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Course content

Who is it for?

If your career aim is to secure or develop a leading position in an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), this course is ideally suited to your needs.

Academically rigorous and practically applied, the course is designed to help you develop a senior management career in international development, become a board member of an international NGO board, or work in a foundation funding work internationally.


You will focus on the rapidly evolving context of international development. You will explore the implication for NGOs of the trends shaping the sector. How is the role of civil society changing? What will be the impact of altering aid flows, increased funding for humanitarian and security work and shifting North-South relations? How are new digital technologies affecting the way NGOs work? What are the implications of the moves to greater collaboration and the increasing influence of the private sector in the development process?

The aim of the course is to enable you to develop your management, analytical and leadership skills so that you develop a rounded set of competencies that will enable you to flourish at the highest levels in global NGOs.


The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years.

Students initially enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma with the specialist area of their choice, and confirm their intention to complete the MSc at the end of the first year.

As a student you will:

  • Develop your understanding of the strategic issues and organisational challenges facing NGO managers
  • Build relevant management and leadership skills, and analytical capabilities.
  • Acquire insights into the different strategies and approaches commonly adopted by NGOs.
  • Deepen your appreciation of the issues of managing change in NGOs.
  • Gain access to a strong network and connections within the charity sector.
  • Build your confidence as you pursue your career in the sector.

Module outlines

  • Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector (10 credits)
  • Resource Management (30 credits)
  • Marketing and Fundraising (10 credits)
  • Strategy, Diversity and Governance (20 credits)
  • Shadowing (20 credits)
  • NGO Management (15 credits)
  • Managing NGOs: People and Practices (15 credits)

Assessment methods

The aim of the NGO Management course is to enable students to develop key management competencies and analytical capabilities needed by those in leadership and management positions in international NGOs.

The course has been developed in partnership with leading INGOs and BOND (the UK-NGO network). It is one of the five postgraduate courses offered by Cass’s Business School’s Centre for Charity Effectiveness. This is one of the only centres of excellence in Europe offering a full range of latest research, education, training and consultancy geared to the needs of voluntary sector managers and leaders.

The course is taught on a part-time basis and is taught over a period of twelve months. The Postgraduate Diploma consists of four core modules that all students take and are common to all the Centre’s postgraduate courses.  These core modules provide the essential underpinning of management skills for the specialist courses. Upon successful completion of the diploma you can continue to the MSc Programme.

The MSc requires completion of the Research Methods for Managers module. This is followed by either:  a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000-word research-based dissertation. Or alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other Charities programmes.

Career pathways

Experience of past students is that by completing the course increases their employability in the sector, and gives them greater flexibility as to career options. Past students have come from NGOs of all sizes, as well as foundations, business and the public sector. 

Visit the NGO Management (MSc/PgDip) page on the Cass Business School website for more details!




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Recipient: Cass Business School

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