MSc Research for International Development

SOAS University of London

Program Description

MSc Research for International Development

SOAS University of London

MSc Research for International Development

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Duration: One calendar year (full-time) Two (part-time, daytime only) We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.

Entry Requirements: Normally minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in the social sciences, including some economics and/or political economy, and preferably a demonstrable interest in research and research methods. Work and other experience may be taken into account. Each student must attend the Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics module, and attend its exam. The preliminary module runs in September prior to the start of teaching in term one.

Who is this programme for?

The degree has been developed to meet the needs of both development practitioners and researchers on international development, including those wishing to pursue an MPhil/PhD in International Development. The programme will suit students with a variety of backgrounds in social sciences, including politics, sociology, economics, and so on. It would also meet the needs of people working, or hope to work in international agencies, humanitarian organisations, and NGOs. Students with a strong interest in research and research methods will thrive on the MSc distinctive focus on training in research methods.

The MSc Research for International Development is a newly established interdisciplinary Taught Masters programme at SOAS, offered jointly by the departments of Economics and Development Studies. This cutting-edge degree is funded and supported by the UK’s ESRC (The Economic and Social Research Council) as part of the Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre.

The programme’s unique core module Battlefield of Methods: Approaches to International Development equips students with the theoretical background and analytical skills to inquire into the relationship between theory and method in the domain of international development. The module provides students with knowledge about the plurality of methodological approaches in key areas of international development research, and the policy choices and strategies associated with these. The module offers students the opportunity to engage with a selection of methods used in international development research.

Further training in a variety of research methods is the focus of the other two core modules: Research Methods in Political Economy I and II. RMI covers the necessary statistical methods for social sciences including survey design and regression analysis. It aims to a) introduce students to statistical inference; b) encourage the clear and coherent expression of statistical results, and c) promote the critical reading of statistics within the development literature. RMII addresses sources and methods for the social sciences in the context of the political economy of development.

This programme gives students advanced interdisciplinary training in research methods and topics in Research for International Development. While the programme structure emphasises research methods, students will also have the opportunity to choose from a large number of substantive optional modules. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme is by virtue of both the core modules and options available for a study being drawn from two departments within SOAS: Economics and Development Studies. Students will, therefore, benefit from studying with experts in a variety of fields of international development, and from the wide regional expertise in developing countries and development issues.


Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.

All students take core modules, ‘Battlefields of Method’, ‘Statistical Research Techniques in International Development’, ‘Research Methods in International Development’ and a ‘Dissertation in Development Studies’.


Students also take option modules from those offered by the Department of Development Studies and the Department of Economics. Please note that economics modules can only be taken with the permission of the specific Module Convenor and will depend on a specific background in economics.

Please note that not all option modules may run every year. Modules at other institutions (intercollegiate) are not part of the approved programme structure.

Part-time study

Students can take this programme part-time over 2 or 3 years. Students usually complete their core modules in Year 1 and their option modules and dissertation in subsequent years.

Core Modules

Students take the following FOUR core modules:

  • Battlefields of Method: Approaches to International Development Research 15PDSC008 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Dissertation in Research Methods for International Development 15PDSC997 (60 credits) Full Year - Module can only be taken as part of the MSc Research for International Development programme
  • Statistical Research Techniques in International Development 15PECC052 (15credits) Term 2
  • Research Methods in International Development 15PECC053 (15credits) Term 1

Option Modules

Students choose modules to the value of 60 credits from lists below:

Option Modules in the Department of Development Studies

  • Aid and Development 15PDSH027 (15credits) Term 1
  • Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 (15credits) Term 1
  • Borders and Development 15PDSH023 (15credits) Term 2
  • Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 (15credits) Term 1
  • Development Practice 15PDSH013 (15credits) Term 2
  • Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 (15credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Extractive Industries, Energy, Biofuels and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 (15credits) Term 2
  • Famine and food security 15PDSH022 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Gender and Development 15PDSH010 (15credits) Term 1
  • Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Issues in Forced Migration 15PDSH015 (15credits) Term 2
  • Marxist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH053 (15credits) Term 2
  • Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 (15credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 (15credits) Term 1
  • Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 (15credits) Term 2
  • Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 (15credits) Term 2
  • Security 15PDSH020 (15credits) Term 1
  • The Working Poor and Development 15PDSH030 (15credits) Term 2
  • Understanding Economic Migration: Theories, Patterns and Policies 15PDSH032 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • War to Peace Transitions 15PDSH018 (15credits) Term 2
  • Water and Development: Conflict and Governance 15PDSH049 (15credits) Term 2
  • Water Resources: Justice and Governance 15PDSH041 (15credits) Term 1

Option Modules in the Department of Economics

Students need to get approval from the Module Convenor in order to take modules from the list below:

  • African Economic Development 1 (MSc RID) 15PECC057 (15credits) Term 1
  • African Economic Development 2 (MSc RID) 15PECC058 (15credits) Term 2
  • China's Economic Transformation 15PECH024 (15credits) Term 1
  • China and World Development 15PECH023 (15credits) Term 2
  • Economic development of South Asia a) the macroeconomy 15PECC026 (15credits) Term 1
  • Economic Development of Japan 15PECH025 (15credits) Term 2
  • Economic development of South Asia b) major sectors & the international 15PECC027 (15credits) Term 2
  • Economics of environment and development 15PECC048 (15credits) Term 2
  • Financial systems and economic development 15PECC036 (15credits) Term 1
  • Gender Economics (PG) 15PECH026 (15credits) Term 1
  • Global Economic Policy Analysis 15PECC063 (15credits) Term 1
  • Global Production and Industrial Policy 15PECH027 (15credits) Term 1
  • History of Economic Analysis 15PECH006 (15credits) Term 1
  • Institutions and Governance 15PECC064 (15credits) Term 2
  • Macroeconomics 15PECC005 (15credits) Term 1
  • Microeconomics 15PECC006 (15credits) Term 1
  • The economic development of South East Asia 15PECC004 (30 credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Theory of financial institutions & policy 15PECC021 (15credits) Term 2

Centre for Gender Studies

  • Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 (15credits) Term 1
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated July 18, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2019
Sept. 2019
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
11,545 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £11,545; Full-time Overseas Fees: £19,730 per academic year
Singapore - Singapore
Start date : Aug. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
United Kingdom - London, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Sept. 1, 2019
Aug. 2019
Singapore - Singapore
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Sept. 1, 2019