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MA in International Development

International Development is a multidisciplinary framework for assessing and analyzing political, social and economic development of postcolonial nation-states. Emerging from the discipline of Economics, it soon drew attention of political scientists, lawyers and sociologists who wanted to know how new nations addressed the major problems facing them in the post Second World war and Cold War landscape. The major debates engaged in by Development Studies, as it came to known, focused on growth v inequality, efficiency v democracy, state v market led development and modernity v tradition. The practice of development was also framed within these debates and was institutionalized through the Bretton Woods System, the various UN institutions, governmental and non-governmental policies and initiatives.

Programme content

The continuing importance of these debates can be seen today as we discuss how are inequality, political instability and economic development linked? Whether market shocks reshape political as well as economic frameworks? Whether economic growth is a good measure of human development? Is modernity the goal that is worth aspiring to in the context of environmental crisis? Why does gender justice matter for development? Why does poverty persist in a world of plenty?

The MA in International Development at Warwick seeks to introduce you to these debates and questions. Theoretical work and empirical work are not separate exercises. Practical problems stimulate theory construction, and theories inform the ways that we handle substantive issues. Theory that lacks bearing on practice is irrelevant. Action that lacks theoretical clarity and coherence is confused and ineffective.

All of our MA programmes are worth 180 CATS (credits) in total. As part of this course, you will be required to take one core module (40 CATS). You then select 40 CATS (normally 2 modules) from a list of specialist modules for this course, and a further 40 CATS from our extensive range of optional modules. If you pass the taught modules, you will move on to the second phase of the MA programme and complete a dissertation of 10,000 words (60 CATS).

Further information

About the course

Programme Director:
Ben Richardson

Entry requirements



The student experience


"PAIS may be highly ranked on the university league tables, but this doesn’t even begin to capture the learning experience as a student here. As an MA International Development student, I am exposed to an exciting environment that is in touch with current development discourses. I am encouraged not only to go beyond the widely accepted development prescriptions, but also to reimagine what development really means and how it can be achieved.

The global nature of the course is not only reflected in the scope of the material, but also in the international nature of the student body and I can now 'proudly' say I have friends from every part of the globe. The Warwick experience has broadened my perspective in ways I would never have imagined and that, to me, is what makes it all worth it."

- Angela Muraguri, MA International Development 2013-14

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