SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

MSc Labour, Social Movements and Development

duration:
One calendar year (full-time) Two (part-time, daytime only) We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
£10,470
Overseas fees:
£17,895

This is a Band 3 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Relevant work experience may also be considered.

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  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is for students who want to analyse and work on social change for the working poor in developing countries. It is highly relevant to anyone working or intending to work on labour and labour-related social movements in development agencies and NGOs, labour and solidarity movements, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and to activists in both developed and developing countries. We welcome students with a strong background in the social sciences in their first degree, as well as practitioners and professionals working in the areas of development, labour and employment relations, social movements and other related fields.

A unique Programme

This innovative new programme offers students the opportunity to study labour conditions and relations, social movements of labour and their contributions to development processes and changes in the South. It is the first and only MSc programme in the UK dedicated to Labour, Social Movements and Development. It provides a critical examination of the links between labour, capitalism, development and poverty. It investigates labour in contemporary social and economic development of the South as well as classic and newly emerging social movements of labour in local, national and international spaces. Students will also have the opportunity to experience labour campaigns and policy-making in practice by participating in our interactive sessions on designing and implementing international, regional and national labour campaigns and policies. The MSc draws on the expertise of Department of Development Studies staff in labour, social movements and development in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and on our contacts within such movements, as well as with NGOs and international organisations.

The MSc in Labour, Social Movements and Development explores different theories and methods for the study of the working poor in the South, and offers a critical examination of the links between labour, capitalism, development and poverty, and of the role of social movements and international initiatives for labour.

Highlights include:
  • Labour process and organisations: development trajectories and divisions in the South
  • A comparative history of labour and social movements in countries such as China, Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives, codes of conduct and anti-sweatshop campaigning
  • The impact of neoliberalism and globalisation on workers in the South
  • Informalisation of labour, casualization and precarious work
  • Feminisation of labour
  • The worst forms of exploitation: forced labour and child labour
  • Rural labour, migrant labour and labour in Export Processing Zones
  • Household and reproductive labour
  • The International Labour Organisation, international labour standards and decent work
  • Practices and theories of local, national and international labour campaigns.

The unique regional expertise at SOAS allows students of the MSc in Labour, Social Movements and Development to specialise in some of the most dynamic parts of the developing world. The programme’s emphasis on transferable analytical skills will be of great benefit to graduates who return to, or take up, professional careers in international organisations, government agencies and non-governmental organisations and movements. Students also benefit from the wide range of modules on offer, both within the department and across the School, allowing them to create individualised interdisciplinary programmes.

The department has a Labour, Movements and Development research cluster which carries out research activities linked to labour, social movements and development. 

Programme Blog

Convenors

Structure

Overview

There are four main components to this degree: three taught modules and a 10,000 word dissertation. All students take a core module,  Labour, Social Movements and Development. They then select one of two further modules: Political Economy of Development or Theory, Policy and Practice of Development. Through these modules students build their analytical skills and knowledge of the main issues and debates in Development Studies.

Specialisation

Students also take optional modules (one full unit module or two half-unit modules), allowing them to specialise in particular areas of development and potentially to develop a dissertation in a related theme. By tying these to their individual dissertation topic, students design their degree to suit their own interests and career development goals.

Students should be aware that not all optional modules may run in a given year. Modules at other institutions are not part of the approved programme structure.

Part-time Study

Part-time students are required to complete two of the core modules during their first year, then one unit or two half unit options plus the dissertation during the second year.

Core Modules

All students take Labour, Social Movements and Development. Then select either Political Economy of Development or Theory, Policy and Practice of Development. The dissertation is compulsory.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Labour,Social Movements and Development 15PDSC007 1 Unit Full Year
Political economy of development 15PDSC002 1 Unit Full Year
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 1 Unit Full Year
Dissertation in Development Studies 15PDSC999 1 Unit Full Year
Non-Assessed Courses

All MSc students in Development Studies are eligible to attend the one-term , non-assessed module, Economics for Beginners,which introduces students to basic concepts in microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics, and statistics and econometrics.

Optional Modules - Development Studies

Students may choose optional modules (one full module or two half modules) from the list below. Please check to ensure that any module in which you have a special interest is running in the year that you wish to study. In addition, access to relevant modules in other departments may be negotiated subject to the agreement of both Convenors.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 0.5 Unit Term 2
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 0.5 Unit Term 1
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Development Practice 15PDSH013 0.5 Unit Term 2
Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Extractive Industries, Energy, Biofuels and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 0.5 Unit Term 2
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Fundamentals of research methods for Development Studies 15PDSH017 0.5 Unit Term 1
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 0.5 Unit Term 1
Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 0.5 Unit Term 2
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 0.5 Unit Term 2
Issues in Forced Migration 15PDSH015 0.5 Unit Term 2
Marxist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH053 0.5 Unit Term 2
Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 0.5 Unit Term 1
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 0.5 Unit Term 2
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 0.5 Unit Term 2
Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 0.5 Unit Term 2
Security 15PDSH020 0.5 Unit Term 1
The working poor and development 15PDSH030 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Understanding Economic Migration: Theories, Patterns and Policies 15PDSH032 0.5 Unit Term 2
Water and development:conflict and governance 15PDSH049 0.5 Unit Term 2
Open Options in Other Departments
Economics Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Economic development in Africa 15PECC203 1 Unit Full Year
Economic dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region 15PECC334 1 Unit Full Year
Economic problems and policies in modern China 15PECC035 1 Unit Full Year
The political economy of development in Africa 15PECH004 0.5 Unit Term 1
Politics and International Studies Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Government and politics in Africa 15PPOC205 1 Unit Full Year
Government and politics of modern South Asia 15PPOC003 1 Unit Full Year
Politics of Globalisation and Development in Asia and Africa 15PPOC017 1 Unit Full Year
Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations 15PPOC252 1 Unit Full Year
School of Law
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Water Law: Justice and Governance 15PLAH044 0.5 Unit Term 1
Study of Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Religions and Development 15PSRH049 0.5 Unit Term 1

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Materials

SOAS Library
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Teaching & Learning

Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

Lectures

Most modules involve a two hour lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Pre Entry Reading

Bernstein, H. 2007, ‘Capital and labour from centre to margins’.
Keynote address for conference on Living on the Margins.
Vulnerability, Exclusion and the State in the Informal Economy, Cape
Town, 26-28 March 2007. Available at
http://urbandevelopment.yolasite.com/resources/Capital%20and%20Labou%20in%20the%20Margin%20Bernstein.pdf

Breman, J. 2013. At Work in the Informal Economy of India: A
Perspective from the Bottom Up. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Chen, M. 2012. The Informal Economy: Definitions, Theories and
Policies WIEGO Working Paper No. 1, available at
http://wiego.org/sites/wiego.org/files/publications/files/Chen_WIEGO_WP1.pdf

Davis M. 2006. Planet of Slums. London: Verso. Available at
http://rebels-library.org/files/planet_of_slums.pdf

Federici, S. 2004. Caliban and the Witch, NY: Autonomedia. Available
at https://libcom.org/files/Caliban%20and%20the%20Witch.pdf

Ferguson S., McNally D. 2015. ‘Precarious Migrants: Gender, Race and
the Social Reproduction of a Global Working Class’, Socialist Register
51 http://socialistregister.com/index.php/srv/article/view/22092#.V6HRLVeuhFI

Freund B. 1988. The African worker. Cambridge University Press.

Linebaugh P. and Rediker M. 2008. The Many Headed Hydra: Slaves,
Sailors and Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary
Atlantic. Boston: Beacon Press. Available at
https://libcom.org/files/Linebaugh%20and%20Rediker%20-%20The%20Many-Headed%20Hydra%20-%20Sailors,%20Slaves,%20Commoners,%20and%20the%20Hidden%20H.pdf

Lockman Z., 2008. “Reflections on Labor and Working-Class History in
the Middle East and North Africa”, in Jan Lucassen ed. Global Labour
History. Bern: Peter Lang.

Pun Ngai. 2005. Made in China. Duke University Press

Silver B. 2003. Forces of Labour: Workers' Movements and Globalization
Since 1870. Cambridge University Press. Available at
https://libcom.org/files/Beverly_J._Silver-Forces_of_Labor__Workers'_Movements_and_Globalization_Since_1870_(Cambridge_Studies_in_Comparative_Politics)__-Cambridge_University_Press(2003).pdf

Standing, G. 2014. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, London:
Bloomsbury academic.

Wright M. 2006. Disposable Women and other myths of global Capitalism.
New York: Routledge. Available at
http://cryptome.org/2013/01/aaron-swartz/Disposable-Women-of-Global-Capital.pdf

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 3 tuition fee.

The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,470 £17,895 £5,235 £8,948 £3,490 £5,965
Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-12 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-01-29 17:00

Santander Taught Master’s Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma - Hla Pe Memorial Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

Employment

A postgraduate degree in Labour, Social Movements and Development from SOAS provides graduates with a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers, including analytical skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. Equally graduates are able to continue in the field of research, continuing their studies either at SOAS or other institutions. 

An MSc in Labour, Social Movements and Development is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

Do not be surprised if you discover that you are drinking coffee with a former Malaysian political prisoner, or sitting in a lecture next to a journalist who reported from Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. Both have happened to me. Every single person at SOAS has an interesting story to tell, and adds something unique and valuable to our community. So will you.

Joe Buckley

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  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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