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Why International Development

What is International Development

Development is about the improvement in the quality of life of people. It is based on the idea of expanding freedoms and agency. International Development or Development Studies is the field devoted to studying development challenges of all countries and learning through comparative analysis and critical reflection. Development is multi-dimensional and includes economic, social and environmental aspects.

Why study international development

There are huge moral and normative issues in even just defining what development is. Critics argue that development asssitance can do more damage than help, is a post-colonial hangover and reinforces dependency. 

Many questions remain unanswered:

  • What causes economic growth?
  • Why does poverty persist?
  • Should we build a new aiprot or spend more on schools?
  • How do you prioritise and who benefits?
  • Why do some countries such as China seem to do well and others struggle?
  • Would economic growth translate into improved well-being?
  • How are decisions made - and what about inequality and corrupation, and does the quality of governance matter?

At the Centre for International Development our vision is to be a centre of excellence in the field of development and to encourage a critical dialogue on these and other deeper questions. We work on leadership and management, public policy, governance and human development issues.

Why Bradford?

The range of experience and interests shared by staff and students in BCID is truly international: people from more than 120 countries have studied in the Centre since 1969. We are privileged and deeply honoured to know that our alumni have held posts including that of a prime minister, various cabinet ministers, chief economist of a large development bank, and senior director in an international NGO amongst others.  Our vision is to build on this global footprint and become a centre of excellence.

What is special?

Our aim is to provide a learning environment where students from any background may develop and broaden their knowledge and capabilities in a stimulating and friendly atmosphere. Student feedback included that the experience of this intercultural educational setting provided an outstanding opportunity for personal growth, and the possibly best preparation for a world which is to celebrate unity in diversity.  

What is our expertise?

Our research and knowledge transfer work is applied and aimed at making a difference. Perhaps, we are one of the foremost centres offering programmes in the field of project planning, appraisal and management related to the field of international development.

We have the expertise and an excellent track record in providing knowledge transfer (post-experience and executive education courses) and technical advice on a variety of subjects. Our clients include African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, China Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, European Commission, and various national governments as well as NGOs. Academic research in the department focuses on the areas of economic development, poverty targeting, water, sustainable development, organisational change and governance. For more information, visit our RKT page.

We strive to make our teaching research-led and informed by our research and knowledge transfer activities. 

What can I study?

A wide choice of subject areas are integrated into our six taught Masters degrees , including development theory and policy, project planning and management, economics and finance, public policy and management, and human capacity building. In addition, two BCID degrees are taught at Mzumbe University in Tanzania.