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Course Content

Course content

Develop the skills and understanding to tackle the global challenges of poverty, inequality, conflict, sustainability and social justice.

Whether you are a graduate aiming to make a difference in the world, or a professional wishing to deepen your knowledge and critical thinking, our suite of International Development MSc courses is for you.

Engaged with current debates in policy and practice and grounded in interdisciplinary social sciences, you will develop the tools and confidence to work towards creative solutions that address practical problems in strategic ways.

Four distinct pathways provide a choice of flexibility and breadth, or the chance to pursue a particular interest in greater depth.

Innovative learning approaches promote in-depth investigation of particular cases and issues. These will draw out connections and contradictions between different actors and analytical perspectives, across global, regional, national and local scales.

The opportunity of a placement, leading to a work-based project, will provide hands-on experience to complement classroom-based learning.

You will leave the course with:

  • a critical understanding of the concepts and approaches used in international development and humanitarian action, and their strengths and limitations
  • practical skills in research, analysis and communication and an understanding of how these can be applied in work for social, economic and environmental justice in both global North and global South
  • the ability to analyse the complex interaction of social, economic, political and environmental factors in shaping problems and proposed solutions
  • rich experience of working with people from a wide range of disciplinary, professional and national backgrounds

Course pathways

MSc International Development with Conflict and Humanitarian Action

The MSc International Development with Conflict and Humanitarian Action pathway enables you to gain an in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of the theories and concepts that underpin contemporary humanitarian action and conflict response. You will also form a critical understanding of humanitarian, peacebuilding and development policy and practice. You will learn how to interpret and evaluate research information and evidence on topics related to humanitarianism, conflict and development.

MSc International Development with Economics

The MSc International Development with Economics pathway covers the key economic concepts, theories and tools required to understand development issues, policies and practices, including those of heterodox and social economics. You will learn how to apply them to analyse specific development problems, such as through appropriate combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods.

MSc International Development, Social justice and Sustainability

The MSc International Development, Social justice and Sustainability pathway enables you to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of theories and concepts of social and environmental justice, wellbeing and sustainability. You will develop in-depth knowledge of people’s practical struggles globally and locally for a better life, and the forms of policy and politics that can support or frustrate these. You will also explore how integrated perspectives can capture the complex interactions between social and ecological systems. Additionally, you will consider areas of complementarity and the trade-off between economic development, human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

Learning and teaching

You will join the Department of Social & Policy Studies here at Bath. We are ranked in the top 50 for Development Studies in the QS World University Rankings 2017.

Our staff are all active in this field, research-led, and united in their commitment to finding better solutions to the world’s development problems.

Graduate prospects

This course provides an excellent background for those wishing to pursue an international development career and improve people’s lives.

You will be qualified to work in a wide variety of roles, including social research, public policy, public information and campaigning.

Many of our graduates from similar courses have found jobs with high profile organisations, including:

  • Economic Development Team Leader for the UK Department for International Development Palestinian programme in Jerusalem
  • Outreach Channel Director at Marie Stopes International
  • Humanitarian Policy Manager at Plan International
  • Microfinance Partnerships Manager at One Acre Fund
  • Regional Projects Manager at International Alert
  • Private Sector Development Adviser at the UK Department for International Development
  • Power Sector Policy Adviser at the UK Department for International Development
  • Chair of the South West International Development Network and Executive Director of the Development Studies Association

Other graduates have chosen to work for themselves and set up their own charities, while others have stayed in academia, to complete doctoral studies.

Course structure

This course lasts 1 year. Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

The total number of credits for the taught-stage is 60 credits, with most units being 12 Credits. A typical week would approximately average between 6-10 hours of classes or seminars a week depending on options taken. The dissertation or practicum are 30 credits.

Units

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Semester 1

  • Doing research for international development
  • History and theory of international development
  • Plus one optional unit

Semester 2

  • Doing research for international development
  • Management of international development
  • Plus one optional unit

Summer

  • Either Dissertation or Practicum

Optional course units

These optional units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Semester 1

  • Economics for development
  • Social and environmental justice
  • Conflict, development and peacebuilding

Semester 2

  • Global political economy
  • Sustainability and wellbeing
  • Humanitarianism
  • International development policy analysis and evaluation
  • Education and international development

Placement

As an alternative to writing a dissertation, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a six-week placement (practicum), working with an organisation involved in international development. You'll write a report reflecting on a particular area of professional practice.


Visit the International Development (MSc) page on the University of Bath website for more details!

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