Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module EDUC46130: International Development and Education in a Global World

Department: Education

EDUC46130: International Development and Education in a Global World

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None.


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  • This module aims to develop students’ students knowledge and understanding of key issues related to globalisation and international development and the challenges and opportunities these offer for education. It provides an introduction to international development and comparative education, for students interested in learning more about education as an international issue. Students will consider why it is important to look beyond the nation state in the current context of globalisation and global inequalities, and will explore suitable research approaches and concepts for developing this perspective. Education is now central to the international policy agenda, as a core focus of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4.0 and highly relevant to other areas (health, poverty eradication and environmental sustainability). This module will introduce students to the international policy agenda and related socio-political issues around education, globalisation and international development. It will allow students to develop a sound knowledge of the field of international development and education and reflect on educational issues within an increasingly mobile and globalised context. Students will develop critical understanding and analytical tools to understand educational issues in the Global North and the Global South.
  • To introduce students to in-depth knowledge of concepts and issues linked to education and international development in a globalised world.
  • To encourage students to read and reflect critically on the main contemporary challenges in providing quality education across the world, in particular in areas of poverty and deep inequalities.
  • To present students with a range of perspectives to understand contemporary challenges faced by educational systems internationally, and the possibilities for improvement and positive change.
  • To familiarise students with basic comparative methods and frameworks to facilitate reflection on the relationship between education, inequality and social justice within a global scale.
  • To critically question prevailing discourses of development, internationalisation and globalisation


  • The course will be divided in three sections.
  • Section 1. Globalisation, education and international development: theories and practice
  • Section 1 will introduce dominant paradigms of globalisation and international development in relation to education. It critically examines discourses of development, human rights and international policy frameworks relevant to thinking about education internationally.
  • International Development and Education: discourses and policies
  • International Frameworks and Global Education Agenda: Education for All, Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Theories of Globalisation, Human Rights , Postcolonialism, Capability Approach
  • Global Citizenship Education (SDG 4.7): ideas and practice
  • Section 2. Key stakeholders in the global education agendas
  • Section 2 will focus on understanding the key stakeholders in the global education and development agenda. It will examine multiple forms of financing of education, public/private partnerships in education globally and locally, forms of measurement and monitoring (e,g. accountability) and the effects and constraints this brings to educational systems across the world.
  • Financing education globally: key issues and trends
  • Public/private partnerships in education: challenges and opportunities
  • Measurement and monitoring: key stakeholders and comparisons
  • Section 3. Human rights, equity and education
  • Section 3 will focus on the relationship between international policy agendas and stakeholders, theories of globalisation and concepts of human rights in relation to education, equity and development. Through an interdisciplinary lens, this section will examine global educational issues linked to sustainable development, migration, refugees, poverty, disability, language and gender. It will examine the different strategies that are being implemented to tackle these concerns at a global, national and local level and reflect on their impact on notions of Global Citizenship Education.
  • Global poverty: challenges to education
  • Migration, globalisation and education: contemporary issues
  • Gender, education and development for the 21st century
  • Sustainable Development Education: empowering learners
  • Throughout the module, the course will introduced and discuss comparative education approaches and methods. It will examine political, economic and cultural frameworks in comparative education. It will familiarise students with basic theories derived from comparative studies and to demonstrate how to plan international research, discuss and write about the above in an informed and critically analytical manner.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge and understanding of key concepts, issues and theories related to education, globalisation and international development.
  • Knowledge and understanding of key global policy agendas in international development and education.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the specific contributions of these theories and concepts to the study of education.
  • Knowledge and understanding of dominant paradigms of globalisation, development and human rights for understanding world-wide educational challenges.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To reflect critically on concepts, theories and case studies encountered in the module.
  • To build on these concepts and theories to analyse educational issues and current debates, locally and globally.
  • To read and analyse international policy, theoretical texts, critically navigate different interpretations and commentaries and relate these to contemporary educational issues.
  • To use theories derived from international and comparative studies to analyse students own educational experiences from a wider perspective.
  • To reflect critically on the use of research methods in a global context.
Key Skills:
  • To read and think critically and independently.
  • To develop critical inquiry of theoretical, substantive and policy texts.
  • To analyse, synthesise, evaluate, identify and question issues, policies, norms and practices.
  • To construct and sustain a reasoned and well-substantiated argument.
  • To critically interrogate evidence-based and theoretically-grounded research.
  • To develop study and research skills, information retrieval, and the capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on own learning.
  • To use written and spoken communication skills.
  • To draw links between different levels of analysis: theory, policy, evidence-based research, case-studies and practice.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • An intensive programme of lectures, seminars (including group work), practical tasks, tutorials, self-guided learning. Lectures will give up-to-date knowledge of education, globalisation and international development and help structure students’ own study and learning towards the learning objectives. Seminars will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with themes and issues raised in the lectures. The format of lectures and in particular seminar exercises will enable students to critically discuss key module concepts and engage with policy, evidence-based research and complementary approaches to researching international development and education. Assessment will take the form of an essay (70% of the grade) and group presentations (30% of the grade). This will provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate the extent to which they have understood and are able to engage critically with the theories and concepts covered under the learning outcomes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 8 1 hour 8
Seminars 8 2 hours 16
Tutorial 3 2 hours 6
Preparation & Reading 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 4000 100% Yes
Component: Presentation Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group Presentation 30 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Presentation of group project in seminars.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University