MA Globalisation and Development Studies

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Program Description

MA Globalisation and Development Studies

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Globalisation & Dev. Studies

This one-year, interdisciplinary, social science programme focuses on how Globalisation dynamics affect developing areas. It provides a sound basis through theory, issues and methods pertaining to globalisation and development while offering elective courses in contemporary globalisation issues of relevance for developing countries. It deals with problems of inequality, poverty, and vulnerability and investigates new possibilities for transformation and emancipation offered by new global actors such as emerging economies, migrant diasporas and transnational activist groups.

GDS provides students with a broad knowledge of globalisation and development theories, concepts and empirical cases while giving in-depth knowledge of perspectives –such as ‘transnationalism’ and ‘science, technology and society studies for development (STS)' – that emphasize micro-level linkages between actors on a global scale, showing how in the Global North as well as within the Global South, micro-level linkages give rise to global trends and perspectives. The programme focuses on how globalisation trends are affecting and interconnecting different areas of the globe while marginalizing others and how they produce diverse ‘local’ responses. While acknowledging the role of state and market in processes of globalisation and development, its emphasis is on social forces by focusing on processes of globalisation ‘from the ground up’, as they are experienced in everyday lives: it emphasizes local actors such as migrant diasporas, small firms, families, indigenous communities, non-governmental organisations and their actions in dealing with global issues such as increasing inequalities, the introduction of modern technologies, multinational firms conducting natural resource extraction, and global health issues such as HIV/AIDS. GDS gives students a strong link with the professional world by offering multiple ways of gaining hands-on experiences, either through an internship or fieldwork. Students can thus take advantage of the numerous links the academic staff of the programme have with national and international organizations, government agencies, and research projects. This gives students the vital skills, experience and knowledge required in the field of Globalisation and Development both in academia and the professional world.

The Master of Arts in Globalisation and Development Studies (GDS) prepares students for academic and professional careers in the field of globalisation and development.

Fast Facts

Globalisation and Development Studies at Maastricht University…

  • is a one-year selective, international and interdisciplinary Master of Arts programme,
  • is taught in English,
  • combines theoretical work with multiple ways of gaining hands-on experiences, through internship or fieldwork,
  • supports the acquisition and use of multi- and inter-disciplinary skills and methods,
  • utilises a combination of methodologies including Problem-Based Learning,
  • has a majority of international students, representing on average 17 different nationalities,
  • gives ample opportunities to fine tune the programme through electives, allowing students to combine social science and humanities backgrounds with other academic disciplines,
  • ensures the international character of the programme by the composition of its staff, its recruitment of students, and close contacts with organisations and universities in the Global South.

Summer School

If you would like to come to Maastricht earlier in the summer in order to settle in, you might think about taking a language course or attending the Maastricht summer school for 2, 4 or 6 weeks.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the GDS programme must have:

  • A Bachelor's degree in the field of Social Sciences (e.g. Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, Economics, Political science, International Relations, Development Studies, European Studies, Liberal Arts and Sciences), or humanities (e.g. History, Philosophy, Arts and Culture), or an equivalent level of relevant education or working experience.
  • A high quality of performance in prior education.
  • A basis in globalisation and development issues (e.g. minor in Globalisation & Development from the Maastricht University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, or similar undergraduate courses).
  • A basis in social science research methods, covering both qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • A high level of motivation for studying issues of globalisation and development as reflected in a letter of motivation which states the purpose and reasons why the applicant wishes to study the Master's Programme in Globalisation and Development Studies.

Please note that students who apply for this Master's programme should pay a handling fee.

For students with a relevant University of Applied Sciences degree (e.g. HBO/Hochschule), or an academic BA or BSc Bachelor in a field that does not grant direct admission into this programme, there is a Pre-master year ("schakeljaar").

Language requirements

Non-native speakers or applicants who have their undergraduate degree in a language other than English must meet the requirement concerning a sufficient command of English by passing one of the following language proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with an overall score of at least 6.5 and a writing score of at least 6.5; or
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with an overall score of at least 90 (TOEFL internet), and a writing score of at least 25; or an overall score of 575 (TOEFL paper) or 232 (TOEFL computer) with an equivalent minimum writing score; or
  • A Cambridge certificate: C or higher for the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English).

The results of the TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificates must be uploaded before the applicable deadline (May 1, 2016 for NON-EU students and June 1, 2016 for EU students). Results received after this date will not be taken into consideration and therefore your application file will be considered as incomplete. Be aware of the fact that it can take some time before you get the results of the English tests, so plan your test in time! Applicants who are native English speakers and/or have obtained an English-taught bachelor’s degree are exempted from the language proficiency test.

Required documents

The following documents must be submitted with your application:

  • a motivation letter (800-1200 words)
  • your curriculum vitae
  • a photocopy of your valid passport or EU ID-card
  • a recent passport picture
  • a certified copy of your bachelor certificate and list of grades (with certified translation for languages other than English, Dutch, German or French)
  • a writing sample, i.e. an essay in English, written by the applicant, either for this application or for earlier studies or other occasions. It is preferable, but not absolutely necessary, that the topic is related to GDS. There are no requirements as to the length of the essay.
  • a copy of your English Language test with sufficient results (see requirements mentioned above)

Please note that only complete application files (including English Language test) will be assessed by the Board of Admissions. The Board will try to respond within 4 weeks.

Students who have not yet completed the bachelor's programme should send a copy of their most recent list of grades with the application. Successful candidates will be admitted on a conditional basis. Before 1 September 2016 we need a certified hard copy of your Bachelor diploma - or at least an official declaration of graduation: stating that you passed all exams successfully and that you obtained the Bachelor degree before or on 31 August 2016. This declaration should mention the official graduation date which should be the same date as the date on the Bachelor Diploma.

Please note that applying for admission to this programme in the academic year 2016/2017 is possible as of 1 October 2015.

Last updated March 8, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
1 year
Full time
1,984 EUR
Request Info
Non-EU Applicants - 1 May 2016 / EU Applicants - 1 June 2016*
Start date Sept. 2016
Netherlands Maastricht
Application deadline Request Info
Non-EU Applicants - 1 May 2016 / EU Applicants - 1 June 2016*
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 1,984 EUR