Practical skills for International Development Practical skills for International Development

"I just wanted to take time from my dissertation research to send a note to thank the School of International Development for the opportunity to participate in the professional skills courses made available in 2012/2013. They will form a valuable addition to my professional development. Not only did they provide us with professionally recognised valuable certificates, they gave us the opportunity to engage with respected development professionals. Thanks again and all the best.

Tricia Wilden - former MSc Climate Change and International Development student, School of International Development.

"Employers want to know what you can do, not just what you know!"

Working in the international development sector requires not only academic knowledge but a wide range of professional and technical competencies and practical skills.

The School International Development provides you with opportunities to acquire some of the most important practical skills expected of development practitioners. During your degree you are encouraged to participate in a variety of optional training workshops to enhance your practical skills and experience.

Skills workshops are taught by experienced development practitioners from DEV's existing faculty and by external trainers. Workshops range from 1 day to 1 week, and are usually held on weekends or outside the teaching term to provide the time required for effective training, discussion and reflection.

These practical skills workshops are not a formal requirement of your degree but provide an excellent opportunity to broaden your experience and gain skills to enhance your ‘employability' and effectiveness as a development practitioner.

Practical skills training during the 2013/14 academic year

General Skills Workshops:

  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Introduction to Financial Management for Project Managers
  • Introduction to Impact Evaluation Measurement


Specialist Skills Workshops:

  • Ethnographic Film making for Development professionals
  • Implementing Organisational Change: Practical techniques and approaches for        gender specialists
  • Introduction to Geographical Information and Mapping systems 
  • Facilitation Skills
  • RedR UK's Essentials in Humanitarian Practice


All courses and outlines are available in our brochure (pdf) 

Implementing Organisational Change for Gender Equality: Practical Techniques and Approaches for Gender Specialists

This course aims to help students develop the practical training skills and insight to implement a gender equality framework inside a development organisation. It is strongly recommended for students focusing on gender issues within their degree.

Student feedback from previous Gender workshops:

"The course has been brilliant in allowing the group to develop understanding and knowledge, taking us to the next step along in terms of being able to implement gender into our future practice".

"I really enjoyed the workshop and I feel like I have a much better insight into the practical ways in which gender works and in which relations of power can be challenged. I also found that it was not only the content which was useful but the delivery and personal approach which enabled the learning."

Students practise film-making skills


Ethnographic Film-making for Development Professionals

The course introduces students to the practical skills required to produce, film and edit a short film. Students work in small groups, coached by professional film-makers from Postcode Films, to research and produce a 

high quality short film focusing on social themes related to poverty, social change, environment or other relevant to development.

Recent examples of high quality short films made by DEV students can be seen on the DEV YouTube site

"Thanks for organizing the film course last week. Think that was pretty much my best weeks ‘studying at UEA in all of my three years and I'm really glad that I was able to participate"


Students from GIS course 2013

Introduction to Geographical Information and Mapping Systems

This course introduces a variety of Mapping and Information Systems for Development (including Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS)). From mapping the impacts of climate change to highlighting the interactions between poverty and disease in urban slums, these skills have wide application in international development.

Picture: Students from GIS course February 2013


Essentials of Humanitarian Practice (RedR UK)

This course introduces students to practical skills and knowledge relevant to those planning to work in the humanitarian sector and the realities of working in emergencies.

"I thought that this course has been very inspiring and complemented the theoretical skills/knowledge gained throughout this year."

"Fantastic and realistic taste of what it is like to work in the humanitarian sector; sufficient detail to enable depth of understanding but without being overwhelming. It was pitched at exactly the right level and interesting to look at emergency response when studying a longer-term context."

"Very engaging facilitators who made the course much richer with their experiences."


The fine print

Skills workshop places are limited. Priority for places on some workshops may be given to students enrolled on a specific degree programmes; and/or those have not previously attended a workshop; and/or for Masters and final year undergraduate students. Students are limited to one multi-day workshop per year. While most one-day workshops are usually free to attend some one-day courses and all multi-day courses involve a nominal fee covering approximately 25% of the actual cost to DEV. We suggest you budget on around £100 per year if you plan make the most of the additional opportunities on offer. Workshops are scheduled at times likely to suit the majority of students but individual timetable, academic deadlines or part-time work constraints may make it difficult for some students to attend some workshops. Further information is provided during induction week.