Global Development

Open University in Ireland

Global Development

The world is at a turning point. In these times of uncertainty and change, this postgraduate diploma provides you with an advanced grounding in the key theories, approaches and issues that are shaping contemporary global development and the global challenges we face. Drawing on important social science ideas, it introduces a conceptual framework for making sense of development. It employs this framework to examine six major issues: migration, socio-economic security, environmental sustainability, technological innovation, the global politics of development, and the politics of doing development. You’ll also have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the issue or issues of most interest to you by exploring them through four cross-cutting global challenges: conflict, governance, justice, and transformation. The diploma therefore enables you to identify and pursue your own interests in development while also enhancing your skills of critical thinking and independent learning and investigation.

Key features of the course

Explore the global context and nature of contemporary development issues.

Gain an understanding of key concepts for critically examining development theories, approaches and issues.

Study with cutting-edge course materials that draw on the internationally recognised development teaching and research of our academics.

Tailor your learning around development issues of particular interest to you

Build essential skills for a career in development and related areas.

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits and there are two routes to achieving this with a choice of modules at Stage 1.

Route 1 begins with Understanding global development (DD870) which critically interrogates global approaches to contemporary development and sets these in the context of the evolution of development thinking and practice.

Route 2 begins with Global development in practice (D890) presented on the award winning FutureLearn platform. With an emphasis on development as practice, you'll discover, critically analyse, evaluate, and apply the key tools and techniques needed by a development manager or practitioner.

For module details go to

Entry requirements

We recommend that you hold a UK bachelors degree (or equivalent), or have had experience of working in a development-related agency (international or local), in either a paid or voluntary capacity, prior to starting 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. If you’re not sure whether your English skills are good enough, there is some help and guidance at our Skills for OU Study website.

If you are not sure about your suitability to study this qualification, please contact us for advice before registering.


2 years.

How long it takes
You can gain this qualification in two years by studying 60 credits a year. To achieve this you should expect to devote 13 – 15 hours each week to your studies.

Enrolment dates

See course webpage link below 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
•International Development
•Field centre instructors

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

More details
  • Qualification letters

    PG Dip

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Flexible

  • Apply to

    Course provider