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Department of Development Studies

MSc Development Studies with Special Reference to Central Asia

Duration: One calendar year (full-time) Two or Three years (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.

Overview

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Subir Sinha

Subir Sinha

Convenor

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

Start of programme: September intake only

Who is this programme for?:

The programme attracts applications from students with a variety of academic and experiential backgrounds. We welcome applications from those who have worked in a broad field of development, but also from students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in, and understanding of, development issues in Central Asia. A good first degree in a social science is preferred.

Development Studies is a dynamic field concerned with processes of change in the South - social and economic, political and cultural - and the major policy challenges they present to efforts to overcome poverty and insecurity. This programme provides a solid interdisciplinary social science formation in development theory and practice and develops students’ capacities for independent and critical analysis.

Highlights include:

  • the meanings of development and the challenges it faces
  • neoliberalism and its critiques
  • industrialisation, labour and capital
  • state failure, poverty and insecurity
  • gender and class analysis
  • NGOs, civil society and social movements
  • globalisation, commodity chains and trade
  • the agrarian question, peasantry and land
  • the unique opportunity to develop expertise in the Central Asian region, its sociology and its politics

The MSc programme’s emphasis on transferable analytical skills has been of great benefit to the many graduates who have returned to, or taken up, professional careers in development in international organisations, government agencies and non-government organisations. Students also benefit from the wide range of courses on offer, both within the Department and across the School, allowing them to create individualised interdisciplinary programmes.

The MSc Development Studies with Special Reference to Central Asia has four components: the two compulsory courses as for MSc in Development Studies; a course option which must be on a Central Asian topic; and a dissertation linked to the option.

Structure

There are four main components to this degree: three taught courses and a 10,000 word dissertation. It follows a similar pattern to the MSc Development Studies, however the optional course and dissertation both specialise in Central Asia. The core courses are Political Economy of Development and Theory, Policy and Practice of Development; the optional course is Politics and Society in Central Asia.

Core Courses
Optional Course - Development Studies with reference to Central Asia
Non-Assessed Courses

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

Programme Specification

Teaching & 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

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

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

Lectures

Most courses 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.

Destinations

A postgraduate degree from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS will further develop your understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised, with an emphasis on transferable analytical skills.

This programme will also develop expertise in your understanding of development in the Central Asian region. These skills have been of great benefit to the many graduates who have taken up professional careers in development in international organisations, government agencies and non-government organisations. This, in addition to your detailed subject knowledge, will also equip you with a set of other specific skills, including: critical skills; the ability to research extensively; a high level of cultural awareness; and the ability to solve problems.

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

A Student's Perspective

I think the friends I’ve made are the most gratifying part of the study abroad experience. Some of my favourite memories of SOAS come from the late night conversations shared over mugs of tea with my flatmates. Though classes and academics are an important facet of studying at SOAS, I am just so impressed with a number of other SOAS students

Jason Hill, Tufts University