SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

MSc Globalisation and Development

One calendar year (full-time) or two 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.

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

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 degree in a relevant field, though relevant work experience will also be taken into consideration. For admissions queries please contact the MSc Globalisation and Development admissions tutor, Dr Thomas Marois.

Featured events

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


Start of programme: September intake only

Who is this programme for?:

This programme is designed for those who want to understand global processes and development, and for those who want to work on, or analyse, development related tasks and issues. It is also highly relevant to anyone working, or intending to work, in development advocacy, policy making, and global development policy analysis, in the NGO sector, government agencies, and international development organisations.

We welcome students with a strong background in the social sciences in their first degree, but we also welcome students who have worked in the area of development, or in a related field.

This exciting programme offers a critical examination of the contemporary process of globalisation and how it influences the developing world, both before and after the ongoing global crisis. The MSc Globalisation and Development blends, in equal measure, critical analysis of mainstream thinking, alternative theories and practices, and case studies of political, social and cultural aspects of globalisation and development.

This degree draws its strength from the unrivalled expertise at SOAS in development problems and processes. The programme is of interest for development practitioners, activists, and students with a scholarly interest in how globalisation influences the developing world, and how the poor majority responds to these challenges.

Highlights include:
  • Critical and historical approaches to globalisation and their relationship to neoliberalism, imperialism and US global hegemony.
  • Contemporary globalising processes – capital flows, state-market relations, transnational corporations, global commodity chains, inequality and poverty on a global scale.
  • Transformation of work in the age of globalisation – new types of work, informalisation and precarisation, labour migration, agrarian change and gender relations.
  • Globalisation and imperialism – post-Cold War imperial and civil wars, global and regional challengers to US hegemony: China and Russia.
  • Globalisation, democracy and culture – human rights, democratisation, cosmopolitanism, standardisation, homogenisation.
  • Alternatives to neoliberal globalisation – global labour movement, transnational social movements and NGOs, environmental issues.

Students can draw on SOAS's unique expertise to specialise further in particular regions or topics. Please see 'Structure' for details on core and optional modules.




There are four main components to this degree: three taught modules and a 10,000 word dissertation. All students take a core module,  Globalisation 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.


Students also take optional modules (one full module or two half modules), allowing them to specialise in particular areas of development and possibly use them to develop a dissertation in a related theme. By tying optional modules 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: List 1

FOUR units required: three core modules – two from list one, one from list two and one optional module from list three.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Globalisation and development 15PDSC005 1 Unit Full Year
Dissertation in Development Studies 15PDSC999 1 Unit Full Year
Optional Core Modules: List 2

Pick 1 Module from List 2

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Political economy of development 15PDSC002 1 Unit Full Year
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 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: List 3

Pick 1 Module from List 3

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 0.5 Unit Term 2
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 0.5 Unit Term 1
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
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
Human Rights in The Developing World 15PLAC111 1 Unit Full Year
Water Law: Justice and Governance 15PLAH044 0.5 Unit Term 1
History Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Environmental History of Asia 15PHIH023 0.5 Unit Term 2
Study of Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Religions and Development 15PSRH049 0.5 Unit Term 1

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning


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.


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


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.


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

Recommended Preparatory Readings for Course

Rist, Gilbert (2014) The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, Zed Books.

Benería, Lourdes, Gunselli Berik, Maria Floro (2016). Gender, development and globalization: economics as if all people mattered, Routledge.

Fraser, Nancy (2013). Fortunes of feminism: from state-managed capitalism to neoliberal crisis and beyond, Verso Books.

Pradella, L. and Marois, T. (eds.) (2015) Polarizing Development: Alternatives to Neoliberalism and the Crisis. London: Pluto Press.

Harvey, D. (2005), A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Beaud, Michel (2001). A History of Capitalism, 1500–2000, Monthly Review Press.

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
£10,470 £17,895 £5,235 £8,948 £3,490 £5,965


A postgraduate degree in Globalisation 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 Globalisation 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.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

African Centre for Biosafety
Arab Image Foundation
BP plc
Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management
Commonwealth Secretariat
Christian Aid
Fairfood International
Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Minister for Civil Society
Health Poverty Action
Hitachi Europe Ltd
Islamic Relief
Ministry of National Education
Ministry of Finance of Japan
Operation Smile Mission in Kenya
The Risk Advisory Group
United Nations Association Of Norway
World Bank
World Food Programme
The CREES Foundation
World Food Programme

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Policy Network Manager
Communications and External Affairs Challenger
Investment & Research Analyst
Network Facilitator
International Development Researcher
Communication Officer
Deputy Country Director
Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist
Strategic Initiatives and Communications Associate
HR Development and Education Assistant
Development Coordinator
Project Leader, Arts & Humanities
Head of Programme Funding
Gender and Rural Growth Consultant
Research Associate
Monitoring and Evaluation Programme Officer

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

A Student's Perspective

The SOAS Globalisation and Development program brought me a global political element to my past food security background.

Josephine Tsui


Find out more

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