MA in Politics, Development & the Global South

Goldsmiths, University of London

Program Description

MA in Politics, Development & the Global South

Goldsmiths, University of London

How can (and should) we talk about the challenges and possibilities for development in the 21st century?

Development has long been held up as an ideal for societies and peoples, and the pursuit of it has been decisive in shaping the modern world. Many degrees treat it as an uncontested term and presume that the only task is to consider the best means towards this end. By contrast, the MA in Politics, Development and the Global South begins by showing that in the 21st century ‘development’ – what it means and how it is to be achieved – has become a site of struggle, one where new forms of politics and theory have emerged.

Major changes in recent decades, including the emergence of new geopolitical powers on the international stage, growing challenges to neoliberal dogmas, heightened concern with increasing global inequality, and recognition of the danger of ecological devastation, have meant that the study and pursuit of development requires a fresh, innovative approach. Throughout this degree, you’ll study the Global South as a producer, not simply a consumer, in theory, and as a site where novel forms of political struggle are emerging.

The MA in Politics, Development and the Global South reflects Goldsmiths’ interdisciplinary academic spirit, drawing on expertise in the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, the Department of Politics and International Relations, and other departments from across the university. You’ll learn from scholars with an international reputation across a diverse range of research and area specialisms including Latin America, India, China, Japan, the Middle East and Africa.

Alongside the core modules, you’ll also gain insight into development as a career through a series of industry and activist seminars. You’ll have the opportunity to shape the speakers, format and content of these events to explore different facets of development, such as politics, activism, policy, journalism, charities, consultancy and NGOs.

Modules & structure

In this innovative and interdisciplinary course of study you’ll be able to explore:

  • The defining features of contemporary forms of capitalism,
  • The emergence of geopolitical powers over the past 20 years,
  • The interplay between informal and illegal economies,
  • The connections between violence, politics and religion,
  • Patterns of immigration worldwide,
  • The slum as a fundamental site of the contemporary world,
  • The current debates on globalisation from below,
  • The prospects for radical politics.

There will also be the opportunity to get involved in a student-led speaker and event series, where you’ll be encouraged to approach industry partners including journalists, activists, senior staff in NGOs, politicians, and public intellectuals, who can offer different perspectives and expose you to current debates in the professional community.

Core modules:

  • Development for the 21st Century 30 credits
  • Decolonising Politics: Actions and Ideas from the Global South 30 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits

Option modules

You’ll also choose options from a wide range of courses available through the Department of Politics and other departments at Goldsmiths, including Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History, Media and Communications, and Sociology.

These could include:

  • Politics of Knowledge: Debates in Human Science 15 credits
  • Memory and Justice in Post-Conflict Societies 30 credits
  • An(Other) China: Postcolonial Theory, Postmodern Concerns 30 credits
  • Visualising Asia: Body, Gender, Politics 30 credits
  • Identity Politics 15 credits
  • Critical Voices in Development 30 credits
  • Race Critical Theory and Cultural Politics 30 credits
  • Politics of Human Rights 15 credits
  • A History of Violence 30 credits
  • Islam and Christianity in Modern Africa 30 credits
  • Medicine on the Silk Roads: Traditions and Transmissions 30 credits
  • Postcolonial Theory 30 credits
  • Postcolonial Fiction: Theory and Practice 30 credits
  • Caribbean Women Writing & Representation 30 credits
  • Palestine & Postcolonialism 30 credits
  • Media, Ethnicity and Nation 15 credits
  • Introduction to Feminist Theory and Culture 30 credits
  • Mapping Capitalism 30 credits


Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Skills & careers

You’ll consider a range of debates and approaches that are pertinent to the development sector, and so this is an ideal programme for anyone thinking of pursuing a career in this area – whether you’re interested in working for high profile charities, grass-roots organisations, social enterprises, or global activism.

It’s also an ideal foundation for a career in research or policy, or if you’re thinking of pursuing a research degree in the future.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements

If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing.

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments,
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference,
  • A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF or completed online,
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory).

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
6,780 GBP
Programme fee 2018-2019: Home/EU - £6780; International - £14600
United Kingdom - London, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - London, England
Application deadline Request Info
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