SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

MSc Development Studies with reference to South Asia (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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

Overview and entry requirements

Applicants apply for the MSc Development Studies programme but can decide to follow the Contemporary India Pathway upon arrival by choosing the combination of modules required for this pathway (see Structure tab).

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 Contemporary India.

Students taking the Contemporary India Pathway will develop a specialist understanding of Development Studies in the context of Contemporary India. Development issues in Contemporary India are a major focus of NGO and international organisations that work in the India. SOAS' recognised strengths in this area, including the establishment of the SOAS South Asia Institute, makes this a unique and exciting opportunity for those interested in Contemporary India.

The degree offers students the opportunity to take up a 2-4 week placement in India or with a London-based organisation during the course of their studies. This is an optional and self-funded opportunity.    

See Department of Development Studies 

Part-time study

Students can take this programme part-time over 2 or 3 years. Students usually complete their core modules in Year 1 and their option modules and dissertation in subsequent years.

Why study MSc Development Studies (Contemporary India Pathway) at SOAS

  • we are 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

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 modules on offer, both within the Department and across the School, allowing them to create individualised interdisciplinary programmes.

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Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in a relevant subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications. 

    Please see our 'postgraduate entry requirements' page for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

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duration:
One calendar year (full-time) Two (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.

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Students must take 180 credits per year comprised of 120 taught credits (including core, compulsory and optional modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.

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
Dissertation in Development Studies 15PDSC999 60 Full Year
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 30 Full Year
Political Economy of Development 15PDSC002 30 Full Year
Contemporary India: development challenges and perspectives 15PAIC003 15 Term 1
Optional Modules

In addition to the above, students select the following:

  • A guided option module from List A below to the value of 15 credits

Students then select ONE of the following:

  • Guided option module(s) from List A below to the value of 30 credits
  • Guided option module(s) from the list of Development Studies modules below to the value of 30 credits
  • A guided option module from List A below to the value of 15 credits AND A guided option module from the list of Development Studies modules below to the value of 15 credits

Non-Assessed Module

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.

List of Development Studies modules (subject to availability)

Module Code Credits Term
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 2
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 1
Fundamentals of research methods for Development Studies 15PDSH017 15 Term 1
War to Peace Transitions 15PDSH018 15 Term 2
Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 15 Term 2
Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 15 Term 1
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 2
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 15 Term 2
Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 15 Term 1
Labour, Activism and Global Development 15PDSH032 15 Term 2
Water Justice: Rights, Access and Movements (Development Studies) 15PDSH041 15 Term 1
Water and Development: Commodification, Ecology and Globalisation (Development Studies) 15PDSH049 15 Term 2
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 15 Term 1
Cities and Development 15PDSH072 15 Term 2
Feminist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH073 15 Term 2
List A

Guided South Asia options

Module Code Credits Term
Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia - A 15PSAH034 15 Term 1
Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia - B 15PSAH035 15 Term 2
Community, Religion, and Conflict in South Asian History 15PHIH041 15 Term 2
Bengali Language 1 A (PG) 15PSAH028 15 Term 1
Bengali Language 1 B (PG) 15PSAH029 15 Term 2
Bengali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC304 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 1 A (PG) 15PSAH022 15 Term 1
Hindi Language 1 B (PG) 15PSAH023 15 Term 2
Hindi Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC296 30 Full Year
Readings in Contemporary Hindi (PG) 15PSAC305 30 Full Year
Urdu Language 1 A (PG) 15PSAH026 15 Term 1
Urdu Language 1 B (PG) 15PSAH027 15 Term 2
Urdu Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC301 30 Full Year
Literatures of Resistance in South Asia 15PSAC284 15
Politics of South Asia: Beyond India 15PPOH068 15 Term 2
Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia 15PPOH052 15 Term 2
International Relations of South Asia 15PPOH058 15 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 weekly guided reading and discussions, as well as conventional lecturing.

In addition to the taught part of the masters programme, all students will write a 10,000 word dissertation. Students develop their research topic under the guidance and supervision of an academic member of the Department. Students are encouraged to explore a particular body of theory or an academic debate relevant to their programme through a focus on a particular region.

Contact hours

All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. 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, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. 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. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

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 (Band 2 tuition fee)

Full-time Part-time 2 years Part-time 3 years
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£14,270 £23,800 £7,135 £11,900 £4,710 £7,855

Fees go up each year, therefore your tuition fee in your second and subsequent years of study will be higher.

Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate tuition fees page.

Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – The Americas

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

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

Employment

Employment

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)
  • KPMG LLP
  • 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

The Department of Development Studies here is a microcosm for all that is special about SOAS. The critical political economy perspective taken to the many vexed questions of development will give you a way of seeing the world that challenges mainstream thinking.

Jo Tomkinson

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