Global Development Institute Blog

The start of the academic year 2023/24 marked an exciting milestone for the Global Development Institute, as we welcomed the first cohort of undergraduates enrolled in our brand-new BSc in Global Development course. Designed to equip students with the tools to promote a socially just world, the course has attracted a wide array of young people looking to pursue rewarding careers.

So, how are the new undergraduates getting on? First-year Chi-Chi Ojigbani has been blogging about her experiences over the past few months, offering valuable insights into the life of a Development Studies student. We’ve selected a few highlights below…

On selecting a university course…

Your undergraduate degree has the potential to shape your entire career. With this in mind, selecting from a vast array of universities, departments, and courses can be daunting. Here’s how Chi-Chi made her all-important decision:

“I remember the stress I felt when choosing which universities to apply to. This decision not only affects quality of degree you earn, but also the connections you make and even your whole life! For me, The University of Manchester fulfilled most of my criteria. It is a Russell Group university so obviously has rigorous academic standards, but the city has allowed me to enjoy a fun social life.

I focussed on course ranking, rather than university league tables, when choosing my 5 schools because some universities fall short on the league tables but have excellent specialty departments. (UoM performs well in both aspects). I study BSc Global Development, and the University is ranked 2nd in the UK and 7th in the world for development studies so I was assured that I would receive good quality teaching. The University also has several study abroad opportunities which was a big selling point. I plan to do a summer school next year and there are services which help students connect to the institutions and to apply successfully.”

Read more

On student societies…

The University of Manchester’s Students’ Union boasts a vast catalogue of groups and societies designed to help students learn new skills, meet like-minded people, and pursue hobbies and interests. For example, several GDI students are part of the One World Together Student Society – a group committed to transforming how NGOs operate by building more efficient and humane funding systems. However, there are plenty more options to explore, as Chi-Chi explains:

“Before coming to university, so many people on TikTok said that societies are one of the best ways to make friends. I think this is definitely true! Whichever you join, you will always meet someone who has similar interests or personality traits to you. My main friend group all happened to be in my accommodation, but I have made great friendships in the societies that I’ve joined.

Since arriving at uni, I’ve joined both the athletics club and dance society for street dance. I’m not a fan of the gym, so sports societies are a great alternative. Staying active is so important for your physical and mental wellbeing […] Honestly, there is every sport imaginable (even competitive dodgeball!) so you’ll find something to suit you. Wednesdays are sports nights at universities across the country, so if you’re into clubbing, you might end up being a regular at 256 down Wilmslow Road with a new costume every week! Most societies have non-drinking events too.”

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On studying Global Development…

Many undergraduates embark on their courses without a clear picture of the day-to-day realities of studying at university. Fortunately, Chi-Chi has written a diary detailing a typical week in the life of a Global Development study. Here’s Monday’s entry:

“Mondays are (strangely) my favourite day of the week! I only have a 2pm lecture, but I still wake up at 8am so that I can start my day. I showered, ate breakfast, then left my halls at around 9.30am so that I could go to the library. I try to do a “10-5” on campus on weekdays (other than Wednesdays), so that if I’m not in the lecture, I’m in the library, catching up on readings or starting coursework. This works best for me so that I can have free evenings and weekends.

I recently discovered the Mansfield Cooper building has a nice, quiet library, so I do my Tuesday readings here, eat a solitary lunch in the ground floor common area (this week I had jollof rice), then head back upstairs for the lecture. We are doing a Statistics for quantitative analysis module this semester, which so far, I am really enjoying (even though it is still GCSE content). I didn’t take maths A-Level, but the lecturer explains concepts well, so I’m sure it will be fine. The lecture finished at 4pm, but I decided that an extra hour in the library wasn’t necessary and instead, followed my friend on her food shop.”

Read the full diary


Find out more about our Global Development BSc

As Chi-Chi’s experiences demonstrate, studying Global Development at the University of Manchester provides a range of enriching academic, social, and career-building opportunities. if you’re interested in discovering more about the course, including module content, entry requirements, selection processes, or career prospects, please visit our course page.


Note:  This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.

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