Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
This exciting programme offers a critical examination of the contemporary process of globalisation and how it influences the developing world, both before and after the ongoing global crisis. The MSc Globalisation and Development blends, in equal measure, critical analysis of mainstream thinking, alternative theories and practices, and case studies of political, social and cultural aspects of globalisation and development.
This degree draws its strength from the unrivalled expertise at SOAS in development problems and processes. The programme is of interest for development practitioners, activists, and students with a scholarly interest in how globalisation influences the developing world, and how the poor majority responds to these challenges.
- Critical and historical approaches to globalisation and their relationship to neoliberalism, imperialism and US global hegemony.
- Contemporary globalising processes – capital flows, state-market relations, transnational corporations, global commodity chains, inequality and poverty on a global scale.
- Transformation of work in the age of globalisation – new types of work, informalisation and precarisation, labour migration, agrarian change and gender relations.
- Globalisation and imperialism – post-Cold War imperial and civil wars, global and regional challengers to US hegemony: China and Russia.
- Globalisation, democracy and culture – human rights, democratisation, cosmopolitanism, standardisation, homogenisation.
- Alternatives to neoliberal globalisation – global labour movement, transnational social movements and NGOs, environmental issues.
- Students can draw on SOAS's unique expertise to specialise further in particular regions or topics. Please see 'Structure' for details on core and optional modules.
Students can take this programme part-time for over 2 or 3 years. Students usually complete their core modules in Year 1 and their option modules and dissertation in subsequent years.
Who is this programme for?
This programme is designed for those who want to understand global processes and development, and for those who want to work on, or analyse, development related tasks and issues. It is also highly relevant to anyone working or intending to work, in development advocacy, policymaking, and global development policy analysis, in the NGO sector, government agencies, and international development organisations.
We welcome students with a strong background in the social sciences in their first degree, but we also welcome students who have worked in the area of development, or in a related field.
A postgraduate degree in Globalisation and Development from SOAS provides graduates with a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers, including analytical skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. Equally, graduates are able to continue in the field of research, continuing their studies either at SOAS or other institutions. An MSc in Globalisation and Development is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
Former graduates have gone on to work for:
- A multitude of NGOs, including: Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Oxfam, Progressio, Engineers without Borders, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, UK Trade Union Congress, Fairfood International, Feeding the 5000, Health Poverty Action, Islamic Relief, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Project Harar, RedR, Village Service Trust, VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas), Campaign for Female Education and African Vision Malawi.
- A range of media, research, consultancy and development funding institutions, including DAI, The Economist, Demos, Institut Bioforce, Impactt, Internet Matters, Partner International Institute for Environment and Development, Qatar University, International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, Palladium, PartnersGlobal, Prague Security Studies Institute, Rift Valley Institute, Chambers & Partners, Claret Market Research and Control Risks.
- Various government agencies, United Nations and international organisations, including in the UK the Department for International Development, the Department Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat, OFGEM; in Japan the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank, the World Food Programme.
- Many private sector organisations, including BP, Hitachi, etc.
Alumni have taken up many kinds of roles, for example as business development co-ordinator, campaign officer, civil servant, communications and information officer, corporate social responsibility specialist, field manager, freelance researcher, fundraising co-ordinator, gender and rural growth consultant, monitoring and rural growth consultant, policy advisor, programme officer/manager, project manager, research and development manager and union organiser.
Students must take 180 credits per year comprised of 120 taught credits (including core, compulsory and optional modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.
- Dissertation in Development Studies
A core module is required for the degree programme, so must always be taken and passed before you move on to the next year of your programme.
- Globalisation and Development
Students also take one of the following:
- Theory, policy and practice of development
- Political Economy of Development
A compulsory module is required for the degree programme, so must always be taken, and if necessary can be passed by re-taking it alongside the next year of your programme.
- Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from the Development Studies modules list below.
These are designed to help students design their own intellectual journey while maintaining a strong grasp of the fundamentals.
Choose module(s) to the total value of 30 credits from:
- Module(s) from the Development Studies list below to the value of 30 credits.
- Open option modules to the value of 30 credits from another department.
- Module from the Development Studies' list below to the value of 15 credits.
- Open option modules to the value of 15 credits from another department.
All MSc students in Development Studies are eligible to attend the one-term, non-assessed module Economics for Beginners, which introduces students to basic concepts in microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics, and statistics and econometrics.
List of Development Studies modules (subject to availability)
- Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty
- Aid and Development
- Battlefields of Method: Approaches to International Development Research
- Borders and Development
- Cities and Development
- Civil society, social movements and the development process
- Development Practice
- Environment, Governance and Development
- Energy Transition, Nature, and Development in a Time of Climate Change
- Famine and food security
- Fundamentals of research methods for Development Studies
- Gender and Development
- Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work
- Global Health and Development
- Issues in Forced Migration
- Marxist Political Economy and Global Development
- Migration and Policy
- Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice
- Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development
- Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa
- The Working Poor and Development
- Migrant Labour in the Global Economy
- Water and Development: Conflict and Governance
- Water Resources: Justice and Governance
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.
Admissions and Applications
You can apply for this course via the online application form.
We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.
Consideration of Application
The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.
Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.
Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.
Minimum upper second class degree in a relevant field, though relevant work experience will also be taken into consideration. For admissions queries please contact the MSc Globalisation and Development admissions tutor.
English Language Entry Requirements
You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.
For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.
If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.
About the School
SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.