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Course content


The world is rapidly changing; so is International Development Studies. After 15 years, the MDG-era (Millennium Development Goals) came to an end in 2015. A larger set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were introduced to guide long-term development policies and end global poverty. Development is no longer considered as a problem ‘out there’ in the global south. Our contemporary world faces new global concerns, such as the 'migration crisis', food security, climate change, and energy crises.

We also witness massive changes in the relative power structure in our world system. Africa, Asia and Latin America are experiencing rapid transformations, turning traditional North-South relations upside down. Giants like India and China are strengthening their role in international development cooperation. These ‘new’ donors emphasise that ‘South-South cooperation’ is different from the Western notion of donors helping clients. While development has been traditionally defined by the donor community in the North/West, governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America have come up with their own versions of ‘development’.

Over the past decade, the number of actors active in the development domain has multiplied. In addition to the traditional donors, new ‘players’ have entered the scene, including foundations and diaspora-organisations. Furthermore individual migrants and socially-engaged entrepreneurs are acknowledging their role in societal changes; many are taking responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of production activities and/or consumption.

The multidisciplinary Master's programme in International Development Studies addresses current development challenges and engages with these highly important and urgent issues. In particular, the programme focuses on topics surrounding migration/mobilities, climate change, land governance, urbanisation and corporate social responsibility. You will study in an international environment, with peers and staff from diverse disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. A research-oriented internship abroad is a core component of the programme. International Development Studies takes prides in its large, expanding, and active alumni and friends network.


The central objective of the Master's in International Development Studies programme is to equip you with conceptual and empirical knowledge as well as research skills necessary to understand and analyse contemporary issues pertaining to international development in broad geographical contexts (local, regional, and international levels).

Upon completion of the programme you will have acquired theoretical, methodological and practical competency. These skills will be useful for your career in further academic research, development policy and practice sector, as well as other work fields. You will gain an understanding of world affairs and international experiences as well as analytical, communication and project implementation skills.

Visit the International Development Studies - MSc page on the Utrecht University website for more details!





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