MSc Development StudiesSouthwark Campus
Mode: Full-time; Part-time
The MSc Development Studies course is interdisciplinary and innovative. It provides a thorough grounding in the development field, and its emphasis on research enables students to specialise in their particular areas of interest.
The MSc Development Studies is led by Professor Gaim Kibreab and taught by excellent research-active lecturers who specialise in social and economic development, as forced migration. See the current research projects tied to the International Development, Emergencies and Refugee Studies (IDEARS) Research Group.
Through the use of case studies you'll analyse a range of issues, crucial for Development policy and practice, such as:
- Globalisation: markets, trade and the global economy;
- Trade and Aid: the role of international institutions and agencies;
- Strategies for Industrialisation: economic growth and human development;
- Social Development: livelihoods, poverty and poverty reduction;
- Developing the Rural Sector: Agrarian Policies, migration and urbanisation;
- Environmental policies and sustainable development;
- Political empowerment, participation, and human rights.
5 top reasons to study here
- Relevant course design: designed for those who wish to pursue careers with governments, non-governmental organisations, international agencies, public and private organisations and enterprises. .
- Taught by internationally recognised members of staff: who have a range of innovative research experiences
- Research input: You'll engage with recent research linked to case studies and learn to undertake development research.
- Strong resources: We have a vast array of resources available to aid your learning from our library to online services.
- Research active academics: you’ll be taught by enthusiastic but also research active staff, which means you’ll receive relevant and best practice teaching.
The course develops the skills required to undertake development research, focusing on appropriate methodologies, data collection, policy and project design and implementation. A research dissertation forms a central part of your work on the course.
- Contemporary issues in development
The module aims to provide a comprehensive and detailed introduction to the contemporary challenges facing developing countries in the coming years. Topics vary from one year to the next, but currently the focus is on issues of poverty and poverty reduction; aid and its effectiveness; debt and debt servicing; governance and transparency; the environmental impact of development; patterns of inequality; the impact of urbanisation; and more generally, on changing economic relations within the world economy following the 2008-9 global crisis and subsequent events. The module also assesses the main developing strategies followed by selected middle and low-income countries, with detailed case studies drawn from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It also examines these topics from a gender perspective.
- Human development in a globalised world
This module focuses initially on the roles and inter-relations between corporations, governments, international agencies, multilateral institutions, corporations and non-governmental organisations in the global economy. It then goes on to examine these inter-relations in relation to the shifting power relations in the global economy. It aims in particular to examine the relations between growth, capacities for improving human capital, infrastructure development, livelihoods improvement and poverty reduction. The conclusions of the module feed into the case studies analysed in the Semester Two Economies in Transition module.
- Research methods for development
A series of lectures introduces students to the main epistemological approaches to research and key research strategies, and focuses on mixed-methods research (MMR). In parallel, students will participate in tutor-led workshops to develop data summary and analysis skills with specific computer-based packages.
- Economies in transition: strategies for industrialisation
The Economies in Transition module examines the advantages & disadvantages of different and contending approaches to, and strategies appropriate for industrialisation. Contrasting perspectives and focusing on country case studies, the module aims to give the student an understanding of the overall strategies and sectoral policies currently available for industrialisation. We aim to examine and assess: varying strategies for industrialisation available for policy design and implementation in different developing country contexts.
The module also analyses the links between theories, strategies and policies, for example how the concept of comparative advantage interacts with the strategies of import-substitution industrialisation and export-oriented industrialisation. Further, we examine the distinctions and links between economic and human indicators of development, within the broad framework of sustainability. Crucially, these engagements with theories and policies are exemplified via country case studies drawn from mainly African, Asian and Latin American countries.
- Forced migration and development
The module introduces the key concepts in Forced Migration and Development and the various categories of forced migrants--asylum-seekers, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), oustees (people displaced by development projects) and disaster victims. The module examines the multiple and complex causes and consequences of Forced Migration, evaluates the responses of the international, inter-governmental, non-governmental and governmental responses to the short, medium and long-term needs of forced migrants and the poor sections of host populations. It critically analyses and evaluates the positive and negative impacts of forced migrants and refugees on host communities. How forced migrants (re)-construct their communities and livelihoods in countries of asylum, as well in countries and places of origin in the context of post-conflict (re)-construction are also examined in detail.
- Human rights and development Students will study Human Rights and Development in the context of specific countries and themes. Topics will introduce students to key topics such as the UN procedures and Human Rights Activism. Students will then research these topics in the context of a specific country (such as Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan) and theme (such as Fair Trial, Free Speech and Torture). Seminar discussion will be based on students’ research on their selected country and theme. There will be an emphasis on developing effective strategies for combating human rights abuses. Assessment is by a single piece of Coursework.
- Research dissertation (triple module) The award of the MSc Development Studies is conditional upon the submission of a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation, which forms a crucial part of the course. The Modules completed prior to the dissertation have as one of their subsidiary aims to equip you with the relevant background methodological, theoretical and factual knowledge and analytical skills required for undertaking a research project in a particular area relevant to your field of study. The analytical and methodological skills required in researching, writing and presenting findings are fundamental to the attainment of postgraduate status, in that you undertake research under your own organisation and self-discipline. The MSc dissertation is a culmination of your achievements and therefore represents an important landmark in your academic journey.
The MSc also offers a series of workshops in project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, providing these essential skills for student's Development careers
A humanities masters has the real advantage of opening up careers in a number of professions such as teaching, social work, administration and higher level education. Graduates have forged exciting careers in research-related work, public relations, advertising, retail, management and media-related work.
Previous students have entered careers in many fields working for international organisations such as the United Nations and its constituent organisations, the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation. Many students take up posts in their home countries within government, non-government and civil society organisations, or with non-governmental development organisations in the UK, in addition to teaching posts in universities and colleges specialising in Development research and practice.
LSBU Employability Services
LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:
- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes.
The MSc has excellent relations with Development Agencies and NGO working in the development field. Students from these organisations are regularly enrolled on the course and members of these organisations gave regular presentations to MSc students.
Research in the Development field
Recent and current research by staff includes projects funded by the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, the UK Department for International Development, and the Economic and Social Research Council.
In recent years, staff members have conducted research in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, East Timor, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia. Staff teaching on the MSc regularly publish books and articles both on development issues, and on the countries in which they have expertise.
Our social policy students have taken up work placements at the following organisations:
- Chance UK, a unique early intervention mentoring organisation who provide adult volunteer mentors to work with children aged 5-11 years at risk of developing anti-social behaviour in later life)
- Kairos in Soho (a pan-London LGBT Community Development Organisation)
- Naz Project London (a sexual health organisation that works to mobilise Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in relation to HIV and other sexual health concerns)
- Richmond Advice and Information on Disability (RAID)
- Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) one of the UK's largest charities and voluntary organisations who aim to give older people the opportunity and choice to get more out of life
Teaching and learning
Class contact time is typically 12 hours per week on the full-time mode of the MSc, and six hours on the part-time mode plus individual tutorial and independent study. This accumulates to typically two days a week, afternoons and evenings typically two evenings a week.
All staff members teaching on the course have considerable experience of working and conducting research in developing countries. They have all published work on Development issues and are well known in their respective fields.
- A minimum of a 2:2 first degree/Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division in a relevant subject area. Relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants will be assessed on the personal statement as well as the entry qualifications.
- We welcome equivalent qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.5, Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.
Typical background of applicant
Some students have worked in the Development field, with governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and agencies. Others wish to move into a new career. Students have received scholarships from the European Union, the Africa Educational Trust, and British Council Chevening Scholarships.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
Postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.
Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as a postgraduate student.
Postgraduate Application Service
Book a session with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience.
Prepare to start
We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read How to apply tab for this course.
Enrolment and Induction
Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.
In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.
- John L.Seitz, Global Issues: An Introduction, Blackwell, 2008.
- Philip McMichael, Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective, Sage 2008.
- Michael P. Todaro, Economic Development , Longman,
- Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, Oxford University Press, 2007.
Fees and funding
Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT
|UK/EU fee: £8270||International fee: £14470|
|AOS/LSBU code: 1037||Session code: 1FS00|
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study
If you are starting a Masters course, studying either full- or part-time, you may be entitled to apply for a postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on funding your studies on the scholarships and fee discounts page.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Amna Riaz, MSc Development Studies, scholarship recipient
Amna Riaz from Pakistan said that being awarded a Vice-Chancellor's scholarship in the Excellence category meant that her dreams could come true.