This programme is designed for those who want to understand global processes and development, and for those who want to work on, or analyse, development related tasks and issues. It is also highly relevant to anyone working, or intending to work, in development advocacy, policy making, and global development policy analysis, in the NGO sector, government agencies, and international development organisations.
We welcome students with a strong background in the social sciences in their first degree, but we also welcome students who have worked in the area of development, or in a related field.
This exciting programme offers a critical examination of the contemporary process of globalisation and how it influences the developing world, both before and after the ongoing global crisis. The MSc Globalisation and Development blends, in equal measure, critical analysis of mainstream thinking, alternative theories and practices, and case studies of political, social and cultural aspects of globalisation and development.
This degree draws its strength from the unrivalled expertise at SOAS in development problems and processes. The programme is of interest for development practitioners, activists, and students with a scholarly interest in how globalisation influences the developing world, and how the poor majority responds to these challenges.
- Critical and historical approaches to globalisation and their relationship to neoliberalism, imperialism and US global hegemony.
- Contemporary globalising processes – capital flows, state-market relations, transnational corporations, global commodity chains, inequality and poverty on a global scale.
- Transformation of work in the age of globalisation – new types of work, informalisation and precarisation, labour migration, agrarian change and gender relations.
- Globalisation and imperialism – post-Cold War imperial and civil wars, global and regional challengers to US hegemony: China and Russia.
- Globalisation, democracy and culture – human rights, democratisation, cosmopolitanism, standardisation, homogenisation.
- Alternatives to neoliberal globalisation – global labour movement, transnational social movements and NGOs, environmental issues.
Students can draw on SOAS's unique expertise to specialise further in particular regions or topics. Please see 'Structure' for details on core and optional modules.
- Overview There are four main components to this degree: three taught modules and a 10,000 word dissertation. All students take a core module, Globalisation and Development. They then select one of two further modules: Political Economy of Development or Theory, Policy and Practice of Development. Through these modules students build their analytical skills and knowledge of the main issues and debates in Development Studies.
- Specialisation Students also take optional modules (one full module or two half modules), allowing them to specialise in particular areas of development and possibly use them to develop a dissertation in a related theme. By tying optional modules to their individual dissertation topic, students design their degree to suit their own interests and career development goals.
Students should be aware that not all optional modules may run in a given year. Modules at other institutions are not part of the approved programme structure.
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 in Globalisation and Development from SOAS provides graduates with a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers, including analytical skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. Equally graduates are able to continue in the field of research, continuing their studies either at SOAS or other institutions. An MSc in Globalisation and Development is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.