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Department of Development Studies

MSc Globalisation and Development

Duration: 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.

Overview

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Minimum 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.

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 courses.

Structure

Overview

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

Specialisation

Students also take optional courses (one full course or two half courses), allowing them to specialise in particular areas of development and possibly use them to develop a dissertation in a related theme. By tying optional courses 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 courses may run in a given year. Courses at other institutions are not part of the approved programme structure.

Core Courses

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

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.

Optional Courses - Development Studies

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

Open Options in Other Departments
Economics Department
Politics and International Studies Department
School of Law
Anthropology and Sociology Department
History Department
Study of Religions

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Materials

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 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
ClearlySo
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
NSPCC
Operation Smile Mission in Kenya
The Risk Advisory Group
United Nations Association Of Norway
World Bank
World Food Programme
The CREES Foundation
theIDLgroup
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
Journalist-Researcher
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