MA International Development

University of Kent, Brussels Schools of International Studies

Program Description

MA International Development

University of Kent, Brussels Schools of International Studies

MA International Development

The MA in International Development seeks to contribute to a critical understanding of contemporary issues in development and provides practical tools for a future engagement. It considers theoretical, practical and ethical issues by interrogating development discourses, objectives and effects, and by seeking to understand forms of inclusion/exclusion and intervention in societies. Some issues covered are public-private partnerships, social entrepreneurship, trade and privatization, informal economies and finance, and technological initiatives.

The MA in International Development is offered jointly by the School of Politics and International Relations, the Kent Law School and the School of Economics to provide students with an inter-disciplinary approach to development and to allow them to specialize in their field of interest, such as development economics, development and migration, development and conflict, or human rights. Students can choose between an economic stream and a politico-legal stream, complemented by a wealth of elective modules from various departments.

BSIS attracts an exceptionally diverse and active student body that shares an enthusiasm for engagement in global affairs. Our students come from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas; many have spent extended periods abroad and/or worked for development institutions, a few have just finished their undergraduate studies. An important forum is the International Development Group, which meets regularly to discuss personal experiences, debate issues in development, invite guest speakers, attend conferences and workshops, and also to organize conferences. After their studies at BSIS, our students engage in careers in international affairs, including international organizations, non-governmental organizations and international business across the globe, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

The development studies program is suitable for students seeking to understand the field of international development as well as for practitioners who have already substantive experience. It provides conceptual tools and practical skills for a variety of careers in international affairs.

Key facts


  • Standard programme: One year full-time or two years part-time
  • Extended programme: 18 months full-time or three years part-time

Start: September or January.


The aims of the MA in International Development are to:

  • Provide a postgraduate qualification of value to those intending to pursue a career in the field if international development, and detailed knowledge and a high level of understanding of a range of specialised subject areas.
  • Provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the institutional structures and policy fields of international development;
  • Provide a degree of specialisation in areas of international development of individual interest from amongst the range of options that are available and which require students to engage with academic work which is at the frontiers of scholarship.
  • Encourage students to develop a critical awareness of the discourses and practices associated with the field of international development, particularly in contexts which are perceived to be controversial or in a state of evolution.
  • Provide students with a research-active learning environment which gives them a good grounding in the study of the contending approaches and issues in international development, and allows them to place the subject in its proper context within the broader field of international studies.
  • Encourage students to develop critical, analytical, communicative and problem-solving skills which can be applied to a wide range of contexts (transferable skills).
  • Develop skills in the written presentation of arguments in a manner which meets relevant academic conventions.
  • Contribute to widening participation in higher education by taking account of past experience of applicants in determining admissions whilst ensuring that all students that are admitted possess the potential to complete the programme successfully.
  • Develop students' general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills), in particular through a substantial dissertation.


The MA in International Development is offered in both the Standard (90 ECTS) and the Extended (120 ECTS) Programme format.

The Extended Programme allows students to broaden their knowledge and experience within the programme by taking more options whilst at the same time affording them a greater opportunity for internships. Students can also benefit by taking parts of the programme in Canterbury as well as in Brussels.

To be awarded a standard MA in International Development, students must take 6 taught modules, the methodology module 'Fundamentals, Dissertation and Research' and then submit a dissertation on a topic in International Development. For the extended programme students must take an additional 3 taught modules.


The programme is divided into a number of blocks called modules. Each module carries 20 credits (10 ECTS). The dissertation carries 60 credits (30 ECTS).

Candidates who complete 6 taught modules and the dissertation are eligible for the standard MA in International Development (90 ECTS) whilst those who complete an additional three modules are eligible for the extended MA in International Development (120 ECTS).

The programme is designed to be truly interdisciplinary and at the same time to allow for appropriate specialisation. To that end, students are free to pursue either an ‘Economics stream’ or a ‘Politics stream'.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 17, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
17,300 EUR
Belgium - Brussels
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
Belgium - Brussels
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info