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Development Studies (MSc - Postgraduate Diploma - Postgraduate Certificate)

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  • Objectives
    This interdisciplinary programme focuses on the determinants and dynamics of global poverty and the institutional mechanisms within multi-lateral, bi-lateral and non-governmental organisations. It is designed to address issues of inequality and development. You will take two core modules – Development Studies: Theoretical Approaches and The Politics and Economics of Development – and choose from a range of thematic option modules, allowing you to tailor your programme according to your personal or career interests. The transferable skills you will develop during the programme include the capacity to analyse debates and issues in development in a critical manner, improved teamworking, and written and oral communication. You will also learn to locate and analyse qualitative and quantitative data on development from printed and electronic sources. This programme is suitable if you want to further your knowledge of, or are planning a career in, development agencies and other international organisations. It is also relevant for people interested in policy research, journalism and the non-governmental sector. Some familiarity with development issues is an advantage.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Good degree in social sciences or another relevant subject. Students with other qualifications or appropriate equivalent professional experience are encouraged to apply. Students who have successfully completed Certificate of Higher Education modules in Development Studies offered by the Faculty of Lifelong Learning may also be considered. Please note that this programme can become oversubscribed, so meeting the entry requirements will not guarantee applicants a place.
  • Academic Title
    Development Studies (MSc / Postgraduate Diploma / Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Course description
    PgCert: two core modules and one option.

    PgDip: two core modules and two options.

    MSc: two core modules, two options and a dissertation.

    Core modules

    -Development Studies: Theoretical Approaches
    -The Politics and Economics of Development.


    -Gender and Development
    -Development Management
    -Revolutions and War
    -Migration and Refugees
    -Non-Governmental Organisations – Policy and Practice
    -The Political Economy of Childhood
    -'Race', Ethnicity and Development
    -Material and Visual Cultures of Development.

    These options may vary from year to year. Relevant options may also be taken from other Birkbeck programmes, subject to agreement with the programme directors.

    Lectures, seminars, group work and presentations.

    Coursework, including essays, critical surveys of relevant literature and a reflective learning journal. Dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words for the MSc.

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