SOAS University of London

Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice

Programme Convenor: Mr Colin Poulton

New module available

Biodiversity, Conservation and Development (P131) explores the interdependent relationship between these areas, tracing how historical and theoretical roots have influenced current practice.

Within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the eradication of extreme poverty remains a central objective of international development efforts. As with the Millennium Development Goals before them, the SDGs recognise that poverty has multiple dimensions and that progress is needed on a number of fronts (economic, social and political) if poverty is to be effectively tackled.

With a focus on rural areas which, despite growing urbanisation, continue to be home to the majority of the world’s poorest people, this programme examines the complex nature of poverty, its causes, and the processes of poverty reduction.

Recent achievements in poverty reduction have varied widely across and within countries, regions, and social groups, permitting lessons to be learned regarding the policies and conditions conducive to success.

Modules within the programme draw on a range of disciplines relevant to the challenges of poverty reduction, including economics, political economy, social development, management, natural resources management and law. You will complete core modules then choose from one of three specialisms. These examine, respectively, policies to promote inclusive growth, the management of natural resources so as to benefit the poor, and ideas and approaches relating to managing organisations tasked with poverty reduction, within their individual cultural, political and technological contexts

Programme aims

The programme aims to equip students with a multi-disciplinary skill set to analyse and address the poverty reduction challenges of this millennium. A number of modules have significant economics content. Depending on the options chosen, other disciplines drawn upon may include management theory, environmental science, political economy or law.

The programme will give students the opportunity to develop

  • a critical, inter-disciplinary, integrative and global perspective on poverty reduction issues
  • a theoretical approach to intellectual enquiry of poverty reduction issues, which nevertheless emphasises the integration of theory and practice
  • a broad understanding of ideas and approaches for managing organisations within their cultural, political, technological, social, and institutional contexts, to solve problems related to poverty reduction
  • practical issue-oriented research skills, drawing on knowledge and understanding developed in their studies

Programme structure

QualificationNumber of modulesDuration
MSc in Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice 3 4* 2 9 Minimum of 2 years and maximum registration of 5 years
PGDip in Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice 3 or 4 4 or 5*†   8 Minimum of 2 years and maximum registration of 5 years
PGCert in Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice 3 1**   4 Minimum of 1 year and maximum registration of 5 years

*At least 3 from one specialism, plus free choice from all specialisms

** One free choice from all programme specialisms

† Can also include the Research Methods module