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M.A. Development Studies

Course Description

About the programme

The M.A. Development Studies enables students to develop the advanced knowledge, analytical skills, and conceptual frameworks required to understand and navigate the complexities of economic and social development.
Students enrolled in the programme gain insights into the economic, social, ethical, and cultural contexts and constraints of development. The programme provides outstanding opportunities to put theory into practice through international field research, with a strong focus on integrating quantitative and qualitative methods.
The programme addresses the worldwide need for experts in the expanding field of development research as well as for project managers in international development cooperation.

Who should study this degree programme?

This programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in social science and mid-career professionals in any development-related field. Qualified students from developing and emerging countries are particularly welcome.


– Programme entirely taught in English
– Strong focus on quantitative and qualitative methods
– Field research opportunities
– Unique selection of language courses

Programme syllabus

1st semester (30 ECTS credits):
– Methods and theories of Development Studies
– Interdisciplinary seminar
– Qualitative and quantitative research methods

2nd and 3rd semesters (65 ECTS credits):
– Qualitative and quantitative research methods
– Research seminar
– Elective modules (e.g. sociology, economics, sustain-ability of resources, political science, Southeast Asian studies)
– Languages and additional study skills courses

4th semester (25 ECTS credits):
– Field research
– Master’s thesis
– A research colloquium with internationally renowned guest speakers is offered each semester


If desired, you may choose to specialise in Development Economics or Southeast Asian Studies

Visit the M.A. Development Studies page on the University of Passau website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first degree in social sciences, economics or business studies with at least 60 ECTS credits from one or several of the following disciplines: anthropology, demography, empirical social and human geography, sociology, administrative science, economics, business studies/administration, or a related subject. Out of these 60 ECTS credits, 10 ECTS credits (or a minimum of 300 hours of coursework) must come from methods of empirical research, e.g. data collection and survey design, rigorous qualitative or quantitative data analysis, mathematics or statistics applied to social science. A general course in research methods is not sufficient. Language requirements: English B2 and German A1.

Course Fees

72 euros per semester (student services contribution and bus pass fee)

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Recipient: University of Passau

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