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World Development A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

Course information

The world today is interrelated. Trade and aid are important ways of addressing development issues, but sometimes there are strings attached. A Level World Development attempts to describe and explain the complexity of issues that face the world today, such as raising standards of living, eliminating poverty and reducing pollution levels. You will build up a critical outlook on world situations, and gain an understanding of the interdependent nature of the modern world.

To succeed you will need to be inquisitive about the world around you and motivated to find solutions to contemporary global issues.

You will be taken through a series of illustrative case studies that highlight inter-linkages and interdependence. There is wide scope for you to research your own areas of interest, particularly through coursework. Valuable skills gained through studying World Development include communication, interpretation, evaluation and enquiry skills.

On the AS course you will be studying issues of development, resource use and global citizenship as well poverty and inequality. In addition to this you will complete a coursework portfolio. You will produce analysis of articles from a range of independently selected sources, and will write a 1000 word comparative essay. At A2 you will study perspectives of development, as well as themes relating to social development, including migration, education and health. You will produce an independently researched and written 3000 word individual report.

A wide range of learning styles will be used to enable you to undertake structured essays and decision making exercises. You will use case studies to illustrate your theoretical understanding, on a local, regional and global scale. You will gain a range of analytical skills and will be encouraged to develop literacy and numeracy literacy as well as presentational, problem-solving and communication skills.

Course content

At AS you will be studying Unit 1: Introduction to Development Issues (Development, Resource Use and Global Citizenship, and Poverty and Inequality) and Unit 2: Coursework. At A2 you will be studying Unit 3: Concepts and Processes of Development and Unit 4: Coursework.

Entry requirements

Success in World Development requires a good standard of written work and we would expect students to have achieved GCSE English at grade B or above as well as gain a B grade or above in Geography (if studied) or another relevant academic GCSE. Students also need to be self-motivated and capable of carrying out independent research and wider reading. Above all you should be interested and willing to engage in the subject.


At AS Level there is one 2 hour exam, with four component sections. This is worth 70% with the coursework element worth the remaining 30%. At A2 there is one 3 hour exam, partly based on unseen resource material that requires independent interpretation and analysis.

You will be supported with the production of your coursework within lesson time. You will also be expected to complete work on your coursework outside of class. You will be given detailed written feedback on a first draft of your coursework pieces, and will have regular opportunities to review your progress.

In preparation for your exams you will be assessed regularly on written essay work that is conducted either as independent study or under timed conditions in class. You will be given detailed written feedback including next steps to focus on for the next piece of work. You will also have opportunities to review your performance in 1:1 sessions with your tutor.

Future opportunities

When you successfully complete the assessment for AS Level in the first year you may progress onto A Level in the second year.

An A Level qualification in World Development is a highly regarded qualification by both Higher Education establishments and employers. Many World Development students choose to continue to study development or international relations at degree level.

Students of World Development gain access to a wide variety of career areas, including in sustainable development, international relations, politics, environmental research, business and commerce, government, teaching and conservation. Former students are found in a wide range of sectors, including businesses, governments, organisations such as the United Nations, voluntary and community groups or charities, and in academic research.

Further information

All resources used in lectures will available to you on our Moodle pages, which also contain a wealth of additional material to support wider reading and independent research. We stock a range of journals and relevant magazines in our library. We have an extensive catalogue of documentaries and podcasts that will be available to you to view at home and we keep the library stocked with the latest publications on development topics and issues of interest.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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