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MSc International Development

Start date
September
Duration
12 months full time, 24 months part time (part time options only available to UK students)
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught
Fees

For 2023-2024
£10,980 FT (UK)
£5,490 PT (UK)
£22,950 FT (International)
More Fees and funding details.

Our MSc in International Development allows you to explore 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.

You will explore theories of development in historical context from 1945 up to the present day in a 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.

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

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

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

Why study this course?

The International Development programme is useful if you have not yet decided what specialist path to follow within the field. It will also give you the maximum possible flexibility in tailoring the programme to your own particular interests, by allowing you 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 we welcome applications from candidates who meet the admissions criteria.

Scholarships

The university offers a number of scholarships and bursaries for applicants.

You may also be interested in our distance learning programme MSc/PGDip International Development by distance learning with specialist pathways in Conflict, Security and Development and Poverty, Inequality and Development

What I learnt very much from my time at the University of Birmingham really continues to shape how we can bring global international and development practices into local contexts, but also how we can connect this local community to global innovators around the world.

Immy Kaur, Graduate, Co-founder of Impact Hub Birmingham and Curator of TEDxBrum

Modules

Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2023.

The programme has one 20 credit core module:

You will then 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.

You will 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.


Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Fees for 2023-24

UK students

  • Full-time £10,980
  • Part-time £5,490

International students

  • Full-time £22,950

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

Scholarships and studentships

See the departmental scholarships and funding pages.

Other funding may be available. 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.

How To Apply

1 July 2023 is the application deadline for international students applying through the student route who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2023 made after this date. The deadline for Home students is 31 August 2023.

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 online

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 Grade Point Average is 3.2) 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 Requirements



International Students

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:


  • IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

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 at no additional cost. This masters degree enable you to either carry out individual fieldwork in a country and on a topic of your 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 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 on the programme will help to equip you for jobs in international, national and local government and non-governmental organisations, think tanks and consultancies.

See what some of our alumni are doing now and what they thought about studying with us in the International Development Department.

Video: Imandeep Kaur Bansal

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