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SPOC: Development Project Management




Admissions requirements

This is an intensive course in which LUC students work together with international development organisations and students from other universities to address real-life development challenges and design projects. It involves group work and requires students to be flexible, creative, proactive, and above all committed.

Students must submit an application in order to be considered for admission. This application should comprise a brief statement (no more than 300 words) explaining:

  • their personal motivations for choosing this course, and

  • what aspects of their past experience would help them complete this course successfully.

In addition, students should also include a list of courses they have completed, including grades (e.g. print from Usis records). Selection will be based on the strength of students’ motivations and with an eye towards selecting students with different kinds of backgrounds and expertise.

Applications should be sent to The deadline for the application is 20 December 2019, 23.55 hours.


Solutions to today’s global development challenges are often pursued in the context of inter-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations. Such collaborative ventures typically rely on online communication as well as a set of professional skills such as team work, systematic problem analysis, and project design and implementation. The course Development Project Management helps you develop and refine such skills.

To this end, you will work in teams to address development challenges provided by real ‘clients’, which in the past have included CBO's/NGO's, private development firms, multi-lateral development organizations, and/or government agencies. Your team will build expertise around this challenge and work towards designing a solution--a development project--to address the client’s problem. You will be guided through a typical development project cycle, from problem identification through project design and implementation. All projects will be pitched to the clients at the end of the course.

As you are working on the development challenges in your teams, you will simultaneously explore the process of ‘doing development’ and its wider political-economic context. You will learn about the development industry and its strengths and problems, as well as the various theories and approaches to understanding the process of development itself. All in all, the course aims to both teach you the basics of development studies and help you learn essential professional and analytical skills through first-hand experience doing development.

Course objectives


  • Discuss and define the meaning of ‘development’.

  • Describe and evaluate the main theories explaining international development.

  • Demonstrate a working understanding of the key steps involved in designing and implementing projects within the international development industry.


  • Study and apply team work skills.

  • Collaborate with clients and other stakeholders through online communication technology.

  • Design a project to address a problem in the field of international development.

  • Effectively communicate the project through industry-specific deliverables, and orally present the proposal to outside stakeholders not directly affiliated with the class.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

This course requires students to work intensively in groups for several weeks. Moreover, students will be expected to collaborate occasionally with their peers in the University of Maryland. Class sessions will typically include lectures as well as skill-building exercises, discussions of readings, peer-to-peer feedback on project ideas, and, when possible, discussions with and presentations by clients or outside experts.


Class Participation: 10%
Project Design Exercises: 40%
Research Brief: 20%
Proposal Pitch & Concept Note: 20%
Final Paper: 10%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact