MSc International Development

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

This programme allows you to explore in depth the challenges facing developing and developed countries in the fight against global poverty, as well as to understand the promise and problems of proposed approaches to poverty reduction. Issues covered include: theories and history of development; changing approaches to poverty reduction; practical policy, programme and research skills.

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.


Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector’s participation in EU programmes nor to the immigration status of prospective EU students starting in 2016/17 and 2017/18. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

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

Students will explore theories of development in historical context from (roughly) 1945 up to the present in the single compulsory module. The theories are then applied to contemporary development approaches and issues. Throughout, the emphasis is on you developing a critical understanding of the evolution of development theories over the last half century and its implications for present day thinking about development.

Students can then select the remaining five modules to suit their own needs and interests. They could, for example, take modules or rural and urban poverty reduction, on conflict and development or gender and development. They could also take modules on project management, disaster management or governance. Many other modules are also available to choose from.

Why study this course

The International Development programme is useful for students who have not yet decided what specialist path to follow within the field. It also gives students the maximum possible flexibility in tailoring the programme to their own particular interests, by allowing them to choose five of the six courses that form part of the taught part of the programme.

The programme does not assume any prior knowledge of international development and welcomes applications from candidates who meet the admissions criteria.

Modules

Breakdown of course by year, and modules (core and optional)

 The programme has one 20 credit core module:

Students take a further 100 taught credits which can be taken from the menu of IDD modules or elsewhere in the University, subject to the approval of the programme director and the other department/s concerned.

Students also complete a 60 credit dissertation, which may be undertaken with individual fieldwork, with a contribution towards the cost of this from the tuition fee.

Fees and funding

IDD taught postgraduate fees 2018-19
  Full time Part time
Home/EU students £9,000 £4,500
Overseas students £16,290 -

Please check with the Department for the latest fees information.
Learn more about fees and funding.

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The Postgraduate Student Loan has increased its maximum loan amount to £10,280. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page.

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

  • 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. Find out more about on international entry requirements
  • Degrees from all disciplines are considered and a candidate's work experience can also be taken into consideration.

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

Making your application

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

Teaching takes place over two ten-week terms, utilizing a range of teaching and learning methods, including short lectures, problem solving, role play and group work.

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.

Assessment methods

A range of assessment methods are used, with both formative and summative assessment. Assessment methods may include essays, policy briefs, various practical exercises and presentations. A dissertation of no more than 12,000 words is also required.

The knowledge and skills gained in the programme will equip graduates for jobs in international, national and local government and non-governmental organizations, think tanks and consultancies.

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