Course Outline

SCS140 Introduction to Development Studies

Course Coordinator:Harriot Beazley ( School:School of Law and Society

2021Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Development studies is an interdisciplinary field of social science. The meaning of 'development' is to enhance human wellbeing in developing countries including Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. The course introduces development theories, colonisation, industrialisation, rural development, urbanization, gender, health, education and the environment. Graduates choose careers with international development organisations including the United Nations and non-government organisations.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Lecture – Live online lecture for timetable 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Weekly face to face tutorial 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  • Introduction to International Development
  • Impact of Colonialism
  • Postcolonialism, Globalisation and Underdevelopment
  • Development Theories and Ideologies 
  • Development Governance
  • Rural Development
  • Urbanisation and Development
  • New Economic Order and International Migration
  • Environment and Development
  • Gender and Development
  • Culture and Development
  • Health and Development
  • Education and Development
  • Children and Development

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 critically evaluate the evolution of development theories Knowledgeable
2 describe and explain the reasons for the vast inequalities which exist in the world today Creative and critical thinker
3 describe and critically assess the main components of development in the GlobalSouth with particular reference to economic, political and social processes and issues Creative and critical thinker
4 understand different approaches from the macro-level of international developmentagencies to the micro-level of grassroots organisations. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Timely and detailed feedback is provided for each assessment. Feedback is provided both within text and general comments to build scholarly skills. Students are able to seek feedback through face to face discussion with the course coordinator. Tutorials will include extended discussion and review of the assessment task requirements and scope

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 20%
1000 words
Week 4 Online Submission
All 2 Oral Group 35%
10 minutes
Refer to Format In Class
All 3 Written Piece Individual 45%
1500 words
Week 13 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Online quiz
Ability to complete an Online Quiz
Product: Quiz/zes
You will be required to answer a short online quiz posted on Blackboard in Week 4. You will be required to answer ten questions in a maximum of 100 words for each answer.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Degree of knowledge and understanding of the notion of development studies.
Demonstrates an understanding of the evolution of development theories.
Extent to which key concepts are linked with examples and illustrate the answer.
Evidence of understanding of ideas raised during lectures and tutorial discussions.
Quality of grammar and spelling and referencing.
Assessment criteria are mapped to the course learning outcomes.
1 2 3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Seminar presentation
Presentation of an in-class seminar (in pairs)
Product: Oral
Submit: Weeks 5-11. 

Each week from Week 5 students will present a short seminar together which will be related to that week's reading. You will work together in pairs when preparing for the presentation, and you will present on your chosen topic together in class. Each student will be marked individually on their performance during the presentation. The decision of when you will present will be made in tutorial class in Week 2.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Quality of presentation (verbal and PowerPoint).
Degree of knowledge and understanding of the notion of development studies.
Extent to which key concepts from the text book are conveyed.
Adequate referencing and reference list in Harvard style at the end of the
All - Assessment Task 3:Research paper
Individual research on a chosen topic resulting in a 1500 word research paper
Product: Written Piece
Choose a topic within the framework of issues that are discussed in the lectures and tutorials. Relate this topic to a 'developing' region or country in the world that interests you. Write a 2000 word essay on this issue as it relates to your chosen geographical region and the course readings. You will be expected to use the course readings to write your essay, and to also conduct independent research on your chosen topic and geographical region.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Quality of additional research undertaken.
Degree of links between additional research and required readings analysis.
Quality of analysis between course material and chosen subject/ geographical area.
Level of critical thinking
Quality of overall structure of paper and logical argument demonstrated.
Quality of presentation, grammar and spelling.
Extent to which critical thought is supported by references.
Adequate referencing and reference list in Harvard style.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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