Critically examine the main causes of urban unemployment in developing countries


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Assignment Brief


Guidance on your coursework

  • Make sure that you focus on the question set and do not just ‘ramble around’ the topic. Have a clear plan. Explain clearly any theories and then show how they relate to the particular question.
  • Use diagrams, if they are relevant to the answer, but make sure that you label them fully and correctly and that you show how they relate to the argument. Students often ask whether it is essential to use diagrams. The answer is that you should use them if they are relevant to the points you are making, but don’t put a diagram in just for the sake of it. A relevant and accurate diagram will improve your mark, but you can still achieve a pass mark without diagrams.
  • Use evidence, where appropriate, to back up your arguments (but don’t forget to reference the source). This evidence might be statistical or it might be found in the books you are using, or perhaps in newspapers or journals. We encourage you to quote (briefly) from books, wherever appropriate, but make sure that you put the quotes in quotation marks and give the precise reference (book/journal, author, page). It is good practice to comment on quotes as you incorporate them into your Make sure that you don’t commit the ‘cardinal sin’ of plagiarism (see next page).


Assessment Criteria

In marking the essays, the points which will be credited include:

  • Understanding of the key issues
  • Ability to answer the question
  • The logical structure of your arguments
  • Evidence of reading
  • Effective use of English
  • Clarity of expression
  • Appropriate referencing of source material and a bibliography
  • Use of appropriate diagrams


To distinguish between the degree classifications, the following guidelines might help you to understand the criteria we are applying as we mark your work.

A  answer  is one that demonstrates evidence of in-depth study, including the consultation of a range of references relating to the question under scrutiny.  The answer should demonstrate knowledge of the area (contained in the question) and key debates of relevance; it should go beyond descriptive content and be analytical in its approach. Evidence of clear understanding, evaluation and interpretation is necessary to achieve this grade and this is often demonstrated through original contribution. The answer will be clearly focused upon the question and will also include relevant diagrams which will be labelled and used to explain the key points in the argument. A first class answer will be well written, clearly referenced and will cite evidence in support of the arguments.

Please note the following extract from the student programme handbook. It warns about plagiarism:

        Assignments are part of your assessment. They are designed to take some of the stress away from examinations by giving you opportunities to demonstrate your abilities in other ways. They must, therefore, be your own work. They must not be copied, either from books, articles, etc., or from other students. If you wish to incorporate short passages from books, articles, etc. in your assignment, you should put them in quotes and properly attribute them to their author and work.

        Plagiarism is taking and using another person’s writings, thoughts, calculations, ideas, conclusions, etc. as one’s own. In its most extreme form, plagiarism consists of copying, verbatim, the work of others. However, equally unacceptable is the practice of ‘borrowing’ the product of another person’s thought without attempting to address the problem oneself, for example, by using another student’s detailed essay plan.


It is worth pointing out, however, one of the most common traps. Some students take detailed notes from books or articles, and then use these notes to write their assignments. If your assignment is based very closely on such detailed notes, you may in fact be plagiarising, and, even though it is not deliberate, you will be penalised. Make sure, therefore, that you put things in your own words and also that you do not make exactly the same points in the same ways as the books/articles that you have noted. This does not mean that your essay has to be full of original ideas. It does not, but it must be your own work.

One piece of advice here: don’t copy chunks from a book into your notes. That way you can easily end up copying them back into your assignment! When making notes, therefore, try to summarise points in your own words.

5.    Submission details


Please note that the submission deadlines are absolute and based on UWE server time, therefore you are strongly advised to submit work well ahead of the deadline dates to avoid situations where penalties could be incurred.  Penalties are imposed if a submission is made up to 24 hours after the deadline, and the highest mark you can receive will be the minimum pass mark (if the assessment is passed).  After the 24 hours have passed, the work will not be accepted for marking.


The assessment for this module includes a 2000 word essay and an online exam. The exam will be held in the assessment period in January / February 2021. The exam and the coursework for this module are equally weighted.


The essay for this module is an electronic submission and the deadline is 2:00 on Thursday the 21st of January 2021. Please do not exceed the word limit of 2000 words for this essay.


Please choose one of the following essay titles:


  1. In 2017 Morocco’s annual economic growth was 4.1% and Burkina Faso’s annual economic growth was 6.4%. With reference to the work of Amartya Sen, critically examine the extent to which these impressive growth figures suggest that ‘development’ is taking place in these two African countries.


  1. Given the fact that many developing countries have high levels of unemployment, to what extent can a policy of adopting capital intensive production techniques be justified?


  1. With reference to the Harris-Todaro model of rural urban migration and the LFS model of limited factor substitutability, critically examine the main causes of urban unemployment in developing countries.


  1. To what extent can it be argued that reducing the level of corruption is not an important aspect of an effective development strategy?


  1. Critically examine the practical and theoretical arguments supporting the idea that it is vital for developing countries maintain their agricultural sectors.


  1. With reference to both the neo liberal perspective and the dependency school perspective, critically examine the argument that investment from large multinational corporations will have a positive impact upon the development process.


  1. With reference to the Economies of Albania and Trinidad, to what extent has reliance upon external sources of revenue undermined the development process and resulted in high levels of international dependency for these two economies?





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