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Global development in practice

Development management engages with the multiple challenges of ‘development’ and this module sets out to build up the basic capacities for managing those challenges. Development, in this context, refers to the multitude of actions and interventions that people take to bring about change – predominantly social change – that can take place anywhere in the world. Building on the global agenda for sustainable development, it rests on the assumption that development management is a political and ethical process, a matter of the use of power to bring about desired goals in contexts characterised by conflicts of interests, values and agendas. The module teaches a range of skills needed by a development manager or practitioner to do with strategic thinking, research, advocacy, planning, policy making and evaluation.

All students who successfully complete this module will qualify for the Postgraduate Certificate in Global Development Management.

This module is being presented on the innovative FutureLearn platform with full tutor support, including opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous interaction.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
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Module cost
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Entry requirements

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What you will study

The module draws on case studies and research from the global south and global north to identify, explore and help you develop capacities – relating to concepts, frameworks, skill areas and techniques - that have a much wider application. These include:

  • appreciating the history of development management, and recognising how the past shapes the present of development
  • creating institutional and conceptual frameworks for analysing development management
  • making cases for, planning, implementing and appraising projects
  • knowing how and when to use different investigative methods and processes
  • working with data, testing assumptions and making cases for intervention
  • monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment
  • learning for advocacy and strategic thinking.

You'll link these capacities to development management as a means of creating alternative strategies for development and bringing about social transformation.

The module is divided into four programs. Each program last eight weeks. with a week’s break between each program.

By the end of the module your analytical capabilities and strategic skills for facilitating change should have improved so that you can make a more informed and effective contribution to the environment in which you work.

Learning platform

This module will be delivered on the innovative platform of FutureLearn. You may already know FutureLearn, which was founded by The Open University, for the free short courses it hosts for universities and institutions around the world. In addition to these free short courses, FutureLearn has a growing collection of full fee-paying university courses linked to undergraduate and masters-level qualifications. These fee-paying courses feature additional options and tools that aren’t available on the free courses.

If you’ve studied with the OU recently, you’ll find that FutureLearn works a little differently. For example, it’s entirely online and highly interactive, so you won’t be using printed or offline course materials. However, you’ll still have access to our tools and resources, as well as new options that aren’t available in the OU’s virtual learning environment. Importantly, as a fee-paying student, you’ll still have the same excellent tutor support that you would on any of our other modules.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your tutor will guide you on many aspects of the module. They will grade and comment on your written work. You may also ask your tutor for advice and guidance. You will be taught and assessed through a combination of media, including the Internet, live discussion online, text-based discussion, email and written assignments. The module offers online tutorials. In these you’ll be able to interact with your tutor and other students using voice, visuals and text-chat.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Global development in practice (D890) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2029.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    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 agency (international or local) prior to embarking on this module.  However, these requirements are not compulsory and you will not be required to provide any supporting documentary evidence.

    All teaching is in English, and your proficiency in the language needs to be adequate for postgraduate study and for contributing to online discussions by text and voice. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend that you make sure you can achieve a score of at least seven in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). To assess your English Language skills in relation to your proposed studies, you can visit the IELTS website.

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


    Start End England fee Register
    04 Oct 2021 Jul 2022 £2950.00

    Registration closes 16/09/21 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2029.

    Future availability

    Global development in practice (D890) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2029.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    This module provides you with:

    • specially written online teaching material
    • learning activities that you will undertake individually or in small groups of fellow students
    • support from your tutor
    • online discussion and live online tutorials
    • a dedicated website
    • and other internet resources.

    As an OU student, you can use the Open University Library website. This provides access via the internet to a wide range of online resources such as databases, full-text ejournals, reference sources, ebooks, newspapers, images and more to support your studies. You can use these to do a literature search, keep up to date with your subject or read around a topic. Support for developing and improving your information-searching skills is available on the Library website and the Library’s Learner Helpdesk is there seven days a week to provide help and advice on finding and using information. You'll also have opportunities for communication – both live and asynchronous – with tutors and fellow students.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and we have a range of disability support in place. If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange.

    This module is delivered online on the innovative FutureLearn platform. If you’ve studied with the OU recently, you’ll find that things are a little different on the FutureLearn platform, but it has been extensively tested for accessibility and it meets our accessibility standards. This is an online only course; there are no printed or alternative formats of materials available.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.