International Development Studies Program

Course Descriptions

2301 Introduction to Development Studies: Perspectives
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: one of ANTH 1202, ECON 1201/1202, POLI 1201, POLI 1220, or SOCI 1210 and SOCI 1211.

This course introduces students to the nature and scope of development studies as an interdisciplinary field. The course explores the definitions of development, development explanations of poverty and prosperity in many regions of the world and examines a wide spectrum of problems that confront the so-called developing world. 


2302 Introduction to Development Studies: Policies and Practice
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2301.

This is a continuation of IDST 2301, and explores real-world, past and current development policies and how they are formulated and applied to specific development problems through programs, institutional practices, or community initiatives. It examines the role of the state, local community organizations, and other actors who contribute to the policy-making process and critically analyzes policy successes and failures.


2325 Philosophical Issues in International Development [PHIL 2325]
3 credit hours


2460 Development Practice
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDST 2301/2302 and permission of the IDS Program Coordinator

In this experiential learning course students have an opportunity to link development theory and development practice, and to integrate their IDS classroom learning with their experience of developing society realities.


3348 Religion and Ecological Issues in the Developing World [RELS 3348]
3 credit hours


3386 Sociology of Developing Societies [SOCI 3386]
3 credit hours


3401 Seminar in Development Studies: Conceptual Foundations
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302.

This is a core IDST mixed lecture/seminar course which examines key concepts, perspectives and theoretical approaches to dealing with issues affecting developing countries, such as industrial development, rural development, economic prosperity, community development etc.  The acquisition by students of an analytical and critical assessment of these approaches will be strongly emphasized through readings, presentations, group study and lectures.


3402 Seminar in Development Studies: Contemporary Issues
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 3401.

A continuation of the core IDST 3401 lecture/seminar. In this course students will research and analyze selected problems of development in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Oceania, or Middle East/North Africa. Students will read and discuss a common body of readings, discussing existing programs, policy implications, and contemporary development practices and write one or more major research papers. 


3424 Research Methodology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302

Students will leave this course with the basics of research design and will acquire proficiency in the quantitative and qualitative data collection and manipulation techniques that can be applied to a selected range of development problems.


3460 Development Practice
3 credit hours

This experiential learning course will provide students with an opportunity to link development theory and development practice. This may take many forms, such as acting as a volunteer with an NGO or community-based organizations, pursuing an internship with a multilateral agency, or other forms of University and Program-approved field experience overseas, or, with approval, in Canada.


4120-4123 Development Studies Field School
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302 or permission of the instructor.

This course involves hands on, experimental learning and field work. Trip destinations may vary in different years according to faculty interests and opportunities as they arise. Students will be required to attend orientation and preparation classes before the trip, and to complete assigned course work after the trip.

Teaching will combine seminars and lectures with guest lectures from local community and government leaders and/or field trips to local sites.


4460 Development Practice
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDST 2301/2302 and permission of the IDS Program Coordinator

In this experiential learning course students have an opportunity to link development theory and development practice, and to integrate their IDS classroom learning with their experience of developing society realities.


4461 South East Asia: Contemporary Development Issues
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302 or permission of instructor.

This course explores development issues in the context of South East Asia, focusing on the nation-state and its development strategies, as well as broader, regional issues of economic and social development.  Issues include the emergence of high- growth rate, newly-industrializing countries, the impact of the Asian financial crises and globalization.  The course will begin from the perspective of common colonial roots and identify the current sub-regional models of development.  The course will explore current alternative approaches articulated by Asian scholars and grassroots organizations.  (Note: this course is cross-listed with Asian studies at the undergraduate level.)


4462 Sub-Saharan Africa: Contemporary Development Issues
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302 or permission of instructor.

This course explores development issues specific to Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the nation-state and its colonial past, development strategies, and a spectrum of broader issues of economic and social development.  Such issues include the impact of structural adjustment, efforts toward political democratization and the ongoing presence of traditional forms of social organization.  The overall objective is to present the dynamic nature of the current policy debates as they are being articulated and challenged by a variety of actors in the region, including African scholars and grassroots organizations.


4463 Latin American: Contemporary Development Issues
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302 or permission of instructor.

This course explores central development issues in Latin America, focusing on the nation-state and its development strategies, as well as broader issues of economic and social development.  Such issues include the impact of globalization and liberalization, efforts towards political democratization including the role of popular organizations and alternative approaches articulated by Latin American scholars and grassroots organizations.  Sub-regional differences will be discussed and compared.


4465 Labour and Development
3 credit hours
Prerequisites:  IDST 2301/2302

Labour conditions and the role of labour in social change are key issues in the study of international development.  Exploration of these topics will link to issues of changing production patterns in developing countries, changing labour and social conditions as well as issues around labour organization 


4466 Urbanization and Development 
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDST 2301/2302

Students will be introduced to the special development problems associated with urbanization in developing societies, the broad spectrum of complex challenges arising from rapid urban development (rural-urban migration, formation of slums) and the development dynamics which serve to perpetuate the complex relationship between urban, suburban, peri-urban, and rural spaces in developing societies.


4470 Environment and Development
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302, or permission of instructor.

This seminar will explore the implications for world economic and social development of environmental problems, as well as the question of what mainstream economic development might mean in the context of tackling the growing disruption of the global ecosystem. Along with an in-depth discussion of the possible ecological outcomes of environmental modification, the importance of a sociological and political-economic analysis of the problems of environmental disruption and change will be emphasized.


4472 Trade and Development
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: IDST 2301/2302

Students will examine trade and development, not solely as a technical or policy issue, but as a political, economic, and ideological package rooted in complex social forces.  Students will assess the dominant trade regime as well as a variety of trade alternatives from new South-South trade relations to fair trade.


4473 Comparative Perspectives on Innovations in Education – Reforms [EDUC 4473]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: at least thirty (30) credit hours of University courses.

This course will assess, compare and contrast variations and reforms to mainstream educational systems, and will emphasize the conditions out of which such reforms are initiated.  Special emphasis will be given to contrasting public systems of education with privatization initiatives, together with public/private partnerships and changes that affect access to education, gender and education, and so on. This course will draw on the considerable body of literature and concrete case studies throughout the world; however, considerable emphasis will be given to examples and case studies from the regions or sub-regions of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa.


4474 Comparative Perspectives on Innovations in Education – Alternatives [EDUC 4474]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: at least thirty (30) credit hours of University courses.

Students will seek to understand the material and social conditions, practical initiatives, rationale and outcomes of radical alternatives to mainstream education and mainstream educational reforms. Above and beyond in-depth discussions of perspectives on informal and non-formal educational systems, the works of Illich, Freire, and other educational radicals will be discussed, as will the comcepts of intercultural bilingual education, social capital education, and other alternative conceptions of education.  The course is a forum for the discussion and deeper understanding of the relation between the larger social, political and economic structure and the educational goals and objectives of radical education alternatives.  Considerable emphasis will be given to examples and case studies from the regions or sub-regions of  Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East/North Africa. 


4476Education and Development I: Perspectives [EDUC 4476]
3 credit hours

Introduction to concepts and analysis underlying a comparative understanding of selected educational systems around the world. The course will emphasize comparisons between mainstream educational understandings in the developed world, the agenda of international education organizations, international educational funders, and the implementation of educational systems, both public and private. Specific reference will be made to access to education, curriculum and culture, gender and education, and similar issues with an emphasis on examples from the so-called developing world in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa.


4477 Education and Development II: Policies and Practices [EDUC 4477]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 4476

A continuation of IDST 4476. Examination and comparison of educational policies in selected countries or regions of the world with a view to assessing educational outcomes, education processes and the relation between education, the public sector, the private sector and international organizations, and the effect of such policies worldwide. Emphasis is on Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa.


4500 Honours Seminar in Development Studies
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 3401 and 3402.

Students registered in the International Development Studies Honours Program will use this seminar as an on-going forum in which to complete the required honours thesis. Using a sequence of assignments, discussions, and seminar presentations the student will be introduced to the requirements of conducting empirical research and advanced undergraduate scholarly research writing.

The student’s overall grade for this seminar will be the average of the thesis grade (provided by the thesis advisor) and the seminar instructor’s grade for honours seminar participation (minimum of B+).


4518 Introduction to International Comparative Education: Perspectives [EDUC 4518]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: at least thirty (30) credit hours of University courses.

Introduction to concepts and analysis underlying a comparative understanding of selected educational systems around the world. The course will emphasize comparisons between mainstream educational understandings in the developed world, the agenda of international education organizations, international educational fundors, and the implementation of educational systems, both public and private.  Specific reference will be made to access to education, curriculum and culture, gender and education and similar issues with an emphasis on examples from the so-called developing world in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa.


4528 Introduction to International Comparative Education: Policies [EDUC 4528]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: at least thirty (30) credit hours of University courses and IDST 4518 or permission of Instructor

This course is a continuation of IDST 4518. Examination and comparison of educational policies in selected countries or regions of the world with a view to assessing educational outcomes, educational processes and the relation between education, the public sector, the private sector and international organizations, and the effect these policies have had, or are having worldwide, with emphasis on the regions or sub-regions of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa.


4826 – 4849 Special Topics in Development Studies
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302.

These courses will investigate in-depth a particular topic or set of topics in Development Studies. The specific topic(s) will vary from year to year, depending on the availability of visiting scholars, invited research fellows, or the research plans of associated faculty.


4876 – 4899  Directed Study
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: IDST 2302, or permission of Coordinator.

These courses provide an opportunity for students to pursue advanced study individually with resident or adjunct faculty concerning topics not normally covered by regular course offerings. Students are expected to demonstrate initiative and independence and will normally produce a substantial written document such as an annotated bibliography summarizing their literature research.