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Postgraduate Certificate in Global Development

In this postgraduate certificate you'll explore historical and contemporary theories about global development and discuss the impact of these theories to inform policy and bring about sustainable change. It will give you an understanding of global challenges and encourage critical reflections on ways to engage with development issues at different scales. Case studies are used to illuminate key global development challenges such as migration, socio economic security and environmental sustainability and you will be introduced to a conceptual framework to help investigate, analyse and understand global development in a multitude of contexts.

Key features of the course

  • Provides the knowledge and understanding of theories and concepts to make sense of global development issues.
  • Critically engage with the leading global agenda such as sustainable development goals.
  • Reflect on your standpoint, and that of others, with respect to global development debates through effective use of evidence, communication tools and collaborations
  • Use your learning to achieve your personal and professional goals.


Course 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.
How long it takes
Maximum – 1 year
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits from the following:

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Understanding global development (DD870)  

This module introduces global approaches to contemporary development issues, equipping you with the analytical tools to critically examine and respond to these challenges.

See full description

60 No current presentation

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.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.

On completion

On successful completion of the required module you will be awarded the qualification of Postgraduate Certificate in Global Development entitling you to use the letters PGCert Glob Dev (Open) after your name.

You can progress from this Postgraduate Certificate in Global Development to our Postgraduate Diploma in Global Development (E86) or our MSc in Global Development (F86).


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

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2021.

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), 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. 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.

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
  • Teachers

In addition, significant number of postgraduate students choose to register for doctoral studies in variety of specialised areas. The 2017 Devex Report, a media platform for the development community, noted that global development remains a highly competitive field, constantly demanding skilled and experienced professionals to tackle a range of challenges around the globe while keeping up with the ever-evolving nature of the sector. It further acknowledged that recruiters predict a growing need for local candidates, and organisations are increasingly interested in professionals from non-traditional backgrounds.