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POLS1701 – Introduction to International Inequality & Development

Lecturer Dr Heloise Weber
Course Link UQ Site
Faculty HASS
Prerequisites None
Contact Hours 2 Lecture hours, 1 Tutorial hour
Semester(s) Taught Semester 1
Course Units 2
Submit reviewView reviews (5)

Rating

Total average

67.7/100

Learning Materials ( 79 )
Learning Activities ( 60.4 )
Blackboard Management ( 71.2 )
Course Content ( 82 )
Course Structure ( 72.8 )
Contact Availability ( 66.8 )
Course Difficulty ( 42 )

Reviews (5)

Anonymous
   
POLS1701 – Introduction to International Inequality & Development 71.7

I couldn't pick this option but I did this course in Sem 1 2020, so keep in mind most of it was during the COVID-19 pandemic so we didn't have many face to face lectures or tutorials.

Positives:

This was my first and only (so far) POLS course and I really enjoyed it. The content was so interesting and provided such an amazing perspective on rethinking the concepts of development and the impact of colonisation on the third world. The lecturers who were Dr Kamil Shah and Dr Michael Spann were amazing (especially in adapting the lectures on deliver online in such a short space of time), they worked really well together (and gave such amazing examples). I particularly loved when they did the lecture together in the live on-campus lectures- I have never experienced having two lecturers teach the one lecture but, for them at least, it worked really well and was super engaging.

I also did this course with an ECON course which I found very entertaining and would highly recommend because at lot of the economic fundamental assumptions you learn, are completely torn apart a few weeks later in this POLS subject through highlighting all the social issues which are caused through that type of thinking and how morally questionable those foundational theories are. So entertaining! It also covered a pretty large array of topics but it didn't feel rushed. I felt it really provided a good base line for the parameters and constrains of global development.

The tutorials also provided a great place for discussion of topics and reassessing connections between topics- although make sure you do the week's reading beforehand to be able to participate with the conversation and not be caught off guard if a question gets thrown your way.

Also most textbooks were available online through the library but the McMichael text was only really available in the physical library. It would be well worth your time to photocopy some pages or get a copy of the textbook- it helped so much with setting out and understanding the connection within the topics and was amazing for writing the essays as it covered all the course' topics.

Negatives:

My only downfall in the course was the lack of assistance in structuring and writing the assessment pieces/ the assumption of how POLS subject assessments work. Maybe it should be a second semester course just for those who only had this POLS subject and it was their first, like me or should be taken with another first year POLS subject.

I heard other first year POLS subjects have lectures dedicated to breaking down the major assignments and talking about expectations and structure of the assessment. It really would have been nice to include a lecture or at least an optional session about the assessments for those of us who only had that one POLS subject. At times I kind of felt like I was going in blind... But it might have been different if the tutorials and lectures were in person.

I had a bit of trouble understanding the essay questions, in relation to how abstract my arguments needed to be (or at least my tutor liked). So in my first assessment I didn't do the best because I had very specific case-related points and had small structure errors such as not splitting my points into smaller paragraphs and word choices but it was just my tutor's perspective.
Anyway, once I had that test run of my first assessment the rest was smooth sailing as I adapted my essays to their preferences and took on their feedback.

Overall the negatives are very relative to my experience rather than the course in general and are retrospectively really minor to all the knowledge and perspective I gained from the course.

I would DEFINITELY recommend, particularly if you want to explore the definition parameters of the Western definition of "development" and the relationship between the supposed first and third world countries.

10/10 for subject content.

Tip: Also the previous years essays questions are really useful for final exam preparation- I found there was three or four recurring question topics over the years and wrote practice essays for those and then two of them appeared almost exactly the same on the actual exam!

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

Health Sciences

Is lecture attendance necessary?

Yes

Is the textbook necessary?

No but would be helpful

Positives
  • Interesting and relevant topics
  • Great explaining by lecturers
  • Complementing readings
Negatives
  • Assumption of prior POLS assessment structure
Posted on July 16, 2020 6:16 pm
Anonymous
   
POLS1701 – Introduction to International Inequality & Development 79.3

(I took this class in Semester 1, 2018. The option isn't there in the drop-down box so I'm writing it here)

Wow wow wow, last semester a friend of mine ravedddd about this course and said I should do it if I had the chance and I'm so glad I did! Definitely my favourite this semester, perhaps even for my first year.
Super interesting, profound, compelling topics and concepts, the readings were not boring at all, I loved the variety of authors from the reading list in terms of identities, perspectives and how some were from different times in history

I had a small grasp on the concepts of development pre-POLS1701 just from my personal readings and stuff, but it was very abstract and all over the place. The concepts were not new to me at all, but POLS1701 is amazing for putting them all in place (especially particular events like industrialization, colonialism, the Cold War, decolonization) in a timeline and to show you how it all fits together and how these events and frameworks came together and impacted history to make the world what it is today. The after lecture discussions are a really great idea!!! So many of my other lectures are super boring and does not ask for any engagement. It really helps you think actively and consistently and not letting the entire semester merge into one giant fuzzy memory of screens and yawns...

I found everything really easy to absorb, but maybe the information isn't so easy for everyone else to understand? I knew a couple of peers who were a little sheltered and just didn't "get" the relations and history between the Global North and South and that..... it still affects society today? Literally had someone ask why we read about the trans-Atlantic slave trade because it "doesn't matter anymore"........ but whatever u do u I guess

Maybe it should be a second semester course just for those who joined at the start of the year unlike me, a mid-year intake, because you need a few prerequisites not in terms of shmancy academic stuff but you do need to understand that the world operates BEYOND your neighbourhood/Australia/The Western World

NEGATIVES: I had a lot of trouble understanding the essay questions... I feel like it was really simple but also really complicated at the same time? I've noticed in my other lectures we would have an entire lecture dedicated to breaking down the major assignment and talking about expectations, tips and tricks, what not to do, etc, not about "how to structure an essay", but specifics about the essay questions. I guess for me it was because it was difficult to identify which/how many of the lecture topics / readings were related to the essay question

Content can be super heavy and traumatic sometimes, especially if you're POC or originated from formerly colonized countries. Noticed it was a bit difficult to talk about for some folks in the class. Readings include graphic description of abuse of slaves in the sugar plantations of Caribbean, mass famine in India, indentured servitude, poverty, general suffering, etc. It's about inequality man......... it's just sad as shit all around

Overall a super inspiring and insightful course!!!!!!!!! 10/10

Semester taken

Long Long Ago!

Your program/major

Business Management/Arts

Is lecture attendance necessary?

Yes

Is the textbook necessary?

No, but super handy. Just get it from the library if you\'re cheap like me

Positives
  • Super profound, compelling, interesting, insightful content
  • Readings aren't fucking boring
  • Heloise for President 2020
Negatives
  • Ppl in the class get weird talking about poor people
  • Ppl in the class get weird talking about brown people
  • Content can be super heavy
Posted on May 23, 2018 7:52 pm
Anonymous
   
POLS1701 – Introduction to International Inequality & Development 55.6

As a preface, the content of this course is extremely interest, and I am grateful for the guided exposure to readings this course provided.
Unfortunately, I had the displeasure of having Heloise as my tutor, as well as lecturer. The one positive I may say of her is that she is able to read. She continually implored that we think critically about the information and the narratives we are taught, and yet she chose to shoot down discussion if it did not emulate her own opinions. And on the point of her opinions, these were typically word for word taken from readings.
The course is taught not as a Political Science course but as an introduction to university level reading comprehension.
The exam was easy enough to prepare for and her marking seemed fair, but this course is not worthwhile if based solely on my learning experience with Heloise.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

LLB/ Arts (International Relations Extended Major)

Is lecture attendance necessary?

No

Is the textbook necessary?

No

Positives No positive points
Negatives No negative points
Posted on March 22, 2018 1:28 pm
Anonymous
   
POLS1701 – Introduction to International Inequality & Development 76.4

This course has been one of the most inspiring courses I have taken. I was blown away by the perspective and the reality that I had never seen until doing this course. I would suggest this course once you have done a course like POLS1301 or POLS1201 because despite being a course without prerequisites there is a lot of assumption of knowledge on about political ideologies.

Week by week work book is pretty easy as long as you have read or even skimmed the readings, so easy marks. Tutorials are really helpful and there is a lot of explanations about the assignment.

The final exam is easy if you look at the past exam paper and pick like three topics to practice you will be more than fine.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2015

Your program/major

Bachelor of Arts/ Communication

Is lecture attendance necessary?

Yes

Is the textbook necessary?

It really helped

Positives
  • amazing content
  • great tutors and lecture
Negatives
  • couldn't find lecture recordings
Posted on October 13, 2015 12:07 pm
Anonymous
   
POLS1701 – Introduction to International Inequality & Development 55.7

Firstly it is a great subject that gives great insight to problems the world faces today however I felt the lecturer did not really take the time to prepare for the lectures. If you do the readings you do not have to attend the lecture as all the lecture slides were literally copied and pasted from the readings word for word onto the slides. The lecturer does not go in depth at all to explain anything other than repeating the readings. The tutorials are great though as many discussions occurred that gave great insight to the weeks topic and many different view points. The textbook is not necessary for purchase as all readings are provided online.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2015

Your program/major

BA

Is lecture attendance necessary?

No

Is the textbook necessary?

No

Positives
  • Enjoyable tutorials
  • Interesting
Negatives No negative points
Posted on June 18, 2015 11:04 am

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