SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

BA Global Development (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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Overview and entry requirements

Have you got a passion for addressing the major issues and challenges facing today’s global community?

The BA Global Development programme draws upon the significant expertise of our academic staff. This exciting programme examines key topics in international development, while analysing the roles and impact of a wide variety of regional and international actors.

By the time you graduate, you will have cultivated a deep knowledge of the causes of and responses to poverty, marginalisation and vulnerability in developing countries and the process of dramatic social, economic and political change.

See Department of Development Studies

Why study BA Global Development at SOAS

  • the department is ranked number 2 in the QS World University Rankings in the subject of Development Studies
  • SOAS is ranked in the top 5 universities in the UK for producing a CEO or Managing Director, according to new research
  • we are specialists within the humanities including in key topics such as international development, gender development, violence and conflict, environmental sustainability, the role of aid and trade in promoting development, as well as refugees and forced migration
  • our staff have unrivalled practical knowledge across the discipline and regularly inform organisations such as the UN, NGOs and international governments
  • as well as the curriculum knowledge you will also obtain a rich historical and cultural knowledge about the countries and regions in which you may work in
  • you will be able to flexibly structure your programme using our Open Options modules to take advantage of the expertise of our other departments, including the opportunity to learn a language
  • we are specialists in the delivery of languages. Your command of a language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities


Programme Code: L905 BA/DevS

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

Featured events

3 Years

Fees 2022/23

Fees for 2022/23 entrants per academic year

UK fees:
Overseas fees:

Please note that fees go up each year. Further details see 'Fees and funding' (tab on this page) or the Registry's undergraduate tuition fees page.




Students take 120 credits per year composed of Core, Compulsory and Optional modules.

Core modules: A core module is required for the degree programme, so must always be taken and passed before you move on to the next year of your programme.

Compulsory modules: A compulsory module is required for the degree programme, so must always be taken, and if necessary can be passed by re-taking it alongside the next year of your programme.

Optional modules: These are designed to help students design their own intellectual journey while maintaining a strong grasp of the fundamentals.

Core Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Global Development 151010001 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Political Economy of Development 151010048 30 Full Year
Critical Reasoning in Contemporary Development Studies 151010046 30 Full Year

PLUS choose language open option module(s) OR modules from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
Economic Principles (Micro) 155901495 15 Term 1
Economic Principles (Macro) 155901494 15 Term 2
Introduction to Global History 153400084 30 Full Year
Introduction to International Relations 153400085 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Development from Below 151010022 30 Full Year
Key Development Thinkers

In addition to the above, the following optional modules are selected:

  • Year 2 guided option modules from the list below to the value of 30 credits
  • AND open option modules to the value of 30 credits OR a further 30 credits of year 2 guided option modules from the list below
Module Code Credits Term
Global Forced Migration 155901524 30 Full Year
Development and conflict 155901522 15 Term 1
The Working Poor and Labour 151010059 15 Term 1
Political economy of finance, debt and development 155901523 15 Term 2
Politics of Development 153400042 15 Term 2
Development Economics 155901501 15 Term 1
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Making Change Happen

In addition to the above, the following optional modules are selected:

  • Year 3 guided option modules from the list below to the value of 60 credits
  • AND open option modules to the value of 30 credits OR a further 30 credits of year 3 guided option modules from the list below
Module Code Credits Term
BA Professional Placement 151010051 30 Full Year
Independent study project in Development Studies 151010006 30 Full Year
Issues in gender and development 151010021 15 Term 1
Issues in Cities and Development 151010052 15 Term 2
China and World Development 153401003 15 Term 1
Global Economic Policy 153400141 15 Term 1
Conflict, Rights and Justice 153402006 15 Term 1
Development Studies Immersion Programme 151010053 60 Term 1

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Our teaching and learning approach is designed to support and encourage students in their own process of self-learning, and to develop their own ideas, responses and critique of international development practice and policy.

We do this through a mixture of lectures, and more student-centred learning approaches (including tutorials and seminars). Teaching combines innovative use of audio-visual materials, practical exercises, group discussions, and guided reading as well as conventional lecturing. Assessment of most modules is through a combination of coursework and written examination.

The introductory and core modules provide the solid disciplinary grounding, whilst options allow students to develop deeper expertise in areas of their own interest. In their final year, students have the opportunity to complete either an Independent Study Project, an extended 10,000 word essay, supervised by one of the Department staff; or an assessed Professional Placement.

Contact hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. In the Department of Development Studies, most undergraduate modules have a 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial every week.  A few modules, which are jointly taught with PG students, have a 1-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial every week.

More information is on the page for each module.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2022/23 entrants per academic year

Programme Full-Time



BA/BSc Language year abroad £1,385 £10,175

Please note that fees go up each year. 

For full details of undergraduate tuition fees, see our Registry's undergraduate tuition fees page.

The Rahim Lalji ‘14 Development Studies Bursary

Application Deadline: 2022-08-26 00:00

Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2020-04-30 15:00

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



A degree from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS will further develop your understanding of the world and how society is organised, with specific focus on violence and conflict, the role of aid, refugees and forced migration. Graduates leave with a range of transferable skills, including critical thinking, analytical skills and cultural awareness.

Recent Department of Development Studies graduates have been hired by:

  • Amnesty International
  • BBC World Service
  • British Embassy Brussels
  • Department for International Development
  • Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
  • Embassy of Japan
  • Government of Pakistan
  • Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Overseas Development Institute
  • Oxfam
  • Royal Norwegian Embassy
  • Save the Children UK
  • The World Bank
  • Thinking Beyond Borders
  • US Department of State
  • UN World Food Programme
  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees
  • WaterAid

Find out about our Careers Service

A Student's Perspective

It had always been my dream to work in the humanitarian sector but having left school at 16, I lacked the necessary academic background to do so. As it is possible to argue that every humanitarian crisis is intrinsically linked to a contexts underlying development, I wanted to study a degree in International Development to enable me to look at crises holistically.

Daniel Campbell


Find out more