Fieldwork

Gain first-hand experience of development concepts plus valuable work experience without additional costs. All of IDD’s on-campus taught Masters programmes 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.

Individual fieldwork

Rachel Doyle, MSc student, 2008-10 (part-time) "I found the individual fieldwork challenging but so worthwhile. Working in the field gives you so much experience and an understanding that you can never get in the classroom."

The International Development MSc (with specialist pathways) and the Development Management MSc (with specialist pathways) offer the opportunity for 3-6 weeks of individual fieldwork in preparation for the dissertation. Many students arrange to be based with an NGO or other development organisation.

  • Choose where to go and what to study (in discussion with supervisor and subject to a research ethics review)
  • Gain practical experience in a specific area of interest
  • Build links with potential employers
  • Use £900 from the programme fees towards the cost

Each student is supported individually in preparing for fieldwork by a dissertation supervisor and receives training in research methods.

Fieldwork research questions

  • How has one song brought the public closer to the state in Sierra Leone?
  • Can NGO-business networks help facilitate corporate social responsibility in Thailand?
  • Has there been a change in the financial reporting culture of Kazakhstan?
  • How sustainable is the current approach to agriculture and the distribution of food, and what are the alternatives?

These are a few of the diverse questions investigated by our Masters students through recent dissertation fieldwork.

Organised study visits

Evans Mbajah, MSc Public Economic Management and Finance 2007-2008 programme study visit hosted by the Central Bank of Turkey "I especially appreciated coming to Turkey right after our public economic management classes; it really reinforced what we learned and what we are researching for our essays. An experience of a lifetime."

fieldwork-turkey

IDD’s Masters in Public Administration (MPA) and some MSc Development Management specialist pathways include an organised overseas study visit. This is not linked to students' dissertations, but may involve research for a project report or essay. It enables students to:

  • Investigate cutting-edge issues
  • Learn from detailed discussions with policymakers and practitioners
  • Gain practical experience to enhance career development
  • Work with fellow students as well as make new contacts

The student group visits a country relevant to the course content studied, often hosted by a particular organisation. Examples of recent study visit locations include Tunisia, Paraguay, Uganda and Lithuania. (Destinations vary and are selected by programme directors.)

Please note that overseas visits are not available for students on distance learning programmes with IDD.