SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

MSc Development Studies

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.

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£10,995
Overseas fees:
£18,790

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. 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 honours degree (or equivalent). Relevant work experience may also be considered.
  • Subjects Preferred: Social Science

Featured events

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

Overview

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?: The programme attracts applications from students with a variety of academic and experiential backgrounds. 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. A good first degree in a social science is preferred.

Development Studies is a dynamic field concerned with processes of change in the South - social and economic, political and cultural - and the major policy challenges they present to efforts to overcome poverty and insecurity. This programme provides a solid interdisciplinary social science formation in development theory and practice and develops students’ capacities for independent and critical analysis. 

Highlights include:

  • the meanings of development and the challenges it faces
  • neoliberalism and its critiques
  • industrialisation, labour and capital
  • state failure, poverty and insecurity
  • gender and class analysis
  • NGOs, civil society and social movements
  • globalisation, commodity chains and trade
  • the agrarian question, peasantry and land

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.

Convenors

Structure

Overview

Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.

All students take core modules, ‘Political Economy of Development’, ‘Theory, Policy & Practice’ and a ‘Dissertation in Development Studies’. Through these modules, students build their analytical skills and knowledge of the main issues and debates in Development Studies. 

Specialisation

Students also take option modules, allowing them to specialise in particular areas of development and possibly using them to develop a dissertation in a related theme. By tying optional modules to their individual dissertation topic, students tailor their degree to suit their own interests and career development goals.

Please note that not all option modules may run every year.  Modules at other institutions (intercollegiate) are not part of the approved programme structure.

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.

Core Modules

Students take the following THREE core modules:-

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Political economy of development 15PDSC002 30 Full Year
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 30 Full Year
Dissertation in Development Studies 15PDSC999 60 Full Year
(1) Option Modules in The Department of Development of Development Studies

Students choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List 1 and 30 credits from List 2 below:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 1
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 15 Term 1
Battlefields of Method: Approaches to International Development Research 15PDSC008 30 Full Year
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 15 Term 2
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 2
Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Extractive Industries, Energy, Biofuels and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 15 Term 1
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 15 Term 2
Fundamentals of research methods for Development Studies 15PDSH017 15 Term 1
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Issues in Forced Migration 15PDSH015 15 Term 2
Marxist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH053 15 Term 2
Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 15 Term 1
Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 15 Term 2
Security 15PDSH020 15 Term 1
The working poor and development 15PDSH030 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Understanding Economic Migration: Theories, Patterns and Policies 15PDSH032 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Water and development:conflict and governance 15PDSH049 15 Term 2
(2) Option Modules in other Departments
African Studies
Module Code Units Term Availability
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 15 Term 2
Afrophone Philosophies (PG) 15PAFH009 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Aspects of African film and video 2 15PAFH007 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa 15PAFH006 15 Term 1
Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo 15PAFC139 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Visual Cultures in South Africa: Past and Present 15PAFC143 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Units Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition 15PANH053 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 15 Term 2
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 15 Term 2
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Issues in Anthropology and Film 15PANH022 15 Term 1
Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 15 Term 1
Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 15 Term 1
Therapy and Culture 15PANH027 15 Term 1
China and Inner Asia
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Culture and Society of Taiwan 15PCHH003 15 Term 1
Understanding Contemporary China 15PCIC002 30 Full Year
Cultural Literary and Postcolonial Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Cultural studies theories and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PCSC001 30 Full Year
Postcolonial Theory and Practice 15PCSC003 30 Full Year
Economics Department
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Economic problems and policies in modern China 15PECC035 30 Full Year
The political economy of development in Africa 15PECH004 15 Term 1
Gender Studies
Module Code Units Term Availability
Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law 15PGNH005 15 Term 2
Gender in the Middle East (MSc RID) 15PGNH004 15 Full Year
Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 15 Term 1
Gender in the Middle East II 15PGNH006 15 Term 2 - Gender in the Middle East (15PGNH001) is a pre-requisite for this course.
Gendering migration & diasporas 15PGNH002 15 Term 1
History
Module Code Units Term Availability
Asian Armies and National Development 15PHIH040 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Asian Wars: World War II and the End of Empire (1942-1960) 15PHIH038 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Colonial Conquest and Social Change in Southern Africa 15PHIH002 15 Term 1
Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia 15PHIH041 15 Term 1
Encountering the Other: the Middle East during the Crusading Period 15PHIH037 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Environmental History of Asia 15PHIH023 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Gender, law and the family in the history of modern South Asia 15PHIH030 15 Term 2
Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa 15PHIH029 15 Term 1
Histories of Ethnicity and Conflict in South East Asia 1 - Making States and Building Nations 15PHIH011 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Histories of Ethnicity and Conflict in South East Asia 2 - Non-National Perspectives 15PHIH012 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Iran and the Persianiate world, 1800 to 1979 15PHIH043 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Social and Cultural Transformations in Southern Africa Since 1945 15PHIH003 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
The Body and the Making of Colonial Difference in British India 15PHIH033 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
The End of Empire in the Middle East & the Balkans 15PHIC004 1.0
The Making of the Contemporary World 15PHIH035 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Warfare and the Military in Modern Africa 15PHIH046 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Warfare and the Military in Precolonial Africa 15PHIH047 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
History of Art and Archaeology
Module Code Units Term Availability
Approaches to Critical Interpretation & Aesthetic Theories 15PARC004 30 Full Year
Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 15 Term 1
Arts and Society in sub-Saharan Africa 15PARH052 15 Term 1
Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800) 15PARH055 15 Term 2
Buddhist and Hindu Art of the Maritime Silk Route 15PARH057 15 Term 1
Contemporary Art and the Global 15PARH085 15 Term 1
Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture 15PARH042 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
(En)gendering Southeast Asia: Aesthetics and Politics of Sexual Difference 15PARH084 15 Term 2
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 15 Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 1
Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Representing Conflict: A Cross-Cultural and Inter Disciplinary Approach 15PARH039 15 Term 2
International Studies and Diplomacy
Module Code Units Term Availability
History and Future of the United Nations 15PFFH006 15 Term 1
International Economics 15PFFC004 30 Full Year
International Relations 1: Foundations of World Politics 15PFFH002 15 Term 1
International Relations 2: Contemporary World Politics 15PFFH003 15 Term 2
Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World - Economic and Legal Perspectives 15PFFC019 30 Full Year
Japan and Korea
Module Code Credits Term Availability
North Korea since 1945: the rise and decline of an East Asian developmental state 15PJKH012 15 Term 2
Law
Module Code Units Term Availability
Colonialism, Empire and International Law 15PLAH025 15 Term 2
Law and Development in Africa 15PLAC160 30 Full Year
Law and Natural Resources 15PLAC126 30 Full Year
Law and Postcolonial Theory 15PLAH050 15 Term 1
Law, Environmental and Sustainable Development in a Global Context 15PLAC118 30 Full Year
Law, Human Rights and Peace Building: The Israeli-Palestinian Case 15PLAC133 30 Full Year
Water Law and Development: Conflicts, Governance and Justice 15PLAC177 30 Full Year
Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Language, Society and Communication (Masters) 15PLIH004 15 Term 1
Media Studies
Module Code Units Term Availability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 30 Full Year
Global Media and Postnational Communication: Theoretical & Contemporary Issues 15PMSC003 30 Full Year
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 15 Term 2
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 1
Studies in Global Media and Post-National Communication 15PMSH007 15 Term 1
Studies in Media, Information Communication Technologies and Development 15PMSH019 15 Term 1
The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use 15PMSH006 15 Term 1
Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Media and Cultural Studies 15PMSC002 30 Full Year
Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Media, Information Communication Technologies and Development 15PMSC004 30 Full Year
Theoretical Issues in Media and Cultural Studies 15PMSH005 15 Term 1
Topics in Global Digital Cultures 15PMSC034 15 Term 2
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 15 Term 2
Music
Module Code Units Term Availability
Analytical Approaches to the Global Creative and Cultural Industries 15PMUH023 15 Term 1
Music in Development 15PMUC034 15 Term 2
Near and Middle East Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature 15PNMC347 30 Full Year
Politics and International Studies
Module Code Units Term Availability
Approaches to Comparative Political Thought 15PPOH028 15 Term 1
China and international politics 15PPOC018 30 Full Year
Comparative International Political Thought 15PPOH021 15 Term 2
Comparative politics of the Middle East 15PPOC026 30 Full Year
Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH023 15 Term 2
Government and politics in Africa 15PPOC205 30 Full Year
Government and politics of modern South Asia 15PPOC003 30 Full Year
Government and politics of modern South East Asia 15PPOC247 30 Full Year
International migration and diaspora politics 15PPOH012 15 Term 1
International Politics of Africa 15PPOC009 30 Full Year
International politics of East Asia 15PPOC251 30 Full Year
Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research 15PPOH035 15 Term 2
Islamic/Democratic Political Thought 15PPOC255 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOC253 30 Full Year
Political Thought on the Just Rebellion 15PPOH030 15 Term 2
Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 15 Term 2
State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH022 15 Term 1
State and society in the Chinese political process 15PPOC012 30 Full Year
Violence, justice and the politics of memory 15PPOH019 15 Term 1
Religions and Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Religions and Development 15PSRH049 15 Term 1
South Asian Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia 15PSAC314 30 Full Year
South East Asian Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
(Post) Colonialism and Otherness in South East Asia on Screen 15PSEH010 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 15 Term 2
The Urban/Rural Divide in South East Asian Literature 15PSEH012 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asia Literatures in Translation (Masters) 15PSEH009 15 Term 1
Non-Assessed Course

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.

 

This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Materials

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.

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.

Lectures

Most modules 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.

Pre Entry Reading

Jason Hickel, The Death of International Development 

S. Chari and S. Corbridge ed. The Development Reader, London: Routledge 2008

Jane Pollard et al eds. Postcolonial Economies. London: Zed Books. 2011.

H. Veltmeyer ed. The Critical Development Studies Handbook. London: Pluto Press, 2011.

N. Vishwanathan et al eds. The Women, Gender and Development Reader, Zed Press, 2011.

http://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/should-we-continue-use-term-developing-world

Amartya Sen on Development

In addition, please familiarise yourself with some key words and names, including: Boserup, colonialism, de-growth, dependency theory, Eurocentrism, Fanon, Foucault, Gramsci, Gandhi, governmentality, neoliberalism, Ostrom, orientalism, PRSPs, Putnam, rational actor, sustainable development goals, Wallerstein, World Bank.

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.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,995 £18,790 £5,498 £9,395 £3,665 £6,263
Scholarships
Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

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

Employment

A postgraduate degree from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS will further develop your understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised, with an emphasis on transferable analytical skill. These skills have been of great benefit to the many graduates who have taken up professional careers in development in international organisations, government agencies and non-government organisations. This, in addition to your detailed subject knowledge, will also equip you with a set of other specific skills, including: critical skills; the ability to research extensively; a high level of cultural awareness; and the ability to solve problems.

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

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
National Health and Medical Research Council
Overseas Development Institute
Oxfam
Public Sector Reform Unit - Government of Sierra Leone
Republic of Mozambique National Parliament
Royal Norwegian Embassy
Save the Children UK
The World Bank
Thinking Beyond Borders
U.S. Department of State
UN World Food Programme
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
WaterAid

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

Chief Economist
Global Communications Director
Director for Climate Change and Environment
Head of Research and Consultancies
Development Director
Regional OVC programme coordinator
Head of Operations
Country Director
Bureau Chief
Desk Officer on Pakistan Affairs
Policy Analyst
Partnership Liaison Officer
Fundraising and Communications Manager
Development Policy Officer
Environmental Economist
Journalist
Human Rights Officer
Country Director - Indonesia
Relationship Banker - Africa Desk
Policy Analyst/Economist

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

A Student's Perspective

SOAS is a unique University that combines both academic excellence and a vibrant, active and innovative student body.

Ingrida Kerusauskaite

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