Hi, I’m Olivia. I’m a 2nd-Year Global Development student, which means I was part of the first cohort to take this course. Although the course leaders were helpful about what to expect from the course, hearing from a current student can be very beneficial. Therefore, I‘m here to tell you the main elements of my week as a Global Development student.
In each year of the course, there will be a set of core modules, as well as optional modules. As the course is run by three subjects – Geography, History and Politics – there is a wide selection of optional modules to choose from.
In my first year, I chose to take three optional modules from each of these subjects. This was so I didn’t narrow my area of knowledge too much when I have the luxury of studying an interdisciplinary degree. I also wanted to do this because I had not studied Politics or History before. I was worried that this would negatively affect me, but I needn’t have. University is about learning, and everybody has some gaps in their knowledge. Choosing a range of modules also helped me to discover what my interests were. After completing my first year, I realised my interests lay more in Politics and History. So, I chose not to take any Geography modules in my second year.
The biggest change from school to university was that nobody was chasing me up for not working. Study is very independent here, meaning motivation comes from you. It is very easy to be distracted when there are so many events taking place around you. Although these social and extracurricular activities are important, you do need to try to focus. In a normal week, you need to put aside the time for independent study and treat university like a 9-5 job.
Opportunities for Global Development students
The opportunities available to everyone in university are massive! But as a Global Development student, you will be under three subjects, so you will have access to even more. I receive the weekly Learning Community Newsletter, which is delivered from Politics. This advertises the events taking place that week that may be of interest. Some examples of this are “Reviewing ‘White Fragility’: Psychoanalysis with racism – Adam Phillips’ Autumn Term Lecture” event. Or the “Voice from the Global South – post-COP26 session” online event. It also acknowledges other things, such as the ‘Political Duck’, which is a podcast run by the Politics Society. Other Global Development-related societies and general University societies can be found here if you would like to explore them.
I am writing this in early December, so I have just finished one of my assessments. Therefore, it may be useful to hear about the type of assessment that is completed for a Global Development core module. In my Issues and Skills in Global Development module, it was required as a summative assessment (summative work is assessed and counts towards your final grade; formative work is used for feedback and does not count towards your final grade) to complete a group presentation. This was done as a debate, presented in front of the rest of the cohort. Alongside this, we needed to individually complete a self-evaluation. This is one example of the type of assessment you would be required to complete. Other assessments include essays and research projects.
I hope this blog has helped you understand more about what it is like to be a Global Development student at York, and you are excited to come join us here! If you have any questions, then please feel free to contact the course leaders!