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


Rural areas in both developing and developed countries tend to be economically disadvantaged relative to urban areas. This is due to a number of factors including dependence on agriculture, poor infrastructure, depopulation and a lack of services. In this unit students are introduced to the economic, social and institutional challenges facing rural areas in developing countries. Topics include agriculture and development; land use systems; natural resource management; poverty alleviation; gender and development; and local employment generation. At the heart of the unit is an understanding of the causes of economic and social underdevelopment, and the range of strategies that might be used to tackle these problems.

6 points

Students are able to (1) demonstrate a knowledge of the economic, social and political processes that contribute to rural underdevelopment in the developing world; (2) apply a range of analytical techniques to understanding economic, social and environmental problems in developing rural areas; and (3) appreciate the strengths and limitations of core rural development approaches.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) an essay (40 per cent) and (2) a report (60 per cent). 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 Sarah Prout
  • 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.