This degree is at the cutting edge of development theory, policy and management. It provides students with the critical and analytical skills to enable them to operate effectively in international development environments. Covering macro and micro-level perspectives, the course offers rich insights into the challenges of contemporary development theory, policy and management. The course is structured around the compulsory core modules of International Development Theory and International Development Policy, with flexibility built in through the optional course units chosen by students to meet their own objectives and interests.
The objectives of the course are to provide an integrated, cross-disciplinary framework for the postgraduate study of development. The unifying focus of the course is the analysis of strategies for overcoming poverty. Students will gain knowledge of different development paradigms and an awareness of their evolution. Students are encouraged to develop comparative perspectives (between different regions/countries, disciplinary approaches, schools of thought) and through individual study, seminars and written assignments to develop their knowledge and critical and analytical skills in this field.
Politics at Bradford is ranked 45th in the UK in The Complete University Guide University Subject Tables 2019 for its undergraduate courses. These rankings also place Bradford in the top 20 in the UK for graduate prospects.
Our postgraduate politics courses were ranked 2nd in the UK for employability in the 2018 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES).
A typical application would include a good Honours degree or equivalent. However, the University welcomes applications from all potential students regardless of their previous academic experience; offers are made following detailed consideration of each individual application.
English language requirements
IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent
If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course.
What you will study
Please note that for 2020 entry, the module information is subject to change.
Issues in Development Theory (DEV7003-B)
Issues in Development Practice (DEV7034-B)
Assessing Development Needs and Outcomes (DEV7036-B)
Governance for Development (DEV7035-B)
African Politics and Security Dynamics (PES7035-B)
Natural Resource Governance (PES7045-B)
Sustainable Cities (PES7052-B)
Gender, Conflict and Development (PES7041-B)
Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (PES7046-B)
International Environmental Governance (PES7042-B)
Africa Study Visit (PES7034-B)
Project Implementation and Management (DEV7031-B)
Middle East Politics and Security Dynamics (PES7043-B)
Transnational Challenges: Problems and Responses (PES7055-B)
You can choose to include an internship as part of your course, in which case you will study over 15 months rather than a year. To do this, you should initially register for the one-year programme and then transfer to the 15-month programme when you have secured a placement, any time up until the middle of Semester 2.
The internship/placement further enhances the development of professional experience and practical skills during your Master's programme, integrating practitioner community engagement with your academic studies.
This element is student-centred and student-led, and therefore the initiative for identifying and applying for internships is driven by you. Academic staff can facilitate and support the identification of suitable opportunities with leads and suggestions, help with the writing of applications, and provide supporting letters of reference. They provide customised preparatory training before and mentoring support during, the placement or internship.
The internship/placement can be taken with an organisation anywhere in the world. You'll need to detail your proposed activities and receive approval before the opportunity is finalised.
Once the internship/placement is complete you'll return to the programme, submit a completion report summarising key learning points, and then undertake your Master's dissertation. Students often use their placement period and experience to inform and shape their dissertation.
Learning and assessment
We use a range of innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment to enable you to actively engage with the key concepts and syllabus and to develop not only your academic knowledge and understanding but also your skills and experience for the worlds of policy, practice and employment.
There are opportunities to take specialist pathways, including thematic specialisms, and to specialise in selected regions (e.g. Africa, Middle East), with opportunities for selected study visits. This includes the high profile Africa Study Visit to an African country recovering from conflict (which can be taken as an assessed element of the programme) or other further voluntary study visits to Northern Ireland, Hiroshima or to major locations of International Organisations, such as The Hague, Brussels and London.
You'll also have opportunities to participate in an extended ‘crisis response game’ or the international ‘Model United Nations’ simulation game.
Methods of assessment are varied and include traditional assignments (essay-type tasks) alongside more competency-based assessment through tasks such as reports, policy briefs, case study analyses, oral and audio-visual presentations, and reflective notes.
The programme culminates with the research and preparation of a Dissertation project on a subject of your choice, related to the programme’s aims and learning objectives. This is a major opportunity for you to produce a substantial scholarly analysis of a specialist area of interest, and to demonstrate an advanced understanding of relevant policy and practitioner agendas and debates - helping you to use this Masters degree to pursue your career aspirations.
The teaching and learning in Peace Studies and International Development happen in a variety of spaces: lecture theatres, seminar rooms, flexible spaces with moveable furniture where students can work in groups.
We reach outside the classroom – for example, inviting guest speakers from around the world to debate via Skype to debate, and organising study sessions that make use of our innovative eco-friendly campus, and the diverse city of Bradford. We also take students on field trips, in the UK and abroad (for example, around Yorkshire, to Northern Ireland, to The Hague, and to a different African country each year), and extended role plays (in a youth hostel somewhere picturesque).
We have a lot of extra-curricular activity, guest speakers, seminars and training sessions. Our Student Liaison Officer also organises lots of social activity - our central, cosy common room is a great place to meet and learn from fellow students and host to quiz nights, international potluck suppers, free breakfasts, coffee breaks. And don’t let’s forget the annual Peace and Development Ball, and our very own Peace football team.
The JB Priestley Library has excellent resources, especially for Peace, Politics and Social Change, and International Development, in which the university specialises - see details of our Special Collections.
The library is open 24/7, as are other safe, welcoming and interactive spaces around campus designed for students’ to meet and study together.
The University and the Division are very global in outlook, and so are the students we attract. For that reason, we offer free Modern Foreign Language classes for beginners in Arabic, French, German and Spanish. These two-hour weekly classes are led by experienced language teachers and result in a certificate of attendance. A much wider range of languages, such as Brazilian Portuguese or Korean, is taught – also for free – under a peer-to-peer scheme. Often PSID students get involved both as teachers and learners.
Fees, finance and scholarships
Home/EU: £7,190 per year
International: £16,840 per year
Every year we award numerous non-repayable scholarships to UK, EU and international students on the basis of academic excellence, personal circumstances or economic hardship. For full details, visit our scholarships website.
The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.
Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes, there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.
Many BCID postgraduates have experience in development and related areas of the public, private and voluntary sectors. This degree course provides the skills and knowledge required to become a development professional.