Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit examines contemporary issues in economic development, mainly in developing countries but with relevance to developed countries. The unit is problem- and policy-oriented. It covers thematic issues/areas of development from five capital perspectives: social, human, technical, natural and financial perspectives, and considers how the economic, social and institutional problems of under-development are interrelated and that require coordinated approaches to find their solution. The thematic areas covered include poverty and inequality, labour markets and migration, education, health, population, infrastructure, technology, markets, trade, microfinance, the environment, conflicts and corruption, and their relationship with under-development and economic development. In addition, a brief history of economic development is covered along with contemporary theories and analytical methods of economic development. Each theme is examined in an integrated and holistic approach to gain insights on success and failure of development policy/intervention. For example, why do poverty traps persist and what can be done to help people get out of poverty? Why does labour migrate and what are its consequences? Why do institutions matter for development? How do environmental protection policies affect local economic growth? What is the role of technology and infrastructure in development?

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) analyse current debates in economics of development such as poverty traps and economic growth, and consequences of rural urban migration; (2) develop critical thinking in suggesting solutions of economic development issues such as chronic poverty, youth unemployment, environmental degradation, and institutional and market failure; (3) apply basic economic tools of analysis to analyse development issues such as poverty, vulnerability and inequality; (4) analyse the patterns of development and disparities in development across regions and nations through the lense of five capitals; and (5) provide critical analysis of real world challenges in development and what can be done to promote development through policy interventions and investment.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) in-class activities, pre tutorial tasks and tutorial assignments; and (3) written assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ram Pandit
Unit rules
Enrolment in
42620 Master of Economics
or 72530 Master of Environmental Science
or 71550 Master of International Development
or 71570 Master of Geographic Information Science
or 73530 Master of Agricultural Economics
or 62540 Master of Ocean Leadership
Advisable prior study
ECON4410 Environmental and Resource Economics
Contact hours
lectures/tutorials/labs: 4 hours per week (for 10 weeks)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.