International Development Management

BSc (Hons)

Are you ready to become a versatile development leader, equipped to drive positive change in the global community?

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Entry requirements

BBC (standard offer)

BCC (contextual offer)


4 years with integrated placement year (international students may opt out of the placement year)

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course overview

The BSc (Hons) International Development Management programme at Aston University has been designed with your future in mind. You will gain expertise in management practices tailored for development contexts, a deep understanding of global development systems and policies, and a critical perspective on the challenges faced by disadvantaged regions.

This pioneering programme combines development studies, management, political science, sociology and history, providing you with a versatile, cross-disciplinary skill set. You will be taught by staff who have practical and research expertise in international development and who constantly update their teaching based on how the practice of international development evolves.

The integrated placement year will provide you with invaluable real-world experience, preparing you for a range of roles within the international development sector and beyond.

Download our brochure

Faisa Loyaan CAN International

"This is a comprehensive and forward-thinking initiative that blends theoretical knowledge with practical application. Students not only gain academic knowledge but also put their learning into action, acquiring skills for managing and implementing development programmes, as well as developing their critical analysis abilities. The career placement programme is also a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of the professional world."

Faisa Loyaan
Executive Director, CAN International

Why International Development Management at Aston University?

Triple accredited icon
Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
TEF Gold 2023 logo
Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
9th in the UK icon
We know our stuff
Aston University was ranked 9th overall in the UK for International Relations (Guardian, 2024)
Complete University Guide logo
Safe in our hands
We were ranked top 5 in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on track’ (Politics; Complete University Guide, 2023)
QS World University Rankings logo
66th in the world
We’ve been ranked as 66th in the world for business and management studies (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2024)

Course description

BSc (Hons) International Development Management

Our BSc (Hons) International Development Management programme offers a comprehensive understanding of global development, advanced management skills, and real-world insights, preparing you for influential roles in the development sector.

arrow icon

What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will benefit from applied learning, research-informed teaching and authentic assessment. As a student on this programme, you will be one of the first to know about advancements in topical research by staff across the department, even before it is published.

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

user icon

What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel. 

graduate cap icon

What skills we teach
In addition to fostering your global perspective, you will acquire essential analytical and critical thinking abilities, enabling you to navigate intricate international development issues. Our programme nurtures graduates with empathy, cultural sensitivity and the practical skills needed to drive positive change in the realm of international development.

target icon

Placement year
We all know that taking a placement year will boost your employability – it’s what makes Aston University graduates some of the most employable in the country. It’s for this reason that we encourage every student to take one. The placement year gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills.

The placement year is compulsory for BSc (Hons) International Development Management students. International students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.

signpost icon

Career prospects
As an Aston University International Development Management graduate, you will be equipped for a range of different career options. Our recent graduates have gone on to work across the public, private and third sectors for organisations including: the Civil Service, Aldi, Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, Microsoft and West Midlands Police.

How you will learn

Our programme is designed to give you a dynamic learning experience, equipping you with the skills for a successful career in understanding, analysing and managing global development projects. Through practical teaching methods, including interactive lectures, group seminars, and workshops led by experienced academic staff, you will engage in lively discussions and explore diverse viewpoints. Traditional teaching is supported by our virtual learning environment, which hosts a range of electronic supporting materials.

You'll also gain hands-on experience through applied modules, study trips and the integrated placement year, preparing you to tackle real-world challenges in an ever-changing global context. This practical approach not only helps you grasp international development and management theories but also nurtures critical thinking and research skills essential in today's world.

In your final year, you will undertake a major piece of independent research in the form of a dissertation. You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules including EuroSim, where students compete in an international intercollegiate negotiation simulation.

At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance. You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals.

What you will learn

Driven by the needs of industry and individuals, our course offers a comprehensive grasp of international development dynamics, theories, and critical analysis skills. You will be equipped to tackle diverse, evolving challenges in the global development landscape.

First year

In your first year, you will grasp the foundational principles and concepts associated with international development and management, including key theoretical and ethical issues. You will grow your understanding of international development systems and an ability to critically analyse the political, social and ethical issues that arise from managerial practices.

Second year

With the fundamentals mastered in the first year, you will be equipped with skills to expand your knowledge with more complex concepts and theories. You will critically assess research methods, apply economic concepts to development, evaluate policy debates, and design and manage development projects, enhancing your understanding of development.

Placement year

The Aston University placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills. Our award-winning careers and placements team are on hand to support you through every step of your placement journey.

Final year

In your final year, you will complete a research dissertation on an international development topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods. You will have the opportunity to specialise in topics you enjoy most by choosing from a range of optional modules.

Anousha Jamshid Politics with International Relations student

My graduate role in the Civil Service

After graduating with a degree in Politics with International Relations, Anousha Jamshid secured a position on the highly competitive Civil Service Fast Stream.

Balazs Szent-Ivanyi

“This programme is truly pioneering in the UK. Not only does it deliver knowledge on issues around global development, but it also provides graduates with strong management skills. These skills allow you to succeed in a variety of roles including project management, policy advocacy, fundraising, and analytics.”

Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi, Programme Director

Course objectives

  1. Trains you to become a development professional, qualified to work in the (international) development sector, specifically in management roles in international development organisations.
  2. Provides you with skills in management practices as applied to development contexts.
  3. Develops your understanding of the wider international development system and development policies, as well as a critical appreciation of the drivers and obstacles to progress in the Global South and deprived regions in rich(er) countries.
  4. Prepares you for work in roles focused on project management, fundraising, analytics, research and evaluation, as well as policy advocacy.
  5. Equips you with a unique multidisciplinary skill-set, and makes you highly versatile and employable in sectors other than international development as well.


Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Becoming a Social Development Scientist30
Development Studies: Policy, Practice and Management30
The Making of the Modern World15
Introduction to Management and Organisations in Development15

You will choose 30 credits from the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
International Perspectives in Organisations15
Principles of Operations Management15
Introductory Accounting for Business15
Introduction to the Concepts and Methods of International Relations30
What's Trending (Current Affairs in Politics and International Relations)15
Identities and Inequalities I and II30

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Year 1 outcomes

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Understand the basics of social research, including its ethical implications.
  • Communicate ideas in a coherent and effective form.
  • Critically understand of the key issues and concepts in development.
  • Write academic submissions.
  • Read and synthesise academic works.
  • Understand the basic contours of the international development system and the organisations within it.
  • Critically assess the political, social and ethical issues that arise from managerial and strategic practices.

Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods15
Advanced Research Methods15
The Economic Perspective on Development15
The Politics of Global Development15
Development Project Management15
Theories of Development and Social Change15

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Global Society15
Critical Policy Analysis15
Critical Approaches to Security Studies15
Security Studies: Theories and Issues 15
South Asian Politics and Society15
International Political Economy15
Business, Government and Society15
Effective Teamwork15
Fundamentals of Strategy15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Year 2 outcomes

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the suitability of research methods for specific research objectives.
  • Apply research methods and use quantitative data analysis tools.
  • Apply economic concepts to development.
  • Evaluate development policy debates.
  • Assess the workings and issues of the international development system.
  • Design and manage development projects.
  • Critically understand the key theories explaining development.

Placement year modules

You will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year120

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate increasing personal and professional development through a placement.
  • Articulate key personal, cultural, professional and disciplinary knowledge and skills relevant to the placement experience and reflect on performance.
  • Clearly communicate the ways in which placement-related skills can be transferred to support ongoing personal, professional and academic development.

Final year modules

In your final year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Skills and International Development Management Dissertation30
Development Impact Evaluation15
Issues in Development15

You will choose four of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Corporate Power15
The Challenges of Climate Change15
Migration, Borders and Belonging15
The International Relations of East Asia15
Politics and Islam: Past and Present15
Conflict and Intervention15
African Politics from Colonial Period to Present Day15
Chinese Politics and Society15
Gender and Politics15
Politics and Protest in a Globalised World15
EuroSim: Learning Negotiation through Simulation Games15
Non-state Actors, Human Rights & Crisis Management15
Ethics in Crisis15
Theories and Practice of Leadership15
Global Working15
Sustainable Operations Management15
Effective Project Delivery 115

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Final year outcomes

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Plan and manage a research project focused on international development management.
  • Write advanced academic and policy relevant submissions.
  • Apply development theory to empirical problems.
  • Evaluate the impact of development projects.
  • Critically understand the managerial implications of the development project life cycle.
  • Analyse the issues and problems in the international development system at significant depth.
  • Formulate sound management and policy solutions for empirical development problems.

We regularly review our modules to provide the best possible teaching and learning experience, incorporating academic developments, student feedback and employer feedback.

There may be some change to some of the modules on this course for 2025/26 entry.

We’ll make sure to let you know of any changes to modules at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. 
We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints may mean it isn’t possible to take some module combinations. The structure of some courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.


Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBC (standard offer)
    BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
    BCC (contextual offer)

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in

Contextual offer criteria


BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (standard offer)

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.

29 points overall in the IB diploma with grades 5,5,4 in 3 higher level subjects.

You must also have Standard Level grade 4 in Mathematics and grade 5 in English Language.

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3.

You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction.

Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.


The following T Levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Production - grade D
  • Education and Childcare - grade D
  • Onsite Construction - grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Business Services - grade D
  • Digital Support Services - grade D
  • Health - grade D
  • Healthcare Science - grade D
  • Science - grade D
  • Accounting - grade D
  • Finance - grade D
  • Management and administration - grade D
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing - grade D 
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing - grade D
  • Legal Services - grade D 

GCSE Maths – grade C/4

GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4

Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a first year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have successfully passed (or be expected to pass) your first year with 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university with very similar module content. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 3 entry onwards: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3 or final year. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students

Annual tuition fees:£18,250
During placement year:£2,500

Fees listed are for 2024 entry. For Sandwich courses the placement fee is £1250 for Home/UK students and £2,500 for International students. For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies. For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Explore our scholarships 


You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments. Special emphasis will be placed on authentic assessment.

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) International Development Management programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

The transferable skills that our politics and international relations programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Research officer
  • Senior economic analyst
  • Account manager
  • Sales manager
  • Finance executive
  • Data insight consultant
  • Strategy analyst
  • Marketing executive
  • Business operations executive
  • Project manager
  • Teacher
  • Financial analyst
  • Area manager
  • Policy officer
  • Data protection officer

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as the Civil Service, Airbus, Dell Technologies, Jaguar Land Rover, Highways England, BT, IBM, Aldi, West Midlands Police, PwC, HS2, Samsung, Sheffield City Council and Microsoft.

L'myah Sherae - Politics and Sociology graduate

One of the best decisions I made

L’myah Sherae knew she wanted to work in race relations and politics from a young age. She completed her placement year at the Houses of Parliament and now runs her own political campaigns company.

Our students achieve some amazing things during their time with us and after they graduate - whether it's setting up their own businesses, landing competitive graduate schemes, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study International Development Management?

Why study the International Development Management programme at Aston University? Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi, a reader at Aston University, explains the benefits of studying this programme.

Read more

How will a placement year benefit me?

Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston University’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work.

Our work placements give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Find out more

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham


Register your interest