International Development (MA) (2023 Entry)
Explore our International Development taught Master's degree.
International Development is an interdisciplinary field of research, policy and practice concerned with challenges of economic growth, inequality, justice, human freedom and global governance focused on the global south.
Join experts at Warwick's Politics and International Studies Department and Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre for International Development (WICID)Link opens in a new window and develop your critical thinking and research skills as well as learning how to translate these into practical solutions.
Develop your analytical and practical skills to understand the most pressing global challenges in our world today, including inequality, sustainability and security.
This programme will introduce you to the intellectual and political foundations of International Development, to the key events and themes which have shaped its evolution, and to the major issues that have (and have not) been addressed in the scholarship and practice of International Development. You will examine the institutions of International Development put in place through the Bretton Woods System, the various United Nations institutions, governmental and non-governmental policies and practices in the historical context of Empire and of contemporary globalisation.
We believe that theoretical work and empirical work are not separate exercises. Practical problems stimulate theory construction, and theories inform the ways in which we handle substantive issues. Students will learn to write policy papers and develop skills to translate critical thinking into problem solving.
We offer an exciting package of core and optional modules which include both theoretical and applied learning. This classroom-based work is reinforced and deepened by bringing our MA students into contact with the work of WICIDLink opens in a new window which is housed in PAIS. MA students can join WICID events, engage with the centre’s Think Development BlogLink opens in a new window and learn about the work of its academic, policy and practitioner collaborators.
Students can lead and participate in the Warwick Global Development SocietyLink opens in a new window and a student-led end of the year Development Conference, which offers additional opportunities to learn valuable professional skills and to apply learning throughout the year in shaping the content of the conference.
Our Double Degree programmes enable you to combine the study of this MA programme in PAIS with a Master’s programme at any one of our partner universities:
- American University, Washington DC, USA
- University of Waterloo, Canada
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
- University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
- Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Learn more about our Double Degrees
General entry requirements
2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.
Visit our PAIS web pages for department-specific advice on applying to ensure your application has the best chance for success.
Postgraduate FAQs (PAIS specific)
English language requirements
You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:
- Band B
- IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.
Theories and Issues in International Development
This module explores both ‘theories’ and ‘issues’ relating to globalisation, governance and development. By examining ‘theories’ we explore the ways that knowledge is constructed - What assumptions do we make? What concepts do we employ? What explanations do we propose? What normative judgements do we make?
By examining ‘issues’, this module considers some of the prominent substantive items on the policy agenda of development institutions and agencies, as well as civil society actors. Whether and how do processes of globalisation transform, undermine or reinforce existing patterns of inequality and injustice? Is the traditional organisation of political life and the work of key development agencies still relevant in a context of globalisation? What new configurations of power have emerged in a globalised society? Are countries of the Global South able to respond and take advantage of these new configurations?
You will study the major debates on histories of colonialism, nationalism and modernity, and different approaches to postcolonial development as well as issues that impinge on global development – poverty, climate change, trade, gender relations and food security among others.
The Dissertation is the final piece of assessment, worth 60 credits. It gives you a chance to treat a topic of your choice, related to your course. It is a personal and autonomous piece of research, conducted under the guidance of a member of staff in your disciplinary field, mostly during term 3 and summer.
Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:
- Transnational Justice and International Development
- Citizenship, Migration and Cultural Diversity
- East Asian Development Models
The optional module lists are updated regularly.
You may select up to 40 CATS (normally two modules) from a list of specialist modules for this course, and a further 40-80 CATS from our extensive range of optional modules for a total of 120 CATS of taught modules.
Most modules are taught via one 2-hour seminar per week. Every seminar will be based on extensive guided reading you will do each week, but there is no strict pattern to how sessions are run. This may include mini-lectures followed by discussion, Q&A sessions, organised debates, peer presentations, policy briefs, small group work, and other projects.
You can also choose to study part-time with us. Find out more about part-time study on our PAIS web pages.
Normally a maximum of 18 per seminar group in PAIS delivered modules.
Typical contact hours
6 hours of seminars per week for 9 weeks in Terms One and Two plus advice and feedback hours when requested and Dissertation supervision in Terms Two and Three.
Assessment methods include research essays, a policy brief and other (written) assignments throughout the year, culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation at the end.
Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.
Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules in a module pre-registration process about which you will receive information at the beginning of September.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Action Aid; World Bank; UN agencies; UK and other universities; Deloitte; Japan Ministry of Defence; Nationwide Building Society; and the UK Cabinet Office. They have pursued roles such as: communications officers for major INGOs, business and financial project management professionals; economists; finance officers; policy analysts and public services associate professionals.
Our Department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Your future awaits - the many things you can do after your degree in the PAIS Department
- Careers in Government and Politics
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- After your PAIS Master’s – What Next?
- Assessment Centres and Interviews: an overview of what to expect for PAIS students
Politics and International Studies at Warwick
Join an innovative, creative and passionate department with a lively and interactive culture. Stretch and challenge yourself with the support of friendly staff and your peers.
Find out more about us on our website.Link opens in a new window
Our Postgraduate courses
- International Development (MA)
- International Political Economy (MA)
- International Politics and East Asia (MA)
- International Politics and Europe (MA)
- International Relations (MA)
- International Security (MA)
- Politics and International Studies (PhD)
- Political and Legal Theory (MA)
- Politics, Big Data and Quantitative Methods (MA)
- Public Policy (MA)
- United States Foreign Policy (MA)
Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.
Taught course fees Research course fees
Fee Status Guidance
The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.
If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.
Additional course costs
Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
- Core text books
- Printer credits
- Dissertation binding
- Robe hire for your degree ceremony
Scholarships and bursaries
Scholarships and financial support
Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.
PAIS Funding Opportunities
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