The MA in International Development is a unique interdisciplinary programme taught by academics, practitioners and policymakers to understand the multifaceted political, economic and legal processes that shape development. It is suitable for students seeking to understand the field of international development as well as for practitioners who already have substantive experience. It provides conceptual tools and practical skills for a variety of careers in international affairs.
The programme seeks to contribute to a critical understanding of contemporary issues in development and provides practical tools for a future engagement. It considers theoretical, practical and ethical issues by interrogating development discourses, objectives and effects, and by seeking to understand forms of inclusion/exclusion and intervention in societies. Issues covered include economic development, poverty eradication, legal empowerment, public-private partnerships, social entrepreneurship, trade and privatisation, informal economies and finance, and technological initiatives.
The programme is offered jointly by the School of Politics and International Relations, Kent Law School and the School of Economics, to provide you with an interdisciplinary approach to development and to allow you to specialise in your field of interest, such as development economics, development and migration, development and conflict, or human rights. You may choose between an economic stream and a politico-legal stream, complemented by a wealth of elective modules from various departments.
About the Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS)
The Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) is a multidisciplinary postgraduate School of the University of Kent. We bring together the disciplines of politics, international relations, law and economics to provide in-depth analysis of international problems such as conflict, security, development, migration, the political economy and the legal basis of a changing world order.
We are a truly international School: our students are drawn from over 50 countries. The strong international composition of our staff and student body contributes significantly to the academic and social experience at BSIS (http://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/studying/index.html). Being located in Brussels allows us to expose students to the working of major international organisations, such as the EU and NATO, and to the many international and non-governmental organisations based here. Students also have the opportunity to undertake an internship with one of these organisations.
We are committed to offering flexible study options at the School and enable you to tailor your degree to meet your needs by offering start dates in September and January; full- and part-time study; split-site options, and allowing students to combine two fields of study leading to the award of a degree that reflects both disciplines.
The MA in International Development allows students to choose secondary areas of specialisation from the range of programmes offered at BSIS. Thus, a focused programme of study can be constructed by studying International Development in the context of International Relations; Conflict and Security; Human Rights Law and other subject areas we cover.
This leads to the award of an MA degree in, for example, 'International Development with Human Rights Law'.
Standard and extended versions
The LLM is offered in both a standard version (90 ECTS credits) and an extended version (120 ECTS credits) and in each case students may take the programme with or without a secondary specialisation. Those on the extended version will take more modules to gain extra credit.
The programme aims to:
- provide a postgraduate qualification of value to those intending to pursue a career in the field of international development
- provide a detailed knowledge and a high level of understanding of a range of specialised subject areas
- provide access to a range of disciplinary perspectives on international development, in the framework of an interdisciplinary graduate school with cognate programmes in international relations, conflict analysis, international law, and migration studies
- provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures and policy fields of international development
- provide a degree of specialisation in areas of international development of individual interest from among the range of options that are available and which require you to engage with academic work that is at the frontiers of scholarship
- encourage you to develop a critical awareness of the discourses and practices associated with the field of international development, particularly in contexts which are perceived to be controversial or in a state of evolution
- provide you with a research-active learning environment which gives you a good grounding in the study of the contending approaches and issues in international development, and allows you to place the subject in its proper context within the broader field of international studies
- encourage you to develop critical, analytical, communicative and problem-solving skills which can be applied to a wide range of contexts (transferable skills).
- develop skills in the written presentation of arguments in a manner which meets relevant academic conventions
- contribute to widening participation in higher education by taking account of past experience of applicants in determining admissions whilst ensuring that all students that are admitted possess the potential to complete the programme successfully
- develop your general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills), in particular through a substantial dissertation.
The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability, Placements and Internships Officer who works with students to develop work-based placements in a range of organisations. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.
Many students at our Brussels centre who undertake internships are offered contracts in Brussels immediately after graduation. Others have joined their home country’s diplomatic service, entered international organisations, or have chosen to undertake a ‘stage’ at the European Commission, or another EU institution. Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.
A postgraduate degree in the area of economics is a particularly valuable and flexible qualification that can open the door to exciting careers in many professions. Our graduates have gone on to work as economists in international organisations, the financial sector, business, UK and overseas governments, and to further postgraduate training and academic careers at Kent, UK and overseas universities. Recent MSc graduates have gone on to work for companies in the UK such as BNP Paribas, AXA, FactSet and PwC.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 94% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2013 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.