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ZUG2035 – Sociological Perspectives of Development

Undergraduate – Module

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this module is offered.


Business, Engineering and Technology


South Africa
On-campus block of classes

  • Semester 2, 2019 (Mainstream Programme)
  • Semester 2, 2020 (Extended Programme)

12 credits, NQF Level 6


The principal aim of this module is to provide students with the theoretical underpinnings of the concepts of development and underdevelopment from sociological perspectives. Throughout the module, we will examine the arguments advanced by some leading development theories – and think sociologically about them. Among other things, this will involve contextualising such theories as well as analysing their premises and underlying assumptions in explaining various development issues such as the environment, poverty reduction, gender, economic development, food security, land and water management and climate change. Thus, the module is a critical engagement of theoretical explanations of development, underdevelopment and consideration of the effectiveness of prescribed solutions to the problem of underdevelopment and poverty in South Africa, the African continent and the world at large.


On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

1Describe the theories in Sociology of Development
2Describe concepts and constructs in Sociology of Development
3Apply Sociology of Development theories and concepts in the analysis of specific case studies
4Critique existing development policies adopted by specific countries
5Engage in debates on contemporary issues relating to development
6Apply Sociology of Development theories and concepts in other cognate fields of study


Coursework assessment: 60%
Examination: 40%

Workload requirements

This module forms part of the proposed new engineering programme at Monash South Africa (MSA). The module will provide a critical approach to development studies by focusing on sociological perspectives in and theoretical analyses of developmental processes in low and middle income countries. This will enable students to be abreast of contemporary approaches to analysing developmental processes and applying this skill in critiquing the applicability of policies in the developing countries, especially those in Africa.

The module is structured into 12 weekly sessions with each week comprising a 2-hour lecture/seminar. This will provide sociological knowledge on contemporary theories and social issues relating to development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Students will debate key issues in selected topics and case studies. To encourage cross-fertilization among students, an interactive online forum will be created on Moodle to facilitate class discussion. The use of this e-learning tool will promote critical discussion and simultaneously provide a platform for students to share their ideas. All outcomes will be assessed by means of class tests, tutorial participation, debates, group discussions, essay and a final examination.

Chief examiner(s)



Sociology of Development