SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

MSc Environment, Politics and Development (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

MSc Environment, Politics and Development programme takes a critical political ecology frame and examines environmental policy and its intersections with development from a social justice angle. It is taught and convened by leading political ecologists and offers a critical analysis of key issues including water, forestry, climate, fisheries, agricultural production, biodiversity, conflicts and energy supply.

The masters asks important questions including:

  • How does the environment intersect with global  poverty, wealth and questions of inequality?
  • Can Carbon trading offer a solution to managing climate change?
  • How does access to water intersect with dynamics of wealth and poverty?
  • Is wildlife conservation implicated in social injustices?
  • What role can and do environmental movements play in development?
  • Is there a link between environmental change and violent conflict?
  • What is the political ecology of forests?

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.

See Department of Development Studies

Part-Time

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 Environment, Politics and Development at SOAS

  • we are ranked number 5 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 

Explore

Programme Code: PGTF0039/PGTP0059/PGTP0060

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

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, environment-development issues. A good first degree in a social science is preferred.

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MSc Environment Politics and Development

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.
  • Subjects Preferred: Social Science

Featured events

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 2020/21

UK fees:
£13,360
Overseas fees:
£22,840

Fees for 2021/22 entrants. This is a Band 5 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

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.  This programme allows you to select one of the Department's online modules as part of your degree. Further details on the available modules can be found here.
Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Development Studies 15PDSC999 60 Full Year
Core Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Political Ecology of Development 15PDSC009 30 Full Year

 

Plus choose one of the below core modules:

Module Code Credits Term
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 30 Full Year
Political Economy of Development 15PDSC002 30 Full Year
Political economy of violence, conflict and development 15PDSC003 30 Full Year
Law and Natural Resources 15PLAC126 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules
  • Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from the Development Studies modules list below

Optional Modules

Choose module(s) to the total value of 30 credits from:

  • module(s) from the Development Studies list below to the value of 30 credits
  • open option modules to the value of 30 credits from another department
  • module from the Development Studies list below to the value of 15 credits
  • open option modules to the value of 15 credits from another department

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
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 2
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 15 Term 2
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 15 Term 1
Cities and Development 15PDSH072 15 Term 2
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1
Contemporary India: development challenges and perspectives 15PAIC003 15 Term 1
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 1
Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 15 Term 2
Energy Transition, Nature, and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 15 Term 2
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 15 Term 2
Feminist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH073 15 Term 2
Fundamentals of research methods for Development Studies 15PDSH017 15 Term 1
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Global Approaches to Peace 15PDSH074 15 Term 2
Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 15 Term 1
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 15 Term 1
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
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 15 Term 2
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
Labour, Activism and Global Development 15PDSH032 15 Term 2
Water and Development: Commodification, Ecology and Globalisation (Development Studies) 15PDSH049 15 Term 2
Water Justice: Rights, Access and Movements (Development Studies) 15PDSH041 15 Term 1

 

Programme Specification

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.

Dissertation 

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 1.5 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Pre Entry Reading

  • Newsham, Andrew and Shonil Bhagwat (2016), Conservation and Development. Abingdon: Routledge, 412pp. https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415687812
  • Robbins, P. (2012) Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, second edition)
  • Death, C. (ed) (2014) Critical Environmental Politics (Routledge)
  • Bryant, R. (2015) The International Handbook of Political Ecology (Edward Elgar)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2021/22 entrants, per academic year (Band 5 tuition fee)

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
£13,360 £22,840 £6,680 £11,420 £4,450 £7,610

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 Registry's postgraduate tuition fees page.

Scholarships
Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-09 00:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2021-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-02-15 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-30 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2021-03-08 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2021-06-04 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
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Overseas Development Institute
  • Oxfam
  • 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

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A Student's Perspective

The Department of Development Studies has a high calibre of lecturers and tutors with a wide range of backgrounds. My teachers have been really inspiring, and are always open to questions and feedback.

Jessica Blomfield

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