Programme director, Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi, explains some of the benefits of studying International Development Management at Aston University.
Why study International Development Management?
Countries in the Global South face a multitude of challenges, including poverty, poor business climates, infectious diseases, violent conflict, the impacts of climate change and dysfunctional politics. Many of these issues have international impacts and affect developed countries like the UK as well. Poverty and conflict are leading to mass migration from the Global South, organized crime and drug trafficking, while poor health and living conditions can lead to the emergence of new global pandemics. Promoting development in the Global South is therefore essential to tackle global problems, and it also provides opportunities.
Studying International Development Management allows you to better understand the causes and effects of the challenges in the Global South, how they lead to inequalities within and between states, and how they can be overcome. The course is specifically designed to equip learners with the management techniques needed to succeed in international development contexts. These techniques can be used in a multitude of other contexts as well, including when doing business in the Global South, leading to a degree that is highly versatile and relevant to the needs of many employers.
What skills would I acquire from the International Development Management degree?
The programme offers a multidisciplinary skill set covering business and management, development studies, politics, international relations, and sociology. Almost all other development undergraduate courses offered by British universities focus on policies and theories around development, and neglect the aspects around management.
The methods and techniques you’ll learn here allow you to become a versatile development professional who can manage complex projects, evaluate their impacts, have a strong understanding of project finances, can engage in policy making and advocacy, and has an awareness of political, social and cultural issues in the Global South.
Our modules help develop your skills in critical thinking, inquiry and debate, as well as working in teams. Many of our modules feature simulations to develop your negotiation skills, while others build your confidence in public speaking through presentations. We take a practical approach to assessments, and many of your tasks will require you to prepare policy briefs, design development projects, or solve business cases. These will support the development of your skills in identifying, researching, and addressing problems linked not only to development, but also broader global issues and management contexts.
How does the course help with employability?
Preparing you for the job market after graduation is something that we take very seriously at Aston University.
Our modules integrate training in employability skills, and these are further supported by our Careers and Placements Team, who provide training in CV writing or prepping for interviews. As part of the degree, you will undertake a year-long placement, which gives you valuable on-the-job experience and puts you ahead of other graduates on the job market. Our regular careers events and links with organizations looking for graduates with expertise in development management allow you to build direct links with prospective employers.
What kind of jobs can a degree in International Development Management lead to?
International Development Management directly prepares you for careers in development organisations, including the parts of the Civil Service, such as the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, international organisations like the World Bank or the United Nations, and charities like Oxfam, Islamic Relief or Save the Children. The course is also a primary choice for those looking for careers in corporate social responsibility at large companies.
However, the skills you acquire will also make you employable in areas like journalism and a wide range of business and management roles as well, including consultancy, business analytics or finance.