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Course content

MSc ICTs for Development will train you to become an information-and-communications-technology-for-development (ICT4D) champion who possesses the necessary technical and contextual skills to lead ICT4D projects such as telecentres, ICT-enabled microenterprise, public service kiosks and e-government initiatives to completion.

This course satisfies the pressing need for ICT4D champions; in recent years there has been - and continues to be - a massive expansion in the number of ICT4D projects in developing and transitional economies, with a skills shortage resulting in a high project failure rate.

By taking this course, you will benefit from The University of Manchester's world-leading Centre for Development Informatics and gain:

  • conceptual frameworks to understand the process of socio-economic development and the role of information and of ICTs in the development process
  • new knowledge and skills to help in the effective planning, development, implementation and management of ICT4D initiatives .

A range of optional modules provides an opportunity to satisfy specialist ICT4D champion knowledge and skill requirements, while the overseas field visits that we offer will enable you to build up your real-world experience at no additional cost.

Informal enquiries, prior to applications, are welcomed. Please contact our programme director, Prof Richard Heeks (  )

Special features

An overseas field visit is an integral part of the programme. The cost of the visit is included in the programme fee. In addition, participants may undertake research visits to organisations applying information systems in practice in the UK. Fieldcourses may be scheduled at any point during the twelve-month period of the degree programme and this may include during University vacations. Successful applicants are expected to be available to attend.

Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The Global Development Institute (GDI) cannot guarantee that where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted. GDI will ensure that, in the unlikely event this occurs, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

Teaching and learning

  • Part-time Study

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

The taught elements of the programme, carrying 120 credits overall is continuously assessed by a variety of methods (project based reports, essays), involving largely individual submissions, but also elements of group work.

Participants must also complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice approved by the Programme Directors. Students are encouraged to base their dissertations on topics of direct professional concern to themselves.

Facilities

The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

The programme is designed for those applying, or seeking to apply, information and communication technologies in pursuit of socio-economic development goals. It will include those who have, or plan to have:

  • direct design and implementation responsibilities and/or
  • project managerial responsibilities and/or
  • broader strategic or policy-related responsibilities.

Typical participants include:

  • Early-career professionals who have found themselves involved with ICT4D projects and want a period to reflect, learn and broaden their impact and career horizons.
  • Technical staff involved with ICT4D projects who wish to add systems, managerial and development skills to their portfolio.
  • Computing graduates who wish to make ethical use of their skills but lack the necessary understanding of systems and development.

The programme is relevant to those with career trajectories in the NGO and public sectors, and in the private sector given the private sector's increasing involvement with ICT4D projects. It is particularly intended for those who will be working in or with transitional and developing economies.


Visit the ICTs for Development (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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