MSc in International Development Studies
Norwegian University of Life Sciences NMBU
Earliest start date
* no tuition fees. However, most students must pay a small semester fee.
The program provides an understanding of global social, political and economic change. The degree provides a critical understanding of the history and current dynamics of globalization, and its impact on societies and environments.
What can you use this qualification for?
Students find employment in a wide range of national and international institutions, government agencies, non-governmental development organizations, multilateral and bilateral aid organizations, businesses, research and teaching institutions.
What will you learn?
The degree is distinguished by its combined use of research-based pedagogy and real-world study and practice as the foundation to understand what development means, and how it is practiced in a complex and changing global context. Students will gain a solid grounding in the concepts, theory, and practice of international development, and will learn about conditions for human development at the local and global levels, as well as the relationships between development and ecological processes.
The degree is organized as a full-time program over a 2-year period with 120 study points. All teaching is in English; basic requirements regarding English qualifications must be met. The degree consists of a series of courses including a Masters thesis. Students have the choice of a 30 or 60-point thesis. Students are encouraged to write their thesis on the basis of research carried out in ‘field’ conditions in the global North and South. The first year consists of coursework covering development theory and policy, research methodology plus elective subjects. Field courses, providing valuable practical experience, are offered as electives and are usually followed by field research for the Master thesis. Students design an individual study plan during the first semester. Compulsory courses can be waived for students with a strong background in the subject. The thesis is usually written in the final spring semester.
You will understand the connections and political and economic processes in the global North and South, and acquire the necessary analytical and practical skills to work in the field of international development.
After completing this study program the students should have the following competencies:
- Understand the meaning of development, the various approaches and theories related to the dynamics of development, and the critique of these.
- A specialized insight into a particular area of development, for example, poverty, food security or institutions.
- Knowledge of theories and knowledge of understanding of different conceptions of development, including the disciplinary and interdisciplinary interpretations.
- Utilize the competence in planning and carrying out field research, project management, and development work, critically assess new academic developments, within the development studies field as well as policy directions.
- Carry out interdisciplinary analyses of development issues and evaluate past experience of various policy instruments in collaboration with colleagues from other academic fields.
- Use various understandings and methods of social relations and drivers of change.
- Analyse old and new directions within social sciences in understanding poverty, wealth accumulation, rights evolution and conflict.
- Evaluate and use primary, secondary and tertiary sources of data.
- Develop a critical perspective on power relations, ethical issues, and conflicts of values related to social and environmental processes of change.
- Contribute to social innovation and propose new solutions to development challenges.
- Plan and carry out independent research, develop innovative research questions and engage critically in policy formulation and project development.
- Solve theoretical and methodological and project and policy problems.
- Apply knowledge in new settings such as development, private sector management or teaching.
- Participate in networks, negotiations, and public debates, and be able to collaborate with people from different cultural backgrounds and academic fields.