The 21st-century world is experiencing drastic economic, social, cultural, political, technological, and environmental changes. These changes have far-reaching global implications for poverty, economic growth, social harmony and political stability. This is especially true for developing countries, where these changed are posing fresh challenges in human development. There are no simple answers to these problems, yet the quest for sustainable human development remains a matter of utmost importance.

Development is the instrument as well as the process through which people strive to achieve the goals of peace and prosperity. A systematic and multi-disciplinary examination of the factors affecting development is essential for identifying appropriate policies and processes necessary for the promotion of equitable and sustainable development.

BIGD has designed the Master of Development Studies (MDS) program to provide an in-depth understanding of development concepts and issues from a broad interdisciplinary perspective. On satisfactory completion of the program, students will be able to approach and analyze development issues in the context of globalization, economic transformation, and social, cultural and political changes. The program keeps provision for a wide range of elective courses so that students can pursue their studies in accordance with their respective academic interests and career objectives. The program will prepare graduates for higher studies or to pursue fulfilling careers in teaching, research, consultancy, and management in organizations with development goals and objectives.

Course Content

The Master of Development Studies (MDS) is a postgraduate program of 48 credits. It consists of 3 Foundation courses (9 credits), 6 core courses (18 credits), 3 elective courses (9 credits) and a comprehensive course on Research Concepts, Methods and Application (12 credits). In addition, a student may be required to take one or more preparatory courses if his/her undergraduate preparation is not deemed adequate for the program.

Considering the diversity of courses included in the curriculum, the MDS Program provides for a wide variety of teaching-learning methods like lecture-discussion, debate, seminar, role plays, case study, workshop, project work, teamwork, research, etc. The teacher offering a course will carefully select and utilize the methods that are appropriate for the course and lesson objectives. Emphasis will, however, be given on choosing methods that enable a student to learn and apply theories in practice.

To facilitate placement in jobs, a student without job experience may avail of the option of internship for a semester so as to gain practical experience in development organizations. The internship will be supervised by a faculty and on completion, the student will submit an internship report for the purpose of evaluation and grading. A certificate will be issued upon passing the internship.

Duration of the Program

The duration of the program will vary depending upon the number of credits a student registers for. If a student registers for 12 credits every semester, she\he will complete the program in 4 semesters.

Prospective Students

As the program is a multi-disciplinary one, students are selected from different disciplines.

The student body of MDS may include:

  • Graduates and post-graduate diploma holders in development or related studies who want to deepen their understanding of the subject;
  • Social science and other graduates who want to specialize in development studies;
  • Professionals who are working in NGOs, development organizations or in the private sector with a development focus;
  • Academics and researchers who want to refine their knowledge and research skills in development issues.

Program Structure

Foundation/Prerequisite courses: Three (3) Courses 3×3=9 Credits hours

  • DEV 300 Economics and Development
  • DEV 301 Fundamentals of Social Science I- Sociology and Anthropology of Development
  • DEV 302 Fundamentals of Social Science II- Politics, Political Economy, and Government in Bangladesh

B. Core courses: Six (6) Courses 6×3=18 Credits hours

  • DEV 501 Development Perspectives
  • DEV 502 Poverty: Concept, Measurement, and Policy
  • DEV 503 Global Dimensions of Development
  • DEV 504 Rural Development
  • DEV 505 Gender and Development
  • DEV 506 Monitoring and Evaluation

C. Research Concepts, Methods, and Application: Three (3) Courses 3×3=9 Credits hours

  • DEV 690 Research Methods and Concepts
  • DEV 691 Statistics and Computer skill development
  • DEV 692 Research Design and Proposal Writing

D. Electives courses: Three (3) Courses 3×3=9 Credits hours

  • DEV 601 Comparative Development Experience
  • DEV 602 Development Informatics
  • DEV 603 Education and Development
  • DEV 604 Environment and Development
  • DEV 605 Governance and Development
  • DEV 606 Health and Development
  • DEV 607 Indigenous Knowledge in Development
  • DEV 608 Microfinance and Development
  • DEV 609 Nationalism, Identity Politics, and Development
  • DEV 610 NGOs and Social Entrepreneurship
  • DEV 611 Population and Development
  • DEV 612 Project Appraisal and Management
  • DEV 613 The Rights-Based Approach to Development
  • DEV 614 Technology and Development
  • DEV 615 Urban Development
  • DEV 616 Financial Management
  • DEV 617 Law and Development
  • DEV 618 Social Communication
  • DEV 619 Land Acquisition, Displacement, and Development
  • DEV 620 Involuntary Resettlement and Rehabilitation
  • DEV 621 Development Induced Resettlement and Rehabilitation

E. Thesis (optional): Three (1) Courses 3×1=3 Credits hours

  • DEV 693 Thesis

Admission Requirements

For admission into the MDS program, a prospective student must:

  • have at least a 3-year bachelor's degree or a Master degree in any discipline.
  • The requirement for a 3 years Bachelor degree/third-division may be relaxed for a candidate who has done a postgraduate certificate or diploma course in addition to a bachelor degree or who has at least 10 years of job experience and passed the assessment test.
  • have at least second class in SSC, HSC and in the bachelor's degree or at least second division/class in SSC, HSC and a CGPA of at least 2.00 in the bachelor's degree. (Alternatively, for HSC-Letter grades/O-Level in five subjects & A-Level in two subjects with a GPA of 2.0 or above, according to BRAC University scale: A= 5, B= 4, C= 3, D= 2 & E= l. Only one E is acceptable.)
  • Qualify in the admission test consisting of a written test and an interview.
Program taught in:
  • English

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