MSc/PGDip Development Management

by distance learning

Start date
MSc: 2–4 years; Postgraduate Diploma: 18 months–4 years
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning

£13,050 (Masters)
£8,700 (PG Diploma)
More Fees and funding details.

This programme provides development managers with analytical and practical skills that lead to social and economic progress in developing and transitional countries.

Please note: this programme is not recruiting for 2019.

The programme is designed for those who want to improve their knowledge and skills in development management, from a wide range of sectors, including central and local government, NGOs and donors, and at the same time to acquire an academic qualification.

It explores:

  • The nature and purpose of development management
  • The role and relationships of and between actors in development management (in government, civil society, the private sector, and donors)
  • The approaches to reforms in developing countries and their management, and appraising their impact on different society interests
  • Policy making
  • Public finance
  • How to adapt public administration concepts to a variety of economic, institutional, geographic and cultural settings
  • key concepts of democracy, human rights, access to justice and accountability to development management practice 

Offered through distance learning, you study via a web-based learning environment, using textbooks and other printed materials, complemented by our extensive electronic library, and an online discussion board where you participate in guided discussion activities with other students and your tutor

The programme is taught by a team of multidisciplinary specialists who work closely with students to address their individual interests and concerns. MSc students have an individual dissertation supervisor.


Each module is ten weeks and includes six weeks of guided discussions to complement the readings and is worth 20 credits. Module assessment is assignment based (with two assignments per module). There are no examinations.

The programme comprises the following assessed modules:

Compulsory 20 credit module

A choice of 100 credits from the following 20 credit modules:

Dissertation (60 credits, MSc only) – pursue in-depth research with support from a dissertation supervisor. For distance learning students we recommend desk-based research.

The programme begins with a two week online induction module (non-accredited); and the dissertation work is preceded by a two week online research methods module (again, non-accredited).

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.


Distance learning 2020-21
MSc programme fee (six 20 credit modules plus dissertation) £13,050
PG Diploma programme fee (six 20 credit modules and no dissertation) £8,700
Module fee (20 credits) £1,450
Dissertation fee (60 credits) £4,350

For our distance learning programmes, we do not distinguish between UK/EU and international studies. There is no differential fee.

Scholarships and studentships

We do not have any scholarships for our distance learning programmes, although some of our students do manage to get funding from their employers to undertake our programmes.

For further information contact the School directly or visit 

How To Apply

Please note: this programme is not recruiting for 2019.

Our Standard Requirements


  • An upper second class Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university or an equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field (the equivalent US GPA is 3.2) or
  • A lower second-class Honours degree from an approved university with relevant work experience.
  • Degrees from all disciplines are considered and a candidate’s work experience can be taken into consideration.

Learn more about entry requirements

International Requirements

International Students

Adequate capacity in written and reading English. For those whose first language is not English, evidence of this capacity is required. Applicants should reach at least level 6.5 in the IELTS.

The programme is delivered online, using a web communications tools system (Canvas) and this web environment is where students are expected to take part in online discussions and group activities, guided by a tutor.  All required reading is provided (either in hard copy or via our extensive electronic library, or via Internet links).

Course structure

In delivering our distance learning programmes, we have drawn on lessons learned by academic institutions about how to provide effective distance learning and use a blended learning approach:

  • An intensive online induction programme is included to familiarise students with the web-based discussion boards, the online library facilities and the requirements of the programme
  • Required reading materials are provided in hard copy
  • Discussions and group activities take place within an online learning environment
  • Students benefit from interacting closely with each other and their tutors even while they are separated by continents and time zones (we have students in Africa, the Caribbean, the US, Eastern Europe, South East Asia and the UK)
  • Whilst discussion groups and access to the electronic library rely on the use of a computer, students are not tied to the computer for other reading materials
  • A short online research methods course is provided prior to starting the dissertation project
  • We pride ourselves on strong administrative, academic and pastoral support for students

Our distance learning courses use a variety of teaching and assessment methods: Hard copy teaching and reading materials

  • Textbooks and CDs / DVDs
  • Electronic access to the University’s extensive elibrary facility containing ejournals, ebooks and databases
  • Group online discussion activities (using Canvas, which is part of our 'virtual learning environment')
  • Dissertation
  • Individual reading and reflection

Each module takes six weeks to complete (with guided online discussions). The MSc does not include any face-to-face element. For the MSc, we have replaced exams with time-limited assignments (which take place over the weekend at the end of each module).

The course is assumed to be part time, and students study one module at a time.

Course requirements

IDD has designed its distance learning courses to be accessible for a working professional person and we have kept the technical requirements to a minimum. However, before you commit to distance learning, we recommend that you consider the following:

IT equipment: To complete a distance learning course successfully, you will need:

  • Extended access to a computer with Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, a media player software and a CD-ROM drive.
  • Regular access to the Internet for visiting the web-based discussion boards, email and some online library research (whilst this is obviously easier with broadband, we have many students who participate successfully through a dial-up connection).

IT skills: You will find this course less challenging if you are already a confident Internet user, although we are available extensively to coach you through becoming familiar with the web-based discussion format and to address other IT questions.

Time: This course requires that you read a good deal and regularly check into the web-based discussions during the six 'live' weeks of discussion for each module. If you are forced to miss some of the discussions for work or personal reasons, this can be coped with, but if you are regularly out of touch you will find it hard to complete the assignments to the required standard. Writing the assignments is also time-consuming.


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.


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.

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