Department of Development Studies

BA Global Development and...

Key information

Combined Honours - 3 years or 4 years when combined with a Language
Start of programme
Attendance mode
Russell Square, College Buildings

Home student fees: £9,250
Overseas student fees: £21,990

Please note that fees go up each year. 
See undergraduate fees for further details.

Entry requirements


(For joint degrees, the offer is based on the subject with the higher entry requirements)

Contextual: AAB-ABB 

See undergraduate entry requirements and English language requirements for international and alternative entry requirements.

Course overview

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

This stimulating 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.

Additionally, the nature of the Combined Honours degree enables you to develop a specialist pathway for yourself by studying a second subject.

Why study Global Development Combined Honours at SOAS?

  • SOAS is ranked 2nd in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings 2023). 
  • We are ranked 6th in the UK for employability (QS World University Rankings 2023).

Degree combinations

May be combined with

+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) 1-year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with option of 1-year abroad


Key information set data


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.

Important notice

The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes. However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. 

Year 1

Core modules

Compulsory modules

Students also take 60 credits from second subject

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Module Credits
Development from Below 30

Students also take 60 credits from second subject.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Module Credits
Making Change Happen 30

Open options

Students take open options to value of 15 credits at Level 6.

Students also take 60 credits from second subject.

Teaching and 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 20 or 10 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are core, compulsory, guided options, and open options. As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study.

Also included are class time, which may include lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes. In the Department of Development Studies, most undergraduate modules have 2-3 hours of teaching per week. The organization of study time and teaching varies by module. Common teaching formats include 1 hour or 2 hour lectures, 1 hour small group classes and 2 hour seminars. More information can be found on individual module pages.

Year abroad

If Global Development is combined with a Language in a four-year degree programme, students spend a study year abroad in their third year.

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.


Title Deadline date
The Rahim Lalji ‘14 Development Studies Bursary

Fees and funding

Fees for 2023/24 entrants per academic year

Programme Full-time
Home students Overseas students



BA/BSc Language year abroad £1,385 £10,580

Please note that fees go up each year.

For full details see undergraduate fees.


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 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

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