Global Development

Open University in Ireland

Global Development

The world is at a turning point, with humanity facing unprecedented global challenges. In this postgraduate certificate you'll explore historical and contemporary theories about global development and critically examine their role in shaping development policy and practice, the opportunities and challenges humanity faces in tackling global challenges and bringing about positive change. It will provide you with an in-depth understanding of key development issues, such as migration, environmental sustainability and the global politics of development, and encourage you to reflect on ways to engage with development issues at different scales. You will be introduced to a conceptual framework to help analyse and understand global development in a multitude of contexts, drawing on a range of case study material. In the process, you will enhance your skills in critical thinking, working with evidence, and presenting arguments using a variety of techniques and media.

Key features of the course
• Provides knowledge and understanding of theories and concepts to make sense of global development issues.
• Critically engages with the global development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
• Encourages you to reflect on your standpoint, and that of others, with respect to global development debates.
• Builds essential skills for a career in development and related areas.

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits from the following:
Compulsory module
• Understanding global development (DD870) 60 Credits

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

For module details please see "Course Web Page".

Entry requirements

It is recommended that you hold a UK bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), or have had experience of working, in a paid or voluntary capacity, in a development-related agency (international or local), public sector or business setting prior to embarking on this qualification. However, these requirements are not compulsory, and you will not be required to provide any supporting documentary evidence.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.


Maximum – 1 year

Enrolment dates

See Course Web Page link for next start date.

Post Course Info

Career relevance
Development scholars and practitioners are highly employable social scientists. They go on to a wide range of destinations after graduation, including:
• Development managers
• Government policy makers
• Development consultants
• Business managers
• Environmental consultants
• Data analysis and visualisation using development techniques
• Transport planners
• Commercial analysts
• Financial services
• Field centre instructors
• Teachers

In addition, significant number of postgraduate students choose to register for doctoral studies in a variety of specialised areas.


The Staff of the School of Human Development are engaged in a broad range of significant theoretical and empirical research projects focused on questions pertaining to human flourishing across the life span and in diverse contexts. Research undertaken by the school has a strong critical and social justice focus and explores particular challenges and obstacles to human development while seeking to inform policy and bring about significant change in educational and socio-cultural contexts. Some commissioned projects are concerned with the latest measures in curriculum reform and young people's wellbeing and in exploring creative and transformative pedagogies. The CREATE21 platform in the IoE supports much of the research undertaken by the school.

The school welcomes research students at Masters, Professional Doctorate and PhD levels.

Research Interests and Expertise

Care and education
Catholic Education
Chaplaincy Studies
Childhood Studies
Children's Rights
Citizenship Education
Climate Change Education
Combatting Prejudice
Creativity Maeve O'Brien
Education Disadvantage / Equality
Empowering pedagogies
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Guidance Counselling
Holistic Education
Human Development
Human Rights Education
Intercultural Education
Media Education
Pastoral work
Pedagogy and Curriculum
Philosophy for Children
Political Theory
Practical Theology
Relationship and Relationality
Relationships and Sexuality Education
Religious Education
Restorative Practices
Self/ Other
Social Class
Sociological Perspectives
Special Education
Teacher Education / Professional Development
Teaching Difficult Knowledge

More details
  • Qualification letters

    PG Cert

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Certificate at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Flexible

  • Apply to

    Course provider