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M.A. Development Studies

Course Description

About the programme

The M.A. Development Studies enables students to develop the advanced knowledge, analytical skills, and conceptual frameworks required to understand and navigate the complexities of economic and social development.
Students enrolled in the programme gain insights into the economic, social, ethical, and cultural contexts and constraints of development. The programme provides outstanding opportunities to put theory into practice through international field research, with a strong focus on integrating quantitative and qualitative methods.
The programme addresses the worldwide need for experts in the expanding field of development research as well as for project managers in international development cooperation.

Who should study this degree programme?

This programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in social science and mid-career professionals in any development-related field. Qualified students from developing and emerging countries are particularly welcome.


– Programme entirely taught in English
– Strong focus on quantitative and qualitative methods
– Field research opportunities
– Unique selection of language courses

Programme syllabus

1st semester (30 ECTS credits):
– Methods and theories of Development Studies
– Interdisciplinary seminar
– Qualitative and quantitative research methods

2nd and 3rd semesters (65 ECTS credits):
– Qualitative and quantitative research methods
– Research seminar
– Elective modules (e.g. sociology, economics, sustain-ability of resources, political science, Southeast Asian studies)
– Languages and additional study skills courses

4th semester (25 ECTS credits):
– Field research
– Master’s thesis
– A research colloquium with internationally renowned guest speakers is offered each semester


If desired, you may choose to specialise in Development Economics or Southeast Asian Studies

Visit the M.A. Development Studies page on the University of Passau website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first degree in a social science and a solid background in methods. Other disciplines are eligible if social sciences have been studied as a secondary/minor subject. As this programme is English-taught, you need evidence of English language skills at level C1 CEFR unless English is not your first language or the language of instruction for your first degree. Recognised language certificates include TOEFL with a score of at least 220 (computer-based), 550 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based) or an equivalent certificate.

Course Fees

72 euros per semester (student services contribution and bus pass fee)

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