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International Development by distance learning MSc/PGDip

Course Description

The core module aims to familiarize students with key concepts (eg development and poverty) and theories (eg modernisation, dependency, neo-liberalism and the ‘crisis’ in development theory) and with the changing roles of international development organizations and states in promoting international development (eg through aid, trade and fiscal, monetary and social policies). The emphasis throughout will be onencouraging students to reflect critically on what has worked well or not andwhy. Students will select 100 credits ofoptional modules based on their individual interests and career aspirations.

Programme content
This main pathway is designedfor flexibility, allowing you to choose five out of the six 20-credit modulesfrom a list of options:

Critical Approaches to Development (20 credits) – critically examine development theories and their application

Choice of optional modules (100 credits) – choose five modules from the following 20 credit modules:

Social Analysis of Inequality, Poverty and Development
Rural Poverty and Development
Urban Poverty and Development
Development Politics
Conflict in Developing Countries
Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development
Non-Governmental Organisations in a Changing International Context
Introduction to Development Projects
Dissertation (60 credits, MSc only) – pursue in-depth research with support from a dissertation supervisor. For distance learning students we recommend desk-based research.

The programme begins with a two week online induction module (non-accredited); and the dissertation work is preceded by atwo week online research methods module (again, non-accredited).

Specialist pathways:
-Conflict, Security and Development

-Poverty, Inequality and Development

Learning and teaching
The programme is delivered online, using a web communications tools system (WebCT Vista) andthis web environment is where students are expected to take part in onlinediscussions and group activities, guided by a tutor. All required reading is provided (either inhard copy or via our extensive electronic library, or via Internet links). Assessment takes the form of 2 items ofassessment per module, plus a 10,000 to 15,000 word dissertation for the MSc.

Career opportunities
This programme tends to recruit studentswho are either currently working for, or plan to work for, ngos, aid donors,the public service sector, etc.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open day (Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the International Development by distance learning MSc/PGDip page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Student Profiles

ESRC scholarships for PG Study and Doctoral Research - 14 Awards

The University of Birmingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre is one of 21 across the UK that has been accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It has been awarded 14 ESRC scholarships to fund postgraduate training and doctoral research starting in October 2012.Outstanding applicants will be considered for ESRC scholarships in the following pathways:Applied Linguistics
Russian and East European Studies
International Development (IDD)
West African Studies
German Studies
Business and Management
Economic and Social History
Economics and Econometrics
Urban and Regional Studies
Human Geography
Political Science and International Studies
European Studies
Local Government Studies and Public Policy
Sport and Exercise Science (Psy)
Social Policy
Social Work
Socio-Legal Studies

Value of Scholarship(s)



Please note that to be eligible for an ESRC award at the University of Birmingham you must have also submitted an application to study at the University.

Application Procedure

For further information, please visit http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/esrc

Further Information


Entry Requirements

MSc/PGDip:An upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university or an equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field (the equivalent US Grade Point Average is 3.0) orA lower second-class Honours degree from an approved university with excellent work experience.Adequate capacity in written and reading English. For those whose first language is not English, evidence of this capacity is required. Applicants should reach at least level 6.5 in the IELTS.Degrees from all disciplines are considered and a candidate’s work experience can also be taken into consideration.

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