SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

MPhil/PhD in International Development (2021 entry)

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

Overview and entry requirements

Study MPhil/PhD in International Development Studies at SOAS to realise your potential to define and solve pressing global forces and transform the world with your research impact.

As a PhD researcher, you’ll join our renowned globally diverse research community with access to research and teaching opportunities, as well as a substantial series of seminars presented by leading development professionals and practitioners.

Students may follow the PhD pathway in International Development by being based at either SOAS, LSHTM or IoE. All PhD students on the International Development pathway will attend an advanced research training seminar run by LIDC.

The series will provide students in the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre's International Development Pathway with a broad understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to development, and a detailed understanding of selected areas of interest.

All MPhil/PhD in International Development research students will participate in the compulsory course work and attend research student seminars in the college and department where they are registered for the MPhil/PhD. At SOAS the Economics and Development Studies departments hold seminar series and students will be expected to involve themselves in the work of the relevant research clusters. 

See Department of Development Studies

Admissions process

There are three admissions routes to the MPhil and PhD in International Development:

Why study MPhil/PhD in International Development at SOAS

  • we're 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 

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Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We normally require a 2.1 bachelor's degree plus a Masters degree with a Merit classification in a Social Science plus one reference. In exceptional cases we may accept applicants who do not meet these criteria if they show evidence of a strong Masters degree and/or appropriate level of relevant work experience. International applicants should also see Doctoral School English language requirements

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duration:
3 years full time or 6 years part-time

Fees 2021/22

UK fees:
£4,486
Overseas fees:
£20,000

Fees for 2021/22 entrants. 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

Objectives of research training 

  • to encourage and enable students to complete an original thesis in the expected time.
  • to provide training and experience in fieldwork and across a variety of schools of thought and in a variety of statistical techniques.
  • to allow flexibility in training to suit students with different backgrounds and subsequent research needs.
  • to make available and to monitor first class research supervision with the involvement of at least two members of staff through individual Research Student Committees.
  • to encourage knowledge of other relevant disciplines and the adoption of an interdisciplinary approach where appropriate.
  • to equip students with the ability to assess one another's work critically, whether in response to written or spoken presentation.
  • to obtain language skills as appropriate.
  • to ensure a congenial and productive environment for the conduct of research through
  • availability of a wide range of facilities and full participation in the intellectual life of the Department and School. Library facilities are outstanding and computing facilities are attuned to student needs.
  • to emphasise the relevance of research to theoretical, empirical and policy issues.
  • to draw upon the Department's particular strengths, especially its expertise in different approaches to economic problems and its experience in problems of development, specific regions, and comparative analysis
  • to involve students in the specialised Centres of the School where appropriate
  • departmental staff have rich experience in supervising research degree students, matched by their success in bringing students' theses to timely completion. Whilst the Department has a strong commitment to students' early completion of their theses, it also considers it has a responsibility to see that all of its research students obtain a broader training than in their narrowly defined topic and that they also gain skills in theoretical, empirical and policy analysis, in the writing and communication of research results, and in evaluating the work of others.
  • research students are expected to form part of the academic community of the Department, participating where appropriate in collaborative research with members of staff, with some opportunities for teaching
  • members of the Department are committed to interdisciplinary research as well as to specialised research. SOAS offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary and regional research, and the scope to learn or improve a language where appropriate
  • whilst each member of staff is an expert in particular fields of economics, and most are experts in specific geographical areas the Department welcomes research students who do not have a regional specialisation.
  • The Departmental Empirical Support Committee (DESC) offers targeted advice to individual students undertaking empirical work

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.

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

Supervision

1. The role of the second and third members of the Supervisory Committee (SC) will be focused on the following two core tasks:

a) Participate in the upgrade process of the student, including the final decision relating to his/her transfer from MPhil to PhD.
b) Participate in other decisions relating to his/her eligibility for enrolment on Extension of  Writing-up (Continuation) Status or, where necessary, termination of registration.

2. In addition to these core roles, the second and third members of the SC may be expected to:

a) Enhance or augment the supervision of the student by contributing additional guidance and expertise, if required/sought by the student and/or the supervisor throughout the time of active research.
b) To act on behalf of the supervisor during unforeseen periods of absence. This role will have to be agreed by consent of all parties (student, supervisor and the two members of the SC) and one of the two members will be designated as cover in absence for the period in question.
 

3. Only rarely is joint supervision allowed, for which a strong case would need to be made. Whilst the primary responsibility for guiding student's research and to review written work and progress rests with the supervisor once upgrade is successfully completed, other members of the supervisory committee must receive student’s thesis drafts at appropriate times, with support also available to students from the Departmental Empirical Support Committee (DESC).


Part-time students

Part-time students are expected to follow the same programme as the full-time students, except that they will take the initial training over two years instead of one. The Research Student Seminar and Departmental Seminars take place in the early evening to allow students in full-time employment to attend. Supervision is available in the evenings where necessary, and research student committees consider the progress of part- time students as regularly as for full-time students.

Computing facilities

Full computing facilities are available to postgraduate students. Computers dedicated for the use of research students in the Economics Department are also available. Software includes word-processing, specialised statistical, econometrics and spreadsheet packages. The Schools' computing staff are on hand to assist with general computing problems.

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 2021/22 entrants per academic year

Research degrees

Full-time  Part-time 
UK Overseas UK Overseas
MPhil/PhD £4,486 £20,000 £2,243 £10,000
Extension of Writing-up Status - 3 Terms £990 £990 £990 £990
Visiting Research Students (charged pro rata for termly attendance) £4,486 £20,000 -  -

Please note that fees go up each year. 

See full details of postgraduate research tuition fees

Scholarships
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentships

ESRC

Application Deadline: 2021-01-11 23:59

Elisabeth Croll Scholarship for fieldwork in China

Application Deadline: 2021-04-30 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-02-15 00:00

JRC Fuwaku Scholarship

JRC Fuwaku Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2021-04-20 00:00

Meiji Jingu Japanese Studies Research Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-20 00:00

SOAS Research Studentships

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

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

SOAS seems to attract students who are both intellectually engaged with the world around them, and committed to making an impact in that world. I wanted to be a part of that magic. For example my cohort group of MPhil/PhD students represent some of the most humble and committed practitioners, activists, and intellectuals I’ve come across in one setting.

Robtel Neajai Pailey

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