MA International Development

Nottingham Trent University: School of Arts and Humanities

Program Description

MA International Development

Nottingham Trent University: School of Arts and Humanities

This course recognises that international development environments and related debates constantly evolve. It captures this dynamism in its multi-layered approach, and it highlights the connections made between different disciplinary areas.

This course will introduce you to key concepts and issues related to international development. You will develop an understanding of the key structures, processes, institutions, and relationships relevant to international development.

This will involve a critical analysis of the role and impact of major financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; the role of the United Nations, with particular emphasis on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; the role of MNCs, NGOs and civil society more generally.

You will also locate yourself within the context of processes of international development and reflect on how your actions, or inactions, help or hinder the promotion of global social justice and sustainability.

You will develop an insight into the manner in which wealth is generated and unevenly distributed and accumulated across the global economy and an awareness of how the twin agendas of social justice and sustainable development can be advanced.

What you'll study

This course is divided into modules, which are worth a number of credit points, and are separately taught and assessed. To pass the courses you will need to achieve 180 credit points.

International Development: History, development and theory (20 credit points)

This module looks at the historical evolution of international patterns of production and consumption and how mainstream theoretical approaches understand and explain ‘who gets what, when, where and how’.

International Development: Alternative discourses and ethics (20 credit points)

This module considers alternative approaches to mainstream economic theories of international development and raises questions with regard to the promotion of social justice and environmental sustainability.

It encourages you to reflect upon current patterns of trade as dominated by neo-liberal economic policies and challenges you to engage with alternative visions and proposals for international development.

Intercultural communication (20 credit points)

In order to highlight the importance of cultural factors within international development, this module focuses on aspects of personal and community identities and how these can play a significant role in how development policies and practices are implemented and experienced.

Gender, Difference and International Development (20 credit points)

Despite gender issues having been increasingly mainstreamed in international development institutions there remain significant gender-based inequalities. This module considers the underlying causes and consequences of these inequalities and how these are being addressed.

You will learn to contextualize your intercultural knowledge, develop your own research and adopt a dialectical approach for an in-depth analysis of any cultural situation or context.

Research methods (20 credit points)

In this module, you will learn a range of practical skills for carrying out research in a global context. The primary goal is to prepare you to conduct independent research and equips you with the skills needed for completing your dissertation.

You will become familiar with a range of primary and secondary sources, as well as a variety of comparative and field-based research approaches.

International Development Work Placement (20 credit points)

This module addresses the concepts of planning, evaluating and reviewing professional development. Via a work-based placement, you will critically reflect upon the processes of professional development required for employment in the field of international development.

Dissertation (60 credit points)

This module allows you to undertake original and independent research on a chosen issue within International Development, and to produce a substantial piece of critical writing.

Following on from the Research Methods module, you will receive guidance in developing an effective and doable dissertation through research design and implementation, to analysis and writing.

How you’re taught


Assessment on the course involves including a book review, essay, reflective diary and a dissertation. The core of the course is structured with no formal examinations.

You will write a dissertation and prepare work on research methods including an assessed dissertation proposal as part of the research training element of the degree.

Field trips

Field trips will allow you to learn away from the classroom and to engage with institutions and experts in the field of international development. This could include a visit to Geneva to engage with the major institutions based there, including the World Health Organization, World Trade Organization and the Office of the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Alternatively, a visit to Brussels could engage with the European Community’s Directorate General for Development and representatives from the governments of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Career development

The course is designed to enhance your employability prospects by engagement with both conceptual dimensions and the practical aspects of the work based placement. Using our links with industry, you will have the opportunity to gain experience and vital contacts within a wide range of roles directly linked to international development.

Graduates have gone on to work in posts in local, regional and national governments, intergovernmental organisations (including the UN and EC), multinational corporations (MNCs) and a range of development-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Several international alumni have returned to positions working within government departments of their home countries.

Entry requirements


  • A UK honours (minimum 2.2) degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent
  • Applicants from candidates with non-standard entry qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.


We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements, please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification, please visit our pre-masters and foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not the first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 26, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info