CP0122 - Development and Underdevelopment

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0122
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Georgina Santos
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2013/4

Outline Description of Module

The module focuses on poverty and development, and pays particular attention to their determinants and potential policies to alleviate poverty and enhance development. Some of the questions that will be discussed include: What is economic development? What is human development? How do poor public health and education affect development and what can be done about these issues? Why are there fewer women than men in some countries and how can improving their status help development? What are the impacts of corruption on development? What is the role of democracy and in general of a country’s institutions on development? Is there a role for microfinance? How can foreign aid help? What types of policies may yield positive outcomes on the development of a third-world country?

On completion of the module a student should be able to

Students will gain knowledge and understanding of (1) the differences between the concepts of poverty, economic development and human development and the measures and indicators that have been proposed; (2) measures of inequality, together with their pros and cons; (3) common problems shared by most developing countries;(4) convergence vs divergence trends in standards of living; (5) health and gender bias problems as well as the education challenges faced by developing countries; (6) the obstacles that poor groups in developing countries face when trying to get credit or insurance; (7) the impacts of rural-urban migration and the roles of the market, state and civil society on the development process.


Students will also improve a number of skills they hopefully already have, and: (a)be able to orally present group work on a specific topic; (b) be able to debate issues related to development and poverty on the basis of knowledge acquired through readings and at lectures; (c) present in a clear manner conclusions from small group discussions on case studies of different aspects of poverty and development; (d) be able to write an essay in response to a question in an exam environment.

How the module will be delivered

The module will entail a combination of lectures and small group discussions, based on specific readings, with the occasional video. Students will be expected to do some reading in preparation for the lectures and the debates. Most topics will be illustrated with at least one case-study. Students will also be required to prepare a group presentation on which they will be assessed.

Skills that will be practised and developed

During the course of the module there will be plenty of opportunities to practise and master a number of skills. Students will be expected to:

1.    be able to work in a group for an oral presentation

2.    debate a topic in class, justifying arguments in a reasoned way

3.    read the latest research on a topic new to the student and be able to grasp the main points, regardless of the student’s background

4.    prepare very short presentations on specific points at short notice and under pressure

How the module will be assessed

Type of assessment





(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment



Group presentation (oral, no written report) (linked to learning outcome 7 and learning outcomes/skills a and b) Summative assessment.


The group presentations will also get detailed group AND individual feedback, which will be part of the formative assessment of this module and will help students to improve their group work and presentation skills for other modules.


One session

During term time

Written exam


Exam (linked to learning outcomes 1 to 6 and learning outcomes/skills d)

2 hours

During the May/June exam period






PPT file


Linked to learning outcomes/skills b and c. Formative assessment.










Most of these assignments can be undertaken by students with almost any disability. However, individual cases will be catered for if a student were unable to complete any of the assignments described above due to a disability.








A student failing the module will typically re-sit the exam, which has a weight of 75%.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Examination - Spring Semester 75
Development And Underdevelopment Exam
2 1 N/A
Written Assessment 25
Assignment 1 (individual Report) Or Assignment 2 (groups Report)
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Economics, Institutions and Development. Introduction to basic concepts and the differences between them. The nature of development economics. Concepts of economic growth, economic development and human development. Capabilities approach. Millennium Development Goals. Comparative Economic Development (Mapping the poor). Understanding who the poor are and where they live. Development Indicators (GNI and Human Development Index). Poverty, Inequality and Development. Poverty measurement. Poverty lines. Inequality. Different approaches to measuring poverty and inequality. Education. Health. Gender. Financial markets, microfinance and insurance. Foreign finance, investment and aid. Rural-urban migration. The roles of the market, state and civil society.

Essential Reading and Resource List

The main text book is

Todaro, M. and Smith, S. 2009. Economic Development. 10th ed. Harlow: Addison-Wesley.

We will also frequently refer to

United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Reports 1990-2011. New York.

A number of other book chapters and journal papers will also be used.



© Cardiff University