Accessibility links

World Development (AS/A Level) at New College Swindon

Course description

Why are some countries poorer than others?  What causes poverty, and how can life be made better for everybody in the world?  Is economic development ruining the planet?  What impact does our lifestyle have on the resources and people of the world?

This course will help you to answer questions like these through an understanding of the important social, economic and environmental issues that we face in the world today.

However, the subject is not just about far-away countries as uneven development and inequality are important issues in the UK as well.

Course content

The AS course is divided into two main themes:

  • Theme 1: Development, Resources and Global Citizenship
  • Theme 2: Poverty and Inequality

Students on the A2 course study a further 2 themes.

            Theme 3: Perspectives of Development

            Theme 4: Economic Development

Entry requirements

The course will include quite a lot of reading, researching and writing assignments and therefore it is essential that you have a grade C or above in English Language.

It is important that you are keen to keep up with world issues by reading newspapers, online articles and watching current affairs programmes on television.

You must be prepared to use your initiative when carrying out research, contacting relevant organisations and meeting people to gather relevant information.

Students who have completed the AS course at school must achieve at least a D grade to progress on to the A2 course.


There is one two-hour exam at the end of the AS course, with four compulsory structured questions, two on each theme.

The other 30% of the marks are from coursework, consisting of three short appraisals of relevant articles based on Theme 1, and a 1000-word comparative essay on Theme 2.

The A2 course is assessed by a 3 hour exam, comprising of 5 essay questions (70% of the marks) and a 3000 word course work report on a World Development topic. (30% of the marks)

Future opportunities

An understanding of global issues and current affairs is regarded as an asset by universities and employers looking for students with a well-rounded education.  It gives you scope to widen your studies if you are specialising in other areas such as the sciences, languages or the media.

This is a good subject to take as a new, contemporary A Level.  It would go well with any other course but fits particularly well with Government and Politics, Sociology, Geography, Economics and Business Studies.   It is also a subject considered under the “Broader Study” element of the AQA Baccalaureate.

World Development would also be an excellent choice if you are looking to take up an AS Level in your second year alongside the A Levels you are continuing.

Students who have taken the AS course at school are able to join the A2 course to complete the full A Level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact New College Swindon directly.

Last updated date: 28 April 2016

Key information