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MSc in Development Management

Course Description

MSc in Development Management

This MSc is for anyone with a professional and/or personal interest in development and a desire to bring about good change. It addresses the needs both of those who would label themselves development managers, and those, such as engineers, health workers, educationists, agriculturalists, bankers, scientists, who need the capacity to manage development if they are to do their work effectively. It engages with development at all levels, from the local to the global, and is as relevant in rural as in urban contexts. It addresses development in diverse fields, including health and well-being, livelihoods, education, the environment, war and resettlement, infrastructure, with the issues of poverty and inequality running through all. It takes theory seriously; consciously and constantly linking it to practice and policy. And it serves to enhance the competence of individuals and the capacity of agencies to undertake development successfully.

This MSc is the major qualification in our development management programme. It is designed for anyone in government, non-governmental organisations, international and inter-governmental agencies and public and private enterprises, who have responsibility for development interventions, programmes and policies. It is also of value for anyone wishing to move into such areas, or who for personal and/or professional reasons wants to build up a better understanding of the complex processes labelled ‘development’, with a view to managing those processes better. It deliberately links development management theory with the realities of development policy and practice, and aims to equip those undertaking it to be better agents of development.

It provides a range of opportunities for you to

-build up knowledge and understanding of how development theory, policy and practice have themselves developed, and a critical appreciation of the ways in which development is managed
-explore key development issues, including poverty, inequality, complex emergencies, migration, health, employment and livelihoods, education, governance, and the relationships between the agencies who undertake development
-examine and practise the use of tools that contribute to situational and stakeholder analysis, participation, project and programme planning, implementation and evaluation
-develop key skills necessary for managing development, in particular the skills of strategic thinking and planning, relationship building, mapping and modelling, negotiation and brokering, and the research and associated skills required to build up an evidence--based understanding of development management problems and to make a case for change
-share learning with students drawn from over 100 countries working in diverse development fields
-critically reflect on development management theory, policy and practice, not least your own.

Throughout the MSc you are encouraged to make connexions between your learning on the MSc and your own involvement in development.

The MSc is the highest level of qualification in our development management programme, which also offers the following that can serve as building blocks for the MSc:

Postgraduate Certificate in Development Management (C48)
Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict and Development (C67)
Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights and Development Management (C96)
Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37).

You can find additional information about postgraduate development management studies on the Development Policy and Practice website.

Visit the MSc in Development Management page on the Open University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Victoria Milner

2999.jpg What I loved most about the masters was that I was given the flexibility and confidence to investigate what interested me most. I work for a solar energy company in Guatemala that provides prepaid electricity to rural communities without access to the grid. My original thoughts were to study a topic related to this work as it would have been a perfect fit. However, as I was able to apply my experience at work to other courses such as TU870 and TU872, I took the opportunity to investigate another area of interest to me - the link between human rights and development.

After its 36 year civil war, the relationship between human rights and development is an important one within Guatemala. After studying the master’s course I felt capable of addressing this challenge as I was armed with a broad view of the many different perspectives of development management and how and why they had arisen. I was also able to pull in learning and understanding from every module I had studied, including my options (TU875 and W821 within the faculty of law).

My tutor constantly challenged me to think about my area of study through different lenses and to make sure that I was adding real value to the subject as a result of my learning during the masters. As I'm sure is often the case with research, I found it a challenge to hone my overarching research questions and ensure that I was bringing in all of my knowledge, whilst making sure that my investigation was coherent and focused. I know that the report and experience would not have been half what it was without my tutors support, enthusiasm and direction.

Before I started my masters and moved to Guatemala, I saw 'development' as something I wanted to do and be involved in, without really being able to quantify what it was or what development meant for me. I now have a strong sense of what it means and what I believe in, in terms of its process and end result. I want to thank you all very much for helping me to gain this understanding and confidence. I could not have asked for more from the OU or for more support throughout my masters. I feel very proud to say that I studied with you all and I will be forever grateful.


Entry Requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent), or have had experience of working, in a paid or voluntary capacity, in a development agency (local or international).If you are a non-graduate we suggest that you contact us for advice before registering on your first module.Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study.

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