Develop the skills and understanding to tackle the global challenges of poverty, inequality, conflict, sustainability and social justice.
Whether you are a graduate aiming to make a difference in the world, or a professional wishing to deepen your knowledge and critical thinking, our suite of International Development MSc courses is for you.
Engaged with current debates in policy and practice and grounded in interdisciplinary social sciences, you will develop the tools and confidence to work towards creative solutions that address practical problems in strategic ways.
Four distinct pathways provide a choice of flexibility and breadth, or the chance to pursue a particular interest in greater depth.
Innovative learning approaches promote in-depth investigation of particular cases and issues. These will draw out connections and contradictions between different actors and analytical perspectives, across global, regional, national and local scales.
The opportunity of a placement, leading to a work-based project, will provide hands-on experience to complement classroom-based learning.
You will leave the course with:
- a critical understanding of the concepts and approaches used in the international development and humanitarian action, and their strengths and limitations
- practical skills in research, analysis, and communication and an understanding of how these can be applied to work for social, economic and environmental justice in both global North and global South
- the ability to analyze the complex interaction of social, economic, political and environmental factors in shaping problems and proposed solutions
- rich experience of working with people from a wide range of disciplinary, professional and national backgrounds
You have the choice of taking the interdisciplinary MSc or one of three specialist pathways.
MSc International Development with Conflict and Humanitarian Action
The MSc International Development with Conflict and Humanitarian Action pathway enables you to gain an in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of the theories and concepts that underpin contemporary humanitarian action and conflict response. You will also form a critical understanding of humanitarian, peacebuilding and development policy and practice. You will learn how to interpret and evaluate research information and evidence on topics related to humanitarianism, conflict, and development.
MSc International Development with Economics
The MSc International Development with Economics pathway covers the key economic concepts, theories, and tools required to understand development issues, policies, and practices, including those of heterodox and social economics. You will learn how to apply them to analyze specific development problems, such as through appropriate combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods.
MSc International Development, Social justice and Sustainability
The MSc International Development, Social justice and Sustainability pathway enables you to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of theories and concepts of social and environmental justice, wellbeing and sustainability. You will develop in-depth knowledge of people’s practical struggles globally and locally for a better life, and the forms of policy and politics that can support or frustrate these. You will also explore how integrated perspectives can capture the complex interactions between social and ecological systems. Additionally, you will consider areas of complementarity and the trade-off between economic development, human well-being and environmental sustainability.
Learning and teaching
You will join the Department of Social & Policy Studies here at Bath. We are ranked in the top 50 for Development Studies in the QS World University Rankings 2017.
Our staff is all active in this field, research-led, and united in their commitment to finding better solutions to the world’s development problems.
We encourage diversity of intake, inexperience, qualifications, and interests, to stimulate the richness of experience and learning.
This course provides an excellent background for those wishing to pursue an international development career and improve people’s lives.
You will be qualified to work in a wide variety of roles, including social research, public policy, public information and campaigning.
Many of our graduates from similar courses have found jobs with high profile organizations, including:
- Economic Development Team Leader for the UK Department for International Development Palestinian programme in Jerusalem
- Outreach Channel Director at Marie Stopes International
- Humanitarian Policy Manager at Plan International
- Microfinance Partnerships Manager at One Acre Fund
- Regional Projects Manager at International Alert
- Private Sector Development Adviser at the UK Department for International Development
- Power Sector Policy Adviser at the UK Department for International Development
- Chair of the South West International Development Network and Executive Director of the Development Studies Association
Other graduates have chosen to work for themselves and set up their own charities, while others have stayed in academia, to complete doctoral studies.
This course lasts 1 year. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2019. Induction week starts on 24 September 2018.
Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.
The total number of credits for the taught-stage is 60 credits, with most units being 12 Credits. A typical week would approximately average between 6-10 hours of classes or seminars a week depending on options taken. The dissertation or practicum (work-based project) is 30 credits.
Compulsory course units
These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.
- Doing research for international development
- History and theory of international development
- Plus one optional unit
- Doing research for international development
- Management of international development
- Plus one optional unit
- Either Dissertation or Practicum
Optional course units
These optional units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.
- Economics for development
- Social and environmental justice
- Conflict, development, and peacebuilding
- Global political economy
- Sustainability and wellbeing
- International development policy analysis and evaluation
- Education and international development
As an alternative to writing a dissertation, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake an eight-week practicum (work-based project), working with an organization involved in international development. You'll write a report reflecting on a particular area of professional practice.
Learning and assessment
- Online resources
- Practical sessions
- Online assessment
- Oral assessment
- Practical work
- Work-based placement
- Written examination
MSc International Development from the University of Bath on Vimeo.
- You should have a bachelor’s honors degree or international equivalent, typically a 2:1 or above.
- To apply for this course you should have an undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject such as politics, economics, anthropology, international relations, African, Latin American or South East Asian Studies or environmental studies.
- We will also consider graduates with an undergraduate degree in other subjects where you have relevant professional experience in international development.
- We may make an offer based on a lower grade if you can provide evidence of your suitability for the degree.
- If your first language is not English but within the last 2 years, you completed your degree in the UK, you may be exempt from our English Language requirements.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
- The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
- TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components
If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.
For international students, please contact the school for more information.
Fees and funding
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.
How to pay
Tuition fee loans
If you are studying a postgraduate course, you may be able to take out a loan for your tuition fees and living costs.
Scholarships and bursaries
You could be considered for a bursary or scholarship to help you study at Bath. You do not have to pay it back.
Other payment options
You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.
You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing, and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of textbooks.
Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation, and food and drink.
If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.
Program taught in: