International Development (MSc)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Two to three evenings a week full-time or one to two evenings a week part-time

This interdisciplinary Master's degree examines the issues, processes and institutions central to global poverty, inequality and development. It is ideal if you want to further your knowledge of, or are planning a career in, development agencies, international organisations, NGOs, or related areas.

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 will 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.

In addition, you will develop transferable skills including team-working, written and oral communication, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis.

Highlights

  • The Department of Geography offers 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.
  • One of the unique strengths of our Department 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.

Course structure

The programme comprises two core modules, two option modules and 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.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    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.

    Two 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.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £4075 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £8175 pa
    Part-time international students: £7425 pa
    Full-time international students: £14850 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Additional costs

    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 £1300 per person.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Lectures, seminars, group work and presentations.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Coursework, including essays, critical surveys of relevant literature and a reflective journal. You also complete a dissertation of 12-15,000 words.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability

    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 these professions.

    Birkbeck offers a wide range of free careers support and advice for students.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    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.