BSc Global Development with International Study

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Current Issues in Global Development 2

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI10042
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


In this course you will begin your exploration of two related and critical areas of development: (i) gender and (ii) climate change and the environment.  The course begins with a comprehensive introduction to variety of perspectives and debates on gender and development. Gender is at the heart of all global development processes, from divisions of labour to climate change mitigation and adaptation, to global inequalities and environmental governance. Thus, contemporary feminist debates examining global development processes and the ways they shape gendered outcomes are of great analytical and practical value and constitute a core component of development studies. To this aim, we will also explore how gender intersects with race, class ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity to generate unique forms of inequalities and vulnerabilities (Intersectionality).

Concurrently, humans are facing the greatest environmental threats in their history, from climate change to environmental pollution, and from loss of biodiversity to deforestation. We will analyse socio-economic and political processes underlying these challenges, the systemic and ethical issues of climate change, and how these have been framed and addressed over time. In this critical juncture, understanding both human impacts on the environment and how environmental threats unevenly affect different social groups, genders, regions, rural-urban spaces, and intra-urban spaces is vital for a more sustainable and equitable future. Therefore, the unit will also consider the intersection of gender, climate change the environment. As part of this analysis, we will discuss why there cannot be climate justice without gender justice.


  • Introduce a variety of multidisciplinary theoretical perspectives and debates on gender, intersectionality, and climate change.
  • Discuss - through in-depth analysis of case studies, policies, and institutional reforms - how climate change, and gender relations and empowerment have been framed and addressed over time.
  • Discuss local and transnational approaches to develop just solutions to the gender and global environmental challenges of the 21st century.
  • Enable students to work collaboratively.
  • Enable students to communicate creatively and professionally on climate, gender and the environment using a range of digital communications tools.
  • Introduce the GDI staff and their research.

Teaching and learning methods

The course is delivered through weekly lectures (2 hours) and tutorials (1 hour) that will include group work, skills development (blog writing, critical reading, working in groups effectively, using digital tools etc) and group discussions. Students will also be expected to read around the topic using the ‘key reading’ lists provided. All slides and essential readings will be provided on Blackboard in advance.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain different theoretical perspectives in the field of (i) gender and global development and (ii) climate and the environment.
  • Find examples of relevant policies, case studies, reforms with significant impacts on gender equity and climate justice.
  • Appraise the roles of different development actors and their (positive or negative) impact on gender equity and climate justice

Intellectual skills

  • Apply theoretical perspectives to policies, case studies, reforms in different geographical contexts.
  • Illustrate strengths and weaknesses of key strategies and to address climate change and gender inequalities.
  • Evaluate the impact of development and policy interventions on gender equity and climate justice.

Practical skills

  • Working collaboratively and confidently in small groups
  • Communicate creatively and professionally on climate, gender and the environment using a range of digital communications tools
  • Provide constructive feedback to colleagues

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop a critical and analytical argument, making use of appropriate evidence
  • Communicate ideas both verbally and in writing
  • Communicate using digital media

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 70%
Project output (not diss/n) 30%

Feedback methods

There will be formative assessment through a lecturer-led discussion on on the cases and themes chosen by each student for the essay. This discussion will take place in class.

Summative Assessment: Turnitin. The content and timing of feedback will be consistent with University policy.

Recommended reading


Baud, I., Basile, E., Kontinen, T. and Von Itter, S. eds., 2018. Building development studies for the new millennium. Springer.

Coles, Anne, Leslie Gray, and Janet Momsen, eds. The Routledge handbook of gender and development. Routledge, 2015.

Veltmeyer, Henry, and Paul Bowles, eds. The essential guide to critical development studies. Routledge, 2021.

Laurent, É. and Zwickl, K. eds., 2022. The Routledge handbook of the political economy of the environment. Routledge

MacGregor, S. ed., 2017. Routledge handbook of gender and environment. Taylor & Francis.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Maria Rusca Unit coordinator

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