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Course content

This programme provides non-economics graduates with an excellent understanding in policy analysis for economic growth and development and for combating poverty. You will develop significant quantitative skills and economic knowledge to address contemporary issues in development, equipping you for an internationally oriented career which focuses on developing countries.

Why this programme

  • This Masters in Development Studies will provide you with a good udnerstanding of:
  • the main social and developmental problems facing less developed countries
  • possible policy responses to developmental issues, with an emphasis on human capital, environment, international trade and market liberalisation
  • how the economies of transition evolve from less developed to developed status
  • how analytical frameworks can be used to evaluate strategies of growth and development
  • the role of finance in growth and development.
  • This programme provides you with the empirical tools, data, and software training that will enable you to investigate economic development and help prepare for your dissertation.
  • In addition to being presented with a large choice of optional courses, you will have the opportunity to enhance your learning by taking courses in other subject areas such as Economic & Social History and Central & East European studies.
  • You will be taught by experts in the field, many of whom have worked with international and government organisations including the IMF, World Bank, UN, the Asian Development Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat and central banks.
  • You will have access to all of the conferences and seminars hosted by the Glasgow Centre for International Development. This means you will be exposed to interdisciplinary research and approaches to development in the field of medicine, veterinary medicine, environmental management sustainability or education. 

Programme structure

You will take two core and four optional courses and complete a substantial independent piece of work, normally in the form of a dissertation.

Core courses

  • Development policy
  • Growth and development.

Optional courses may include

  • Aid and development
  • Basic econometrics 
  • Behavioural economics: theory and applications
  • Challenges in international policies
  • Economics of inequality and deprivation 
  • Environmental economics 
  • Financial institutions and markets in developing countries 
  • Foreign direct investment and development
  • Human rights and global politics
  • IMF World Bank and economic growth
  • International security and global politics
  • International trade 
  • Policies for sustainability and development 
  • Project planning, appraisal and implementation 
  • The law and economics of sovereign debt regulation
  • Theory and principles of sustainability.

If you have little or no economics you are strongly recommended to take the non-credit introductory course to economics offered before semester one begins.

Career prospects

Graduates of this programme have gone on to work for organisations such as the Ministry of Environment, NHS, Malaysian Fuel and Gas Training Academy and Wateraid. Roles have included urban development consultant, principal economist and senior officer for energy and mining. We have a dedicated careers and employability team who provide 1-2-1 support and advice, group workshops, employer events on campus and networking opportunities throughout the year to help you with your career prospects.


Visit the Development Studies - MSc page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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