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Course Description

The objective of the course is to provide an introduction to the study of international development as a contested and evolving effort to counteract global inequalities. Students will learn about the historical and political origins of the international development system, as well as the main development actors and institutions. The course will provide an introduction to foundational concepts within development studies, including poverty, inequality, human rights, foreign aid, and sustainable development.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Participate in debates about contemporary development challenges by evaluating ideas and perspectives from popular non-fiction books, documentaries, media, and other sources;
  2. Analyze the historical and political origins of the international development system;
  3. Describe key actors and institutions within international development and identify different perspectives about their roles;
  4. Outline how culture, gender, and other aspects of identity play a role in multiple issue areas across development studies; and
  5. Explain the practical and ethical challenges of working in intercultural contexts, and, by reflecting on cultural identities, develop intercultural skills.

Course Topics

  • What is Development?
  • European Colonialism
  • Colonizing Canada
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Globalization
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • Gender and Development
  • International Migration and Refugees
  • Civil Society and Development
  • Popular Presentations of Development
  • Voluntourism

Additional Requirements

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): None

Equate(s): None

Restriction(s): None


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Weekly Discussions 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Quizzes 10% 2, 3, 4, 5
Research Context Paper 15% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Analytical Book Review 20% 1, 2, 3, 4
Final Exam  25% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Total 100%  



Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the following:

  • Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. 

Please view the Technical Considerations.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Understanding Development and Global Inequalities
May 11, 2023 to August 04, 2023
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $713.81 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,106.72 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes

If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above. You must register through WebAdvisor.

This course requires students to use a webcam and microphone to complete some of the assessments.

Section Materials
  • (Optional) There is no required textbook, but students must choose one of the following non-fiction books to read for the analytical book review assignment and discussions:
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Optional) Option #1: This House is not a Home by Katlià © 2022 Halifax: Fernwood ISBN 9781773635620
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Optional) Option #2: The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster by Katz, J.M. © 2014 New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press ISBN 978-1137278975
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Optional) Option #3: A Hope More Powerful than the Sea: One refugee’s incredible story of love, loss, and survival by Fleming, M. © 2018 New York, NY: Flatiron Books ISBN 978-1250106001
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