International Development (International Political Economy and Development) MSc/GDip

Offered jointly by the International Development Department and the Department of Political Science and International Studies, this programme combines theoretical approaches to international political economy with practical experience of development to create a unique, multidisciplinary degree.

The programme is designed for recent graduates preparing to work in international development and for professionals working for NGOs, donor or government funded development programmes.

The International Development Department is well-regarded internationally by sponsors, donor agencies, governments and NGOs. Study with us to benefit from:

  • Expertise in key issues and skills valued by employers
  • A vibrant, welcoming community
  • Individual overseas fieldwork or study visit included in fees (on-campus programmes)
  • Flexible programmes and a wide choice of modules (part-time students also welcome)
  • A diverse and international student body
  • Strong support in study and English language skills

Each programme is taught by a team of multi-disciplinary specialists who work closely with students to address individual interests and concerns. Every student is allocated an academic tutor to support them in their academic progress throughout the year. The department has a long history of teaching students from across the world, and recent students have come from 99 different countries and a wide variety of professional and academic backgrounds.

Course details: Details | Why study this course | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time

Duration: MSc: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time. Graduate Diploma: 9 months full-time, 2 years part-time. (part time options only available to UK/EU students)

Start date: September

Details

Course details: Why study this course | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

Offered in collaboration with the Department of Political Science and International Studies, this programme combines theoretical approaches to international political economy with practical experience of development to create a unique, multidisciplinary degree.

Issues examined include: competing theories of political economy and political development; how theories of development link to development practice; different political systems and their histories; the complex relationship between political economy and development, including trade, financial systems, and aid; the impact of political systems and political actors on developmental success and failure; the impact of the global, regional and national political economy on aid and donor policies.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is designed for recent graduates preparing to work in international development and for professionals working for NGOs, donor or government funded development programmes

More information on:International Development MSc (with specialist pathways)

Why study this course

The International Development Department is well-regarded internationally by sponsors, donor agencies, governments and NGOs. Study with us to benefit from:

  • Expertise in key issues and skills valued by employers
  • A vibrant, welcoming community
  • Individual overseas fieldwork or study visit included in fees (on-campus programmes)
  • Flexible programmes and a wide choice of modules (part-time students also welcome)
  • A diverse and international student body
  • Strong support in study and English language skills

Each programme is taught by a team of multi-disciplinary specialists who work closely with students to address individual interests and concerns. Every student is allocated an academic tutor to support them in their academic progress throughout the year. The department has a long history of teaching students from across the world, and recent students have come from 99 different countries and a wide variety of professional and academic backgrounds.

Modules

This specialised pathway comprises the following modules:

Compulsory core modules:

40 credits from the following:

Optional modules from the School of Government and Society are also available (subject to departmental policies). See the module choices in:

Fees and funding

Fees for 2014 - 15:

  • UK/EU full-time: £7,020
  • UK/EU part-time: £3,510
  • International full-time: £13,665

Please check with the Department for the latest fees information.

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. see the departmental scholarships and funding pages. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or visit studenthelp.bham.ac.uk 

Entry requirements

MSc:

  • An upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university or an equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field (the equivalent US Grade Point Average is 3.0) or
  • A lower second-class Honours degree from an approved university with excellent work experience.
  • Adequate capacity in written and spoken English (More information).
  • Degrees from all disciplines are considered and a candidate's work experience can also be taken into consideration.

Graduate Diploma:

  • A lower second-class Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university or an equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field is normally required. However, work experience can also be taken into consideration.
  • Adequate capacity in written and spoken English (More information).

Learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

Learning, teaching and assessment

The programme uses a range of learning and teaching methods including short lectures, group work, group and individual presentations, individual study and exercises. Each module is assessed differently using assessments that include 2,000–3,000 word essays, group projects, presentations, exercises and exams. A 10,000–12,000 word dissertation is also required for the MSc award.

By the end of your study you will gain:

  • An in-depth understanding of competing development theories – their origins, their continuities and their differences – and the ability to critically evaluate their strengths and weaknesses
  • An understanding and ability to critique the distinctions between economic, social and political approaches to development
  • An understanding of the role of international institutions (such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation) in the processes of development and an ability to critique the theoretical underpinnings of these institutions
  • The ability to critically appraise the role of the state in the governance of developing countries
  • Writing skills to produce well structured and coherent essays and reports, making good use of references
  • Oral presentation skills
  • Ability to access material from different sources including policy documents and other publications from governments and international organisations, documents from the internet, and from books and academic journals
  • The capacity to interpret and make use of material from the above sources

Fieldwork

Gain first-hand experience of development concepts plus valuable work experience without additional costs. This Masters degree enable students either to carry out individual fieldwork in a country and on a topic of their choice or to take part in an organised study visit. Funding for this overseas study is included in the programme fee. 

Enhancing your Student Experience

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Students at high profile speakers event

Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.

Georgiana Chiriac, Harvard Model United Nations (February 2013), "Overall, This opportunity was excellent for me and for the entire delegation in terms of gaining knowledge and expertise at the highest level, as well as with regards to personal growth and development."

Joseph Bergson, Postgraduate Study trip to Delhi (2012)
I found that in both class discussions and group work the level of knowledge from everyone on the course was very high and it felt really great to be among outspoken and clever people! The additional parts of the course also set it above others classes I have taken.

Read more of our student experiences and profiles on the school website.

Employability

Careers

The programme is designed for recent graduates preparing to work in international development and for professionals working for NGOs, donor or government funded development programmes.

Alumni

Currently more than 3,800 IDD alumni have taken their knowledge and experience to over 148 countries around the globe and are working in a variety of jobs in the public, private and voluntary sector.

International Development Graduation

We are extremely proud of the achievements of our alumni; many of them have gone on to do fantastic things post graduation including Concy Aciro (MSc Poverty Reduction, 2007) who won the University's alumna of the year award in 2008.

As a Member of Parliament and a leader, I will continue to use the skills and knowledge I acquired during my time at Birmingham and I am sure the experience will continue to support my efforts as both a Member of Parliament and in leading my constituents." Concy Aciro (2009)

See what some of our alumni are doing now and what they thought about studying with us at IDD.