Applicants apply for the MSc Development Studies programme but can decide to follow the Contemporary India Pathway upon arrival by choosing the combination of modules required for this pathway (see Structure tab).
We welcome applications from those who have worked in a broad field of development, but also from students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in, and understanding of, development issues in Contemporary India.
Students taking the Contemporary India Pathway will develop a specialist understanding of Development Studies in the context of Contemporary India. Development issues in Contemporary India are a major focus of NGO and international organisations that work in the India. SOAS' recognised strengths in this area, including the establishment of the SOAS South Asia Institute, makes this a unique and exciting opportunity for those interested in Contemporary India.
One calendar year (full-time) Two (part-time, daytime only) We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.
Applicants apply for, and will be formally enrolled on, the MSc Development Studies programme. Students wishing to follow the Contemporary India Pathway will take two core modules in Development Studies (Political Economy of Development and Theory, Policy and Practice of Development), one module specific to Contemporary India and a dissertation (which must be written on a Contemporary India-related topic). The dissertation will include the option of undertaking a 2-4 week internship during the summer months, either arranged by the student to be approved by the Convenor or, through the Careers Office who have a database of organisations offering internship positions in India.
If the following combination of modules has been successfully completed, students may request that the following specialism appears on their final degree transcript: 'MSc Development Studies with special reference to Contemporary India'.
- Non-Assessed Courses
All MSc students in Development Studies are eligible to attend the one-term , non-assessed module, Economics for Beginners,which introduces students to basic concepts in microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics, and statistics and econometrics.
- SOAS Library SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.
Teaching & Learning
Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.
The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.
Most modules involve a two hour lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.
At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.
A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.
A postgraduate degree from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS will further develop your understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised, with an emphasis on transferable analytical skill. These skills have been of great benefit to the many graduates who have taken up professional careers in development in international organisations, government agencies and non-government organisations. This, in addition to your detailed subject knowledge, will also equip you with a set of other specific skills, including: critical skills; the ability to research extensively; a high level of cultural awareness; and the ability to solve problems.