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Course content

Development Studies is a dynamic field concerned with processes of change in the South - social and economic, political and cultural - and the major policy challenges they present to efforts to overcome poverty and insecurity. At SOAS, we seek not only to understand the major drivers of development, but also to critically evaluate them with a view towards informing more just and equitable approaches.

Course detail

This programme will provide you with a solid interdisciplinary social science formation in development theory and practice and will develop your capacity for independent and critical analysis. The emphasis on transferable analytical skills has been of great benefit to the many graduates who have returned to, or taken up, professional careers in development in international organisations, government agencies and NGOs.

You will also have access to a wealth of study resources including the SOAS Library, one of the world's most important academic libraries, attracting scholars from across the globe.

A global perspective

Studying at SOAS University of London enhances your learning experience by giving you a global perspective on issues such as: neoliberalism and its critiques, industrialisation, labour and capital, state failure, poverty and insecurity, gender and class analysis, and commodity chains and trade.

You will join a worldwide network of people who are passionate about thinking about and working towards development and equality for all.

Expert at where the world is changing

Many of our staff come from development practitioner backgrounds and this informs what we teach. We are all engaged in field research, which routinely sends us to places where development policies and approaches touch people’s lives in direct ways, and we draw on this experience in the classroom.

We regularly engage in a wide range of research with international development institutions, including United Nations agencies and NGOs, on crucial topics such as labour, violence, neoliberalism, peace and development, migration, development policy, aid and poverty reduction.

Format and assessment

The MSc Development Studies has four components: two compulsory modules (Political Economy of Development and Theory, and Policy and Practice of Development); one full-module option or two half-module options; and a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Please see Postgraduate Modules for details on core and optional modules taught within the Department. For a full list of modules offered, please see the Postgraduate Handbook, available on the Development Studies homepage (http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/).

Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.


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.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Postgraduate Open Evenings

You’ll be able to have one-to-one discussions with academics and current students. You can also attend specialist subject talks and take a tour of our campus.

Book now: http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/openevenings/


Our webinars give you an opportunity to hear and ask questions about the subject you’re interested in studying. We also cover topics such as making an application, Tier 4 Visa entry, fees and funding, scholarships, accommodation options as well as career related information.

Book now: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/webinars/

How to apply

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Visit the MSc Development Studies page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!





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