selected topic area, linking an understanding of development policy to the complexity of development practice.

• To be based at a university in a developing country with opportunity to be taught by in-country staff and interact with local students.

• To undertake in-country field visits to a conservation area, a refugee settlement, farms, and development organisation (specific visits may be subject to change with substitution of commensurate alternatives).

• To provide an opportunity to develop self-awareness of cultural difference in the context of career decision making, knowledge of the career opportunities and the skills needed to enhance employability in international development sector.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module, students should be able to:

- Identify and explain the interrelationship between local and national development processes.

- Provide illustrative examples of country-specific development opportunities and constraints.

- Elaborate on a thematic issue and its relationship to development practices within a specific country.

- Demonstrate reflection on the experience of learning in a developing country context, including exposure to a different culture.

Additional outcomes:

Students develop teamwork skills through an immersive field trip based experience in small group situation. The module encourages communication skills, facilitating students to communicate to different groups of people, to ask questions, and to develop oral presentation. Students advance their international development training by compiling a case study that incorporates elements on a thematic issue appropriate to a developing country context and to their interests/expertise. In addition they gain confidence of working in an international environment by living and studying in an African country. 

Outline content:

Students will be based at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda and take field trips within the surrounding region from this base. The following topics will be covered through lectures / field visits:

  1. Microfinance

  2. Refugee issues (Nakivale Refugee Settlement)

  3. Environmental and social issues in relation to people and parks (Queen Elizabeth National Park)

  4. A non-governmental organisation

  5. Rural food production

  6. Coffee production and processing

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The learning approach closely integrates a series of formal lectures and guided reading with first hand exposure to issues through a series of field trips. Linked to this are structured processes of feedback and reflection concerning development issues that have been observed. Field trips also provide the opportunity to develop skills in communication, observation and reflection through direct exposure to people and place. and have the scope to develop a detailed analysis of a specific development issue (identified in liaison with the module co-ordinator).  Preparation for the field visit will take place in Reading when students will be introduced to the Ugandan context, to the learning approach, and practical trip preparation.


Class-room based guided learning will take place in the overseas institution, led by local academic staff. Further to this ideas will be developed through the use of discussion and exercises. Each student will have the opportunity to undertake a field-based visits in-country, working with a local organisation to collect data, conduct analysis and draw conclusions.

The contact hours are indicative only.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4 8
External visits 68
Guided independent study 120
Total hours by term 4.00 196.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Set exercise 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Oral assessment and presentation 20%; Reflective log-book 30%; Thematic report 50%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall. 

    Reassessment arrangements:

    By coursework. 

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: clothing appropriate for tropical Africa / culturally sensitive attire.

    2. Travel, accommodation and subsistence: £1800, plus travel to UK airport. visa, vaccinations. Approximately £5 per day spending money, including for bottled water.

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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