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MSc Globalisation and Development

Course Description

Who is this programme for?:

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.

Highlights include:

- 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.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/mscglobdev/


- 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.

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/16 (pdf; 76kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/mscglobdev/file101725.pdf


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.

- Lectures

Most modules involve a two hour lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

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.

- Dissertation

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.

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

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

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

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Josephine Tsui

Having worked over 27 months in Zambia and Ghana in food security, I came to SOAS looking for critical analysis of International Development as an industry. I also come with a passion for Gender and was looking to explore it more formally. I was impressed with the diversity of SOAS students and the number of them who have formal experience in the industry; this enabled me to have great discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of development.

The SOAS Globalisation and Development program brought me a global political element to my past food security background. The flexibility of the department to customize my classes was extremely appreciated so I could focus on the gendered component of globalisation. Through the development studies program, I developed my critical analysis skills in presenting arguments which is extremely helpful when communicating my experiences of food security to other development aid practitioners or policy makers.

Further I now have the language and the academic knowledge to explain why gender is such an important part of poverty reduction.

I am currently interning at the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) in the Economics for Gender department. I’m excited about the position because it gives me an opportunity to contribute to the Fifteen year appraisal of the Beijing Platform for Action of the 1995 World Women’s Conference. Finally I also have the chance to create tools for policy makers to aid in the understanding of why gender analysis is critical for an efficient and effective economy.


Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website


Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information



SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Law and Social Sciences - 16 Awards

There are six SOAS Master's scholarships available in the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. Each is valued at £16,765 each in total. Fees will be deducted from this amount and the remainder will be used toward maintenance. In addition to these six SOAS Master's scholarship, the Faculty will offer an extra 10 scholarships, each valued at approximately £1,500.Candidate Assessment:
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by an Advisory Panel consisting of at least three academic members of the Faculty. - The assessment of your application will be based on the information provided in your scholarship application and in your on-line admission application for admission. Selectors will be looking at the degree results and also at academic references, statement and other relevant information.Scholarship Application Deadline
- Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 24 February 2016. - In order to be considered for this scholarship, you must ALSO submit a complete online application to the degree programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship. Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. - You should prepare to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- Applicants must possess or expect to be awarded a First Class Honours Degree or equivalent. Students with a non-UK degree to be adjudged in the top rank by their referees and transcript.
- This scholarship is open to UK/EU applicants only.
- Applicants must have an offer of admission to pursue one of the eligible full-time masters programmes at SOAS by the scholarship application deadline.
- The scholarship cannot be held along with any other major scholarship or studentship.

Application Procedure

You must apply for this scholarship via the on-line scholarship application form

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class degree in a relevant field, though relevant work experience will also be taken into consideration.

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