I have really enjoyed my first year of the (MH121) International Development BA degree at Maynooth University. It has been interesting and engaging. The course examines the relationship between the global north and the global south and highlights the inequalities that exist at different spatial scales.
The first year of the course was mainly theoretical which was necessary to give us an understanding of the way development was practiced in the past and how it has changed over time in addition to nailing down what the term ‘development’ means to various actors. The first year of the course gave me a broad overview of the different approaches to development, how development is measured and mismeasured, the complexities and different scales involved and the actors involved and their various and sometimes interchangeable roles in the development process.
We examined different political ideologies, theories of social justice and major obstacles to development along with challenging our sometimes preconceived notions of what life is like in various less developed countries. If you are interested in who has power in the world and how and why they use it as they do, then you will find this course very interesting.
I also took Geography and Anthropology in addition to International Development and the three subjects matched together very well. Other class members matched International Development with various subjects such as Law, Business, Spanish, and Sociology etc. I think it fits really well with many other subjects as it crosses into many disciplines within Arts and Social Sciences.
I particularly liked the module on Ethics. Every company, in particular NGOs, works within an ethical framework and therefore, this module will benefit anyone regardless of where they end up working.
The lecturers and staff members are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. They have a lot of experience working in Ireland and overseas and often use examples from their own experiences to help us to evaluate and understand the complexities in a given situation.
The tutorials are a great way to interact with the lecturers and other class members as they contain only a handful of students and are very interactive.
One thing that I particularly liked about this subject is that, in all the classes, we were encouraged to discuss issues amongst ourselves and to think critically about them rather than just listening to a lecturer talk for the whole class.
I look forward to continuing with International Development in second year.]