Why I chose to study International Development with Economics at the University of Bath

Posted in: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Undergraduate

(Source: University of Edinburgh Research Office - https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/research-office/2019/09/10/unpacking-the-impact-of-international-development-research/)

It is almost impossible in the present-day to escape the numerous broadcasts of ecological demise, growing global inequality, poverty, and innocent people suffering from around the globe. With BBC News updates of a seemingly never-ending stream of suffering from those in the poorest parts of the world pinging directly to our phones at all hours of the day, it is all too easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed.

As a self-proclaimed socially conscious 17-year-old, I knew I wanted to better understand why we live in a world where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, so that I could one day in the future, work to help combat this issue. This is when I discovered International Development with Economics at the University of Bath. I was already considering studying at the University of Bath due to its incredible uni rankings, beautiful Roman scenery, and lively SU and sports scenes, but reading up on this course truly sealed the deal for me.

To be completely honest, I had no idea what International Development with Economics (lovingly shortened to IDwE) even was before I read the university’s course information page about it, but the more I read, the more I knew that this course was exactly what I was looking for. In this blog post, I will outline a few reasons as to why I chose to study International Development with Economics at the University of Bath.


Best of Both Worlds

The multi-disciplinarily approach of IDwE makes it perfect at both answering the big, broad questions involving global economic inequality and worldwide injustice, as well as giving students the freedom to dive into more niche matters involving decision making in policy creation, or development microeconomics. The International Development aspect of the course binds the threads of anthropology, politics, and sociology through a developmental lens, and Economics contextualises these issues in a real-world environment. The blending of aspects of social and political science with economics keeps IDwE grounded, stopping the content from verging too much into the theoretical, nor the speculative.

In school, I studied for A-levels in Maths, History, and Religious Studies, and I was thrilled when I discovered that I could continue learning about and building on aspects of all these subjects at university.


Making a Difference

I attended a very poor school in a very poor area of South Wales, the idea that someone like me could acquire the knowledge and tools to change humanity and society for the better was so thrilling to me. The University website states that “international development concerns the global challenge of combating poverty and injustice, so people everywhere may find a better future.” I couldn’t think of a better course to fit to my desires from a degree.

After recently culminating my 2nd year of study of the course – I can say just that. IDwE sets students up with the tools to go out and build a better world through understanding the policies, global trends, biases, and decision making that goes into developmental decisions. IDwE students will become the policy makers, the lawyers, and the global citizens of the future.


Optional Modules

On top of the core international development and economics modules imperative to ensure students acquire the key tools they need to go out into the world of development, the extent of optional modules the university offers allows for a truly personalised degree experience for every student. The University of Bath allows students to pick optional modules not just from their own course, but their whole department. For IDwE students, the Social and Policy Sciences department has a huge array of optional modules to choose from, ranging from Power in Society to Gender and Politics. This is not even accounting for the Director of Studies approved modules – modules in other departments that IdwE students are able to take with authorisation from their Director of Studies. Looking at and reading up on these optional modules excited me as I could pursue my own interests within the IDwE framework. The way that each student has the ability to personalise their course to their passions was certainly something that encouraged me to study IDwE at the Uni of Bath.


My Future Career

As I said before, I knew before I even started uni that I wanted to work to help alleviate global issues. And the Uni of Bath’s IDwE course is perfectly suited to just that! The more I have progressed through my degree, the more I have been able to fine tune exactly how I wish to go about doing this. With the help of the careers team at the university, I have narrowed my future career options to either doing a law conversion course and specialising in Human Rights Law, or going straight into the civil service in the development policy and practice branch. The malleability of the IDwE course to my own interests allowed me to explore a host of options available to me. The flexibility of the course allowed me to take a law module as a Director of Study approved units in first year, which in turn sparked my interest in how effective legal methods can be at alleviating global injustice.

Furthermore, the opportunities within the University of Bath’s SU groups have been invaluable to me as a student in both an educational and a professional way. I was lucky enough to be elected chair of the University of Bath Amnesty International society where I was able to work with the uni’s Refugee and Asylum Seeker sanctuary working group in order to offer insight from a student’s point of view and make first-hand changes to the university’s sanctuary guidelines. I also used the skills I picked up through my course to create and promote a charity fundraiser which led to the creation of a scholarship for two undergraduate asylum seekers who could not have otherwise accessed university.  


Posted in: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Undergraduate

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