St John Plessington Catholic College

About the Course:

This subject is offered as an A Level course. World Development is intended to develop skills of analysis and evaluation, problem  solving, independent learning and communication as well as an ability to express viewpoints and opinions. It is a subject which will help you to understand people and their attitudes and beliefs, as well as the global issues that make headline news today. It will develop understanding of the issues that concern people in our society and develop a greater awareness of our role as global citizens. The course is divided into a total of four units: two AS units and two A2 units. It is expected that pupils will have gained a C grade in GCSE  Humanities, History or Geography or, if these subjects have not been studied before, a C grade in English.


Introduction to World Development Issues (70% of AS course)

  • Theme 1 - Development, Resources and Global Citizenship
  • Theme 2 - Poverty and Inequality

Topics such as resource distribution, population growth, sustainable development, poverty, international debt and globalization will be explored through case studies such as the UK, Nepal, Japan, Kenya, Alaska, China, the Amazon as well as the study of charities such as Oxfam and the development of New Social Movements such as Live 8 and Make Poverty History.
1 x written examination - 2 hours

Portfolio Analysis of World Development Issues (30% of AS course) This coursework unit is based on the analysis of three articles (each a maximum of 500 words) on topics taken from Theme 1 (Development, Resources and Global Citizenship). It also involves a comparative essay (100 words maximum) on a topic taken from Theme 2 (Poverty and Inequality).


Concepts and Processes of World Development (70% of A2 course)
Students will study a variety of topics based around the idea of development, such as the economy, trade, aid programmes, education and health. They will complete a case study question and 2 essays within the examination.
1 x written examination – 3 hours

Individual Report (30% of A2 course)
This coursework unit allows pupils to explore their own areas of interest in greater depth examining development issues.
1 x written report (Maximum 3000 words)

Progression Route:

The study of World Development can lead to further study at degree level in a variety of subjects such as social policy, international  development, human resource management and environmental management. It would provide an excellent foundation for pursuing  careers in journalism, the media, international relations, charity work and any career which requires an understanding of the global issues facing our world today.

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