1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
2-3 evenings a week full-time or 1-2 evenings a week part-time
This interdisciplinary Master's degree aims to provide a critical and theoretical understanding of the issues, processes and institutions central to global poverty, inequality and development.
The programme's core modules introduce you to key debates that have shaped thinking on international poverty and development, and will equip you with knowledge of the conceptual and theoretical bases of development. They aim to improve your skills of evaluation and analysis, enabling you to participate critically in debates on the changing nature of the multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental institutions designed to address development issues, the context in which they operate and the constraints they face.
You will also have the opportunity to choose from a range of thematic option modules, allowing you to tailor the programme according to your personal or career interests.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
- We offer multiple approaches to the study of societies and cultures, human geography, and sustainability, poverty and development, as well as community and citizenship, at local, regional and global levels.
- This programme is ideal if you want to further your knowledge of, or are planning a career in, development agencies, international organisations, NGOs, or related areas.
- Develop transferable skills, including critical analysis of debates and issues in development, team-working, written and oral communication, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
- One of the unique strengths of our Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies is the breadth of research interests of our staff. Subsequently, we offer a very wide range of courses that reflect the disciplinary breadth of development and globalisation, while also allowing you to engage with other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology.
- You will be surrounded by committed fellow students from all cultures, backgrounds and career stages who are eager to share their experience and expertise with their peers.
- Ours is a vibrant research culture, powered by a shared passion for learning and intellectual engagement among our academics and students. We have a strong commitment to social justice, which informs and shapes much of our cutting-edge research.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
- We have strong links with the London International Development Centre, which can enhance your employability.
- We offer excellent student support and have a wide range of world-class research resources.
- Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.
You take two core modules, two option modules and write a dissertation.
Options may vary from year to year. Relevant options may also be taken from other programmes, subject to agreement with the programme director.
Indicative option modules
- 'Race', Ethnicity and Development
- Anthropology, Culture and Development
- Development Management
- Gender and Development
- International Political Economy of Childhood
- Material and Visual Cultures of Development
- Research Applications in Human Geography, Delhi Field Trip Level 7
- South:South Development
- War, Conflict and Development
MSc International Development dissertation
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Good degree (2:1 or above) in social sciences or humanities. Other applicants will also be considered.
Previous experience or study of development issues may be an advantage.
2 references: preferably both academic references, but employer references may be considered.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Fees and finance
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.
On this programme, you will also have to pay for the following additional costs:
The field-trip to Delhi, India is an optional element of this programme and will cost approximately £1130 per person.
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
Lectures, seminars, group work and presentations.
Coursework, including essays, critical surveys of relevant literature and a reflective journal. You also complete a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go on to careers in development agencies and other international organisations, policy research, journalism, or the non-governmental sector. Possible professions include policy researcher or journalist. This degree can also be useful in becoming a market researcher or tourism officer.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
Birkbeck offers a wide range of free careers support and advice for students.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
Early application is strongly advised.
You may be asked to submit a 3000-word entrance essay.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Financial support and postgraduate loans
Birkbeck offers advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay loans by interest-free direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students. Find out about the support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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