Teach Global Development – It’s fab!

We start the most important module in A2 this Wednesday – and my absolute favourite – Global Development. As far as I’m concerned any teacher who doesn’t offer this option at A2 Sociology is really letting the side down.

This module, more than any other, appears to have escaped the clutches of the AQA agenda setters –  who have done so much to bastardise the structure of all the other options (religion and media especially) – the structure and content are totally relevant to the 21st century – (unlike with crime and deviance you don’t have to teach theory from the 1890s)

The problem, however, with this having escaped the agenda setters is that the content of the module is much much broader than in any other of the AQA options –

The key areas of study are as follows – broken down to make it a bit more understandable ! This is slightly different to the way the module is presented in the Ken Browne text book, which I think is good for this module, but too thin on detail, and very different to the way the topic is presented in the Stephen Moore text book – I don’t recommend that book for this topic!

  1. What are the key features of a  ‘developed’ country and what are the key features of an ‘undeveleped’ country?



2. How can we measure how ‘developed’ a country is and what are the problems with these ‘indicators of development’?

wealth distribution map - 2015 projection
wealth distribution map - 2015 projection


3. How do we categorise/ rank countries according to their level of development, and what are the problems with these systems of catetorisation



4. Theories of development – Why are ‘undeveloped’ countries undeveloped? Is it due to cultural barriers, the fact that they are exploited by the more powerful west, or because they are isolated from global trading networks. What are the most effective strategies underdeveloped countries should adopt to become ‘developed’ –



5. What is Globalisation? Economic, Political and Cultural dimensions



6. What role do each of the following institutions play in global develoment? – Nation States, the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund, Transnational Corporations, Non-Governmental Organisations and the United Nations



 7. What is the role of aid, trade and debt in relation to development and underdevelopment?



8. What is the role of industrialisation and urbanisation in development – (really part of of modernisation theory) – arguements for and against their importance in development and problems that industrialisation and urbanisation create in developing countries



9. The environment and development – environmental problems faced by developing countries and the arguements for and against sustainable development



10. The extent, causes and consequences of war and conflict in the developing world.




11. Employment, education and health as aspects of development – the problems developing countries face in each of these areas; teh reasons behind poor employment, health and education; how each of these might contribute to development; limitations to each of these as contributing to development.  



12. Gender and development – Feminist perspectives on women’s lives in the developing world; the role of women in development; the consequences of develompment for women.



13. ‘Overpopulation’ – what are the causes and consequences? Oh, and what’s wrong with the concept of ‘overpopulation’


This is the only module where students really get to learn about what a bleak world we live in!!! Sociology teachers – teach it!

If any teacher is wanting to switch from the much-duller- and – bastardised by the AQA- religion module, I’m happy to provide some resources for this module.  Not the whole lot, I have to maintain some competitive advantage after all!

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5 thoughts on “Teach Global Development – It’s fab!”

  1. Great stuff – but what resources are there. I’m teaching this option, and I already teach International relations which includes Development/exploitation/SAPS et al but from a political perspective. I know Haralambos is coming out with a new Global Development Chapter AFTER the summer exam, but right now not much up to date to help me give my political savvy a sociological twist.
    AQA mark schemes don’t help at all to indicate how much theory they are looking for.
    The newish book Theorising Global Studies – Darren J O’Bryan et al looks interesting.
    Got any tipsabout up to date resources?

  2. Very nice post, Thanks for this publishing. Really help me a lot.

  3. Pleased that you like this module – as a geographer I’m finding my first year of it really interesting. Not a whole lot out there in terms of resources though, but at least after 2 years of teaching Y12 Families & Households I’ve got a bit of an idea what the examiners are looking for… Picking up urbanisation after they return from mocks so if you do have anything that might give me a starting point I really wouldn’t say no!! Just happy that there is someone else fighting the corner for Global Development – my HoD wants to get rid of it and go for Beliefs. Students find this a challenge but I don’t think that it would be any harder than the others, it’s the interconnections they struggle with, rather than nice & tidy ‘this bit of the spec goes here’ that they would like.
    Thank you 🙂

  4. Hello! I love this module and so do my students. Equally frustrated by lack of revision material and adequate text books. I have bought quite a few ‘original texts’ like Moyo, Sachs, Collier etc and pulled out a few pages for my students. The exam questions are so enormous I worry they will miss out lots of relevant content in their fear of getting enough down in the time constraints… always worrying me.

  5. Hi there,
    I will be teaching Global Development for the first time in my new post starting in September, I have taught Beliefs & Crime at A2 for several years now, so I have no resources for the GD module so will be starting from scratch with this, therefore anything you’re willing to share, I would greatly appreciate pretty please!?! Which text book would you recommend for this topic?
    I did a Masters in Global Development a few years ago, so I will be digging through my old resources, and I do have a few of the key texts at home, Moyo, Sachs, Collier, Sen etc. but still I’d like to know what text you think is a best match to AQA specification and assessment objective with examples of exam questions etc.

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