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Course content

This programme examines political, economic, and socio-cultural transformations in the Global South and interrogates the dynamics, challenges and opportunities confronting its societies.

You’ll learn about the experiences and viewpoints of people and nations of the Global South regarding development issues, as well as the inter-relationships between global, national and local actors in contested strategies for development.

You’ll also review strategies, programmes and policies in development, including organisations and donors promoting development, and assess the progress made by different development actors towards key international development goals.

You’ll explore debates and controversies at the centre of contemporary development challenges and analyse both the theories and realities of development, to understand the different approaches, practices and discourses involved.

Optional modules will also allow you to specialise in aspects of development that suit your interests.

Research insight

MA Global Development has a close working relationship with the Global Development and Justice research group that aims to examine central debates within the field of global development from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The Global Development and Justice research group is also actively involved in the Centre for Global Development, a university-wide network that promotes cross-disciplinary approaches to the field, and the Leeds Centre for African Studies.

Course content

Core modules examine key issues surrounding global development, such as markets, inequality, democratisation, gender, health, education, human rights, conflict, violence and crime. You’ll also learn about various aspects of development practice, like the theoretical and analytical principles of Project Cycle Management. Additionally, you’ll hone your research and writing skills and then showcase them in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice.

These modules will equip you to analyse, understand and discuss the major changes, problems and opportunities facing societies and people in the Global South. You’ll study some of the broader social, political, and economic causes of the problems, and the achievements and setbacks that people have experienced in their efforts to tackle them at the global, national and local levels and improve their societies and lives. You’ll learn to analyse, understand, and discuss development in the Global South in the 2010s in all its dynamism, complexity and significance.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you, including natural resources struggles, global health, gender and globalisation, education, international political economy or issues related to Africa and China.

If you are a part-time student, you can choose how to spread your studies across two years. However, we recommend that you at least take your compulsory modules in your first year, and you have to take the compulsory dissertation module in your second year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Global Inequalities and Development 30 credits
  • Development Management Techniques 15 credits
  • Research Methodology for Development 15 credits
  • POLIS MA Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • The Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity 30 credits
  • Africa in the Contemporary World 30 credits
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • Education in Development 30 credits
  • Gender, Globalisation and Development 30 credits
  • Political Economy of Resources and Development 30 credits
  • The Rise of China 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • International Political Economy 30 credits
  • Global Justice 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Global Development MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Global Development MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Modules are conducted through a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops. Tutors also provide you with individual advice on written work and you should begin to develop expertise in improving your work through face to face discussion with your tutors, formative assessment and through detailed feedback. You’ll be expected to carry out a good deal of independent, detailed and considered study.

All part-time students attend exactly the same classes as full-time students which usually take place between 9am and 5pm; there are no evening classes.

Assessment

Each module is assessed separately, through assessments that range from long essays to projects and assignments, offering you the opportunity to work in your particular field of interest within each topic area. You will also carry out a dissertation into a research area of your choice.

Career opportunities

This programme is aimed at students who would like to pursue either a professional career or further research in international development and related fields, and generally have a desire to put their education into practice in the Global South.

You’ll gain a wide range of professional skills on top of your subject knowledge. You’ll have an understanding of project design and management in a development context, as well as being able to analyse quantitative and qualitative data. You’ll be able to construct clear arguments, critically assess different options for action, analyse policy documents, write research reports and give presentations. You’ll also be trained to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.

Our programme equips you for various career paths. Compatible careers include working in international development agencies, international organisations, governments, politics, NGOs, research organisations, policy making, companies, media, and academia.

Graduates have gone on to work in, for instance, non-governmental organisations in the UK or overseas, research and consultancy firms, international organisations (such as the UN), the Civil Service, the media, or have continued with further study (e.g. PhD research).

We encourage you to seek practical work experience in the international development field, and advise you on how to go about it. Careers support.


Visit the Global Development MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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