Do you want to make a difference and understand how people and the planet are changing? Our BSc International Development course is a unique degree and offers expertise from across the University; you can specialise in the key areas that match your interests and work in careers with impact on a global scale.
The study of international development has never been more relevant or important. Complex global problems affect our lives, with many parts of the world experiencing rapid and uneven change. More people are moving out of poverty, but inequalities are also growing.
Through this course you will explore critical issues relating to the sustainability of the planet’s resources, food systems, and human population.
You will be taught by experts from departments across the University. In addition to social scientists in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, these include experts from Geography, Economics, Politics and the Henley Business School. Many of our lecturers are members of the Global Development Division and research associates of the internationally renowned Walker Institute for Climate System Research and the Centre for Food Security.
Optional modules from different disciplines with relevance to international development allow you to tailor the course to your interests and your preferred career path. You even have the option to take a field-based study programme in Uganda, providing first-hand exposure to the challenges of international development, such as national park conservation, refugee issues, micro-finance and agricultural cooperatives. This module is optional and there is an additional cost for this trip.
Many students are keen volunteers and take the Reading Employability Development (RED) Award scheme. You also have the opportunity to study a language as part of your course.
If you are interested in promoting causes related to international development it will definitely be worth joining the International Development society. Run by our students, it’s a place to discuss issues, watch documentaries and actually put your ideas into practise.
You can study this degree over four years with a placement year. You could spend this year at an aid agency, charity, non-governmental organisation or relevant government department at home or abroad. The placement year provides first-hand experience in this field as well as transferable skills that give you a competitive advantage in your future career.
You are also encouraged to consider a study abroad experience as part of your degree. The University has a wide range of exchange partners in Europe and across the world in Australia, Canada and the USA (subject to availability).
For those working in the international development sector, it is typical to build up a portfolio of work, volunteering and overseas experience to enhance employability and career options. This is why we incorporate overseas study opportunities within the course, encourage student volunteering and placements, and enable you to write a research dissertation based on a real-world practical or policy issue.
For more information about securing and completing a placement for your placement year, please visit our Important Information page.