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Masters Degrees (Research And Development)

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Sustainable development, or development that balances economic, social, and environmental aspects, is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be powerful tools in helping to achieve this. Read more
Sustainable development, or development that balances economic, social, and environmental aspects, is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be powerful tools in helping to achieve this.

The ICT for Development (ICT4D) specialism is a strand within the established and highly successful MSc Practising Sustainable Development. It is offered jointly by the Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) Group and the UNESCO Chair/Centre in ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London.

This ICT4D Masters strand takes a global perspective on sustainable development and the role of ICTs; placed at the interface of research and practice, it is designed for those who want to launch or further their careers as development practitioners or scholars. It combines cutting-edge teaching on ICT4D with rigorous training in the broader field of sustainable development, to provide a well-rounded perspective on current and future development challenges. This degree extends knowledge, develops key skills and optimises career prospects.

The course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Master’s degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/coursefinder/mscpgdippsdict4d.aspx

Why choose this course?

- This is an intellectually exciting and inspiring course, drawing on both physical and social sciences, which attracts a diverse, international group of students.

- Our teaching staff are leading international experts and have wide experience in different developing regions and economies in transition, including Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, East Asia and South-East Asia.

- You will benefit from small group learning and an intense but friendly atmosphere, and will receive individual mentoring and career advice from our staff (both from your personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor).

- You will receive an internationally renowned University of London degree, giving you a solid foundation for a career in the field of development and/or environment.

- The course will provide you with training in the skills needed to research and assess ICT for development. These include research design, project development, geographic information systems, remote sensing, participatory methods, project analysis and evaluation.

Department research and industry highlights

The UNESCO Chair/Centre in ICT4D at Royal Holloway is an interdisciplinary centre involving staff in Geography, Management, Computer Science and Earth Sciences. One of the world leaders in its field, with 17 affiliated staff and 18 PhD students, it is a vibrant research community embedded in both the College and the international ICT4D Collective of ICT4D practitioners. It has excellent links with NGOs, businesses and international organisations. Friendly and diverse, it is an exciting place to study and network with other ICT4D experts.

The Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) group consists of over 20 research-active staff, 35 PhD students and 50 Master’s students on four MSc programmes. We are committed to conducting collaborative research which seeks to understand and contribute to addressing problems of social inequality, environmental destruction and injustice. The breadth of its members’ research places it in an ideal position to contribute to theoretical and policy debates on key challenges facing Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean today.

Course content and structure

The course is divided into three compulsory elements; theory, policy and practice; research training; and a dissertation. Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.

Core course units:
Sustainability, Development and Governance
This course will equip students with a detailed understanding of the development of sustainable development as a discourse. Students will explore key sustainability issues such as climate change, globalisation, and human responses with an emphasis on the emergence of environmental governance as a means to pursue sustainability.

Technology and Development
This course provides you with an introduction to the role of technology in development, focusing particularly on mobile phone and computer technologies. The course combines an understanding of key theoretical debates and how technologies have been applied in diverse sectors such as health and education. The course also includes training in the use of GIS (geographical information systems) within a development context.

ICT4D
This course gives you the opportunity to develop deeper understandings of cutting-edge applications of ICT4D research and practice. Topics covered include environmental change and Green ICT, open development and subversive forms of technology use, and logics of inclusion and exclusion in ICT programmes. You will also examine project planning, monitoring and evaluation in the field of ICT4D.

Participatory Research
This course combines detailed understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of participatory research and methods with practical experience of using different participatory research techniques. These include participatory diagramming, participatory video and participatory environmental monitoring.

Research Training
You will be provided with training in a range of methods to enable you to plan, carry out and complete a piece of research. There are three modules in this element:
- Social Research Methods Training - provides a range of social science methods for field research and analysis.
- Quantitative Methods for Graduates - provides basic statistical concepts and procedures used in empirical research.
- Development and Environment Research Training - provides guidance for planning, developing and undertaking research in a development and environment context.

Dissertation (MSc only)
The dissertation is of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, on a topic of your choice which has been approved by the supervisor. It requires both secondary and primary research, and the demonstration of originality in integrating theoretical and practical research methods in tackling a particular problem. You will be encouraged to carry out your dissertation in collaboration with an organisation in the field of development and environment.

Community Volunteer Project
You will undertake an independent volunteer project which will give you practical experience in gaining sustainability related work experience in a non-for profit organisation. The project will enhance your employability whilst and provide an opportunity to gain practical experience of third sector organisational objectives, cultures and practices.

Elective course units:
Sustainability, Development and Society
You will develop a detailed understanding of key social / environmental relationships incorporating contemporary issues in the geographies of sustainability. These will include 'risk society', sustainable cities, and the impacts of corporate sector activities on the environment. You will also understand the challenges to sustainable development at household and community levels, with a focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development.

Business Ethics and Enterprise
The aim of the course is to equip students with the moral frameworks and critical abilities necessary to understand the role of business in society from an ethical perspective. The course will cover different types of business including large publicly traded multinationals, small and medium sized enterprises, social enterprises and family firms. Students will be expected to understand the different issues in these organizational types and to articulate moral arguments from a range of different perspectives.

International Sustainability Management
This course provides participants with an understanding of how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) informs sustainability management issues in large, transnational organisations. It will focus on issues such as consumption and sustainability as dichotomised between the apparently incompatible tensions of economic and environmental interests.

Other courses Geopolitics and Security / PIR / Management / Computer Science

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- an understanding at an advanced level of the relationships between, and complexities of, social, economic, political and environmental aspects of sustainable development and ICT4D

- an understanding at an advanced level of how the key issues in sustainable development theory and ICT4D influence policy and impact on practice

- the ability to critically analyse complex or contradictory areas of knowledge in aspects of sustainable development.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Past students of the MSc Practising Sustainable Development are now employed by international development and/or environment agencies, national government in their countries, national programmes and implementing agencies, higher education institutions, consultancies, private sector businesses, social enterprises and NGOs; as environmental and development policy-makers, managers, workers, activists, teachers and researchers. Many of our alumni are also currently undertaking doctoral programmes in the UK and abroad.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Quality management in scientific R&D has become an essential tool in ensuring that modern developments are implemented within a rigorous and robust quality framework. Read more
Quality management in scientific R&D has become an essential tool in ensuring that modern developments are implemented within a rigorous and robust quality framework.
Developed in collaboration with the Research Quality Association ( RQA ), this unique MSc has been devised to meet increasing demand by the healthcare industry for senior quality management professionals.
Available on a part-time basis only, this qualification is designed to be flexible in order to fit around your current job and responsibilities. For even greater flexibility the course is also available at Diploma and Certificate level. For professionals with a specific interest, some individual modules may be attended as standalone short courses, without the need to register for the full qualification.

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The Doctorate is a rigorous research-based qualification that is focused upon professional practice and is the key professional qualification for teachers, managers and researchers. Read more
The Doctorate is a rigorous research-based qualification that is focused upon professional practice and is the key professional qualification for teachers, managers and researchers. Students study for the EdD on a part-time basis while working in their respective areas of education.

You will have the opportunity to conduct an independent project which is supported by a modular structure covering research methodology. The thesis subject you choose usually arises from your working practice or the wider context of your work and is academically grounded in research and theory.

How You Study

This programme is studied on a part-time basis and teaching is delivered via study schools. Weekend schools (Friday to Sunday) are held in February and October, and a week long study school is held in July. Supervision is by individual arrangement, face-to face and email. Research study schools are designed to provide core underpinnings to the programme.

Students complete five units, each of which are assessed.

1. Introducing Educational Research & Development

2. Initiating Research: Exploring the knowledge base

3. Developing Research: Paradigms and Perspectives

4. Undertaking Research: Qualitative and Quantitative paradigms

5: Thesis proposal and defence.

Thesis (40,000 – 50,000 words)

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the individual module options chosen and the stage of study. Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend at least two - three hours in independent study. For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

How You Are Assessed

The ability to research, evaluate, and use published research that is relevant to personal and professional practice, are features of individually negotiated assessments and modes of study. This is encouraged by interactive discussion, presentations in various formats, seminars from original sources and input from visiting speakers.

Assessment is by individual assignments and a thesis. Following completion of the assignments, students prepare a research proposal (called a Defence) that is assessed internally before students proceed to the thesis proper. Assessment of the thesis is by written and oral examination (viva voce).

Career and Personal Development

This programme is designed to offer a structured route for personal and professional enhancement and may be used to advance an existing career in education. Students have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to be innovative thinkers and practitioners in the education sector.

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This MPhil/PhD is a research qualification aimed at those who are, or aspire to be, senior academic or administrative leaders of primary, secondary or tertiary educational institutions, or university lecturers or researchers. Read more
This MPhil/PhD is a research qualification aimed at those who are, or aspire to be, senior academic or administrative leaders of primary, secondary or tertiary educational institutions, or university lecturers or researchers.

Investigating the way we conceive of, and execute, education may have the potential to influence a whole generations of pupils. At Lincoln, you will have the opportunity to work alongside academics undertaking studies into how education provision can be improved.

As a full-time research student, you can benefit from regular monthly supervisions with your supervisor (bi-monthly for part-time). In addition you will have the opportunity to attend training sessions on research methods and skills provided by the School of Education and the Graduate School.

The programme is designed to enable you to develop the critical-thinking and research skills required for study at postgraduate level. You will have the opportunity to decide on the focus of your research thesis and receive one-to-one support from an experienced supervisor.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Key research areas include:
-Educational leadership and management
-Professional learning and professional development
-Education policy
-Higher education pedagogy and practice.

How You Study

Normally, PhD students register for an MPhil, and after two semesters are expected to transfer to the PhD programme. This transfer requires the production of a detailed research proposal, which the candidate will be expected to defend at a transfer viva. The formal transfer is subject to approval by the University's Research Committees.

All research degree students can decide the focus for their research in negotiation with their supervisors. Individual tutorials are held at mutually agreed times. Supervisions for home students may be undertaken in person, or by e-mail, videoconferencing technology or over the phone. Overseas students studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa must attend monthly supervisions in person.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You may have additional meetings with your academic supervisors, however the regularity of these may vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

How You Are Assessed

PhD students are expected to produce a thesis of 80,000 words, while MPhil students produce a thesis of 40,000 words, supported by an oral defence.

Career and Personal Development

The awards of MPhil and