Global Development Studies minor

field school

Thailand field school

CAPI, UVic's Global Development Studies (GDS) minor program, and the Department of Political Science (POLI) have developed a field school in northern Thailand examining policies of development and the environment.

(photo: field school participants pose on painted wooden stumps in a public park developed by Thai electricity company EGAT.)


Thailand field school

Thailand Internship

Photo of rice field at sunset taken by UVic anthropology student during an internship with the Karenni Social Development Centre on the Thailand/Myanmar (Burma) border.

Thailand Internship
Karenni Social Development Centre

Karenni Social Development Centre

GDS alumna Isabel Simons sits with some women from the Karenni Social Development Centre.

Karenni Social Development Centre
children hold signs

Ukulapha Community Outreach Project in Pietermaritzb

UVic student Ainslee Arthurs takes photo during her 2018 internship at Ukulapha Community Outreach Project in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, organized through UVic's Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI).

Ukulapha Community Outreach Project in Pietermaritzb

"The Global Development Studies minor (GDS) was a perfect complement to my degree in political science--the history, economics, environmental studies and geography courses I took towards the minor framed my other studies, including my honours thesis." 
—Isabel Simons, GDS Alumni

Why Choose Global Development Studies?

What are some of the causes of global patterns of inequality, exclusion and poverty? How have colonialism, imperialism, global trade patterns, and western notions of ‘progress’ shaped political, social and economic developments in other parts of the world? These complex questions and problems do not have simple answers. 

The Global Development Studies (GDS) program explores issues such as socio-economic inequalities, environment and sustainability, governance and human rights, and community resilience from a global and historical perspective.

The GDS Minor is aimed at students who want to understand the various challenges facing communities and populations around the world, who are interested in community-based, national and international responses to those challenges and who want to play an active part in finding solutions.

By learning about different development theories and practices, as well as diverse cultural perspectives, students will gain a more comprehensive understanding of issues as well as build intercultural competency, which will serve them well in different local and international work places.

Program priorities

  • interdisciplinary teaching, research and practices to facilitate collaborative learning and engagement
  • experiential and student-engaged learning
  • collaboration with local, national and international organizations (including global south organizations) to bring their knowledge and experience into the program
  • work with UVic research units, and local and international organizations and research groups to expand experiential learning and international research opportunities for students
  • support community engagement, policy-work and research activities for social, economic, and environmental justice

Territory acknowledgment
We acknowledge and respect the Lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.