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Postgraduate Taught

MA International Development

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Politics and International Relations
Typical offer

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2:1 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • You’ll receive training in major themes of development combined with a strong grounding in development policy and practice with a focus on developing and emerging economies
  • Engage with serious international development challenges, including those of poverty, inequality, climate change, migration and displacement, health, and violence and conflict
  • Learn from world-leading experts with real-world experience and join a lively postgraduate community
  • You can tailor your programme to your interests and career ambitions with our array of optional modules
  • Benefit from practice-oriented training providing you with the skills and experience required to pursue a career in international development, including within governmental and non-governmental organisations

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Top 10 in the UK for Politics

9th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 10th in the The Complete University Guide 2024

Top 100 for Politics in world subject rankings

QS World University Subject Rankings 2023

Employability focussed

Entry requirements

For admission to the programme we would normally expect that you to hold a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant social science or humanities subject area. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

For those applicants with substantial professional experience in the International Development sector we welcome applications from students who hold an Honours degree at 2:2 or above across a range of areas including education, the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, arts or business/management. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and every application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

We would encourage applicants to use their personal statement to indicate their interests in International Development and any relevant work experience.

Please note, if we receive an application which we deem more suitable for one of our other programmes, we may make an offer for that alternative programme instead.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Course content

We will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the main theories of global development and consider core debates that have emerged from the early 20th Century to the current day. Our programme is interdisciplinary in nature, encompassing politics, political economy, sociology, and anthropology. We will encourage you to become independent, critical, and inquisitive researchers and provide you with the opportunity to develop your practical skills in project management.

Our wide range of optional modules enable you to tailor your degree to your career interests covering topics such as international relations, conflict and security, global governance and international development in the Middle East.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

Teaching and research

Teaching takes place over the first two terms leaving the third to concentrate on your dissertation. Our teaching is research-led, ensuring that what you learn will be cutting edge and at the heart of contemporary public debate.

Teaching methods may include:

  • Small academic seminars
  • Presentations
  • Group work
  • Extensive reading and reflection
  • Debates and discussions
  • 15,000 word dissertation

By the end of the programme you will have acquired a series of valuable skills ranging from conducting analyses and research to presenting, debating, formulating arguments and managing groups.


Students can take advantage of our seminar series and its long-running and highly successful annual postgraduate conference which brings together researchers from across all humanities and social sciences disciplines.

Our research is funded by leading research councils and is used by governments and networks around the world.

Library services

Our main library is open 24/7 throughout the academic year. With a book stock in excess of 1.2 million, we have one of the highest UK academic library ratios of books to students. The main library offers self-service machines, state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, and an extended wifi network. The library provides world-class study facilities to all students. It has extensive holdings of works on political science, international relations and the various sub-disciplines.

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The MA in International Development enables you to develop the skills and knowledge required for a future career within international development, including within governmental and non-governmental organisations, humanitarian organisations or doner organisations.

Graduates could also go on to work in a range of other careers, such as journalism; local, national or international government service; policy analysis and advocacy. You may also go on to postgraduate study in a range of social science disciplines (including Politics, Development Studies).

Employer valued skills

Apart from specialist knowledge and skills relating to a range of careers in international development, you will also develop transferrable skills that are highly desirable in a range of careers. These include:

  • High-level research and writing skills
  • Analysis, evaluation and presentation skills
  • Excellent communication skills and experience, both written and oral
  • Ability to engage critically with complex ideas and arguments
  • Independent work skills of time-planning and motivation

Careers support

Our careers advisory service provides expert guidance to all students to enable them to plan their futures through psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation.

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