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World Development at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

In some parts of the world, extreme poverty means that people live without access to food, water, energy, and many other aspects of daily life that we take for granted. This course examines why poverty and inequality exists around the world and looks at what can be done to reduce it. This understanding is underpinned by an understanding of issues relating to development, resources and global citizenship.

To do the course, you must have an interest in these concepts and a desire to form and express your own opinion!

There is one exam at the end of the year worth 70%. Two pieces of coursework are completed during the year – a summary of a series of articles (500 words each) and a comparative essay (up to 1000 words).

The course is only offered as an enrichment subject to 2nd year students and is taught for two lessons per week.

Course content

AS Level

Theme 1: Development, Resources and Global Citizenship

This unit identifies the basic human needs that people have and recognises that meeting these needs will have an impact on the planet. The extent to which our needs can be met is influenced by environmental factors, as well as the availability of resources. Conflicting demands for resources, with a need for their responsible use, means that sustainable development is seen as the way forward. However, organisations view this concept in different ways and how it is applied in different environments may not be the same.

Theme 2: Poverty and Inequality

Here, the term poverty is defined and different techniques for measuring it are evaluated. Whilst poverty and inequality are different concepts, they may have similar causes. Debt has affected the ability of some countries to overcome these problems, with some groups being more affected than others. There is momentum to try to tackle poverty, however, which is often brought about with international campaigns.

How it is taught

This is an enrichment course, with two lessons per week. Many of the concepts to be understood will be illustrated through the use of case studies, which will require some learning of factual material and examples. There will also be emphasis on the use of suitable vocabulary to describe and account for patterns and students are advised to compile their own glossary. Much of the focus of the course is on evaluation and personal opinion. There will be much discussion and students will be required to form and express their own viewpoints in both verbal and written form. There is no textbook for the course and instead, students will need to read widely from a variety of different sources.

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

This is an enrichment course and is only available for 2nd year students.

Students must have a grade C in English and Mathematics. The general entry requirements for A Level study at the College must be met.


WD1 Introduction to World  Development Issues (70%)

The exam consists of 4 compulsory structured questions, each with stimulus material for data-response questions. Each question ends with a short extended piece worth 10 of the 25 marks

WD2 Portfolio Analysis World Development Issues (30%)

The coursework comprises two parts:

  • an analysis of 3 articles based on theme 1 (no more than 500 words each)
  • an essay comparing issues raised in theme 2 (up to 1000 words)

Future opportunities

The course provides breadth to any Advanced Level programme of study and can earn UCAS points towards a university offer in the same way as any other course.

It could be an advantage to students applying for competitive courses, or ones where there is an obvious link to some of the content.

Applications to resource or environmental management courses, hazard management, or development studies courses could be strengthened as a result of having studied this course, as well as those to Geography or Business courses. There are opportunities to work in governments, charities or other NGOs examining development and inequality.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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