UCL Summer School


Making Policy in International Development

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session One
Module leader
Dr. Adam Harris
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
Presentation (30%), Essay (70%)
Download syllabus (PDF)

Module overview

This module deals with the empirical reality, theory, and current governance problems of development, poverty, and inequality. Specifically, throughout the course we will investigate the influence of colonialism, state capacity, regime type, war and conflict, accountability, social structures, and corruption on development. This course engages with both economic theory regarding development and political science research that highlights the challenges to implementing the policies that would lead to economic development. We take these theories and use to them to then think about and develop research-informed policies that promote development.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Have gained an understanding of and be able to explain economic and political science theories of development
  • Be able to explain the origins of today’s major development challenges
  • Be able to describe and analyse the development challenges and possible solutions to these challenges in a country of their choosing
  • Have developed the ability to read, understand, and even apply the cutting-edge approaches to development
  • Be able to critically assess various policy proposals and design their own

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 10-minute presentation (30%)
  • 2,500 word essay (70%)

Module leader

Dr. Adam Harris received a Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University in the Spring of 2015. Prior to joining the Department of Political Science at UCL as a Lecturer in Development Politics, he was a post-doctoral research fellow with the Governance and Local Development (GLD) Program at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His research interests focuses on development, ethnic and identity politics, and African politics. He has more than 10 years’ experience living, working, and conducting research in/on South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Ghana, and Kenya. His research has been published in International Organization, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Comparative Political Studies, and Political Research Quarterly.

Application information

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