MSc ICTs for Development

Year of entry: 2021

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Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science (MSc)
Duration
12 months (full-time); 24 months (part-time)
Entry requirements

We require a UK bachelor's degree with a First or Upper Second classification or the overseas equivalent, in any discipline.

When assessing your academic record we take into account the grades you have achieved, your academic references and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2021. Later applications will be processed at our discretion.

Applications for this course are very competitive. Due to the high demand we may not be able to offer places to all applicants who have the entry qualifications that we require. If you meet our entry requirements but we are unable to make you an offer you may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates on a waiting list will receive an offer only if places become available.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Study conceptual frameworks to understand the process of socio-economic development and the role of information and of ICTs in the development process.
  • Benefit from The University of Manchester's world-leading Centre for Development Informatics .
  • Gain new knowledge and skills to help in the effective planning, development, implementation and management of ICT4D initiatives.
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Professor Diana Mitlin on how Manchester is leading the world in addressing global inequalities

Open days

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and find out more about our facilities and courses.

On this day, you will find out more about the School of Environment, Education and Development and our resources, and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see  Open days

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £22,500
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £11,250

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for international students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit postgraduate fees

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and merit awards to outstanding applicants and international students.

In addition, the Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see Fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
SEED Recruitment and Admissions Team
Email
Website
http://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/
School/Faculty
See: The School .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require a UK bachelor's degree with a First or Upper Second classification or the overseas equivalent, in any discipline.

When assessing your academic record we take into account the grades you have achieved, your academic references and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English should meet the following language requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic) test score of 6.5 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 6.5 and no other subsection below 6.0
  • TOEFL internet-based test score of 90 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 22 and no other subsection below 20
  • Pearson Test of English score of 59 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 59 and no other subsection below 51
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 176 or above, with 176 in writing and no sub-section below 169 -OR- Grade C if taken before January 2015(Please note that the Cambridge First Certificate in English is not acceptable)

You are not required to submit an English language certificate at the time of application, however if you are eligible for an offer it will be subject to meeting our English language requirements.

Pre-sessional courses

We will consider applicants who do not meet these scores but you may be required to complete a pre-sessional English language course at the University of Manchester prior to the start of the course.

To be considered for a pre-sessional English language course for this programme we require the following minimum IELTS (Academic) scores:

6 Week Pre-Sessional Course:   Minimum 6.0 overall with minimum 6.0 in writing, no more than one subskill of 5.5 and no subskill below 5.5

If you have not yet completed your current academic study and are interested in studying a pre-sessional course, you must hold an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test certificate to ensure that you are eligible for a separate visa for the English language course.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Applicants from Majority English-speaking countries

If you are a national of a   majority English-speaking country   (or have studied for a full bachelor¿s degree or higher from one of these countries) you may be exempt from submitting further evidence of English language proficiency.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from across the globe. To help international students the university provides specific information for many individual countries. Please see our   country-specific information page   for guidance on the academic and English language qualifications which may be accepted from your country.

Professional entry qualification

If you do not meet our academic entry qualification criterion, your admission may still be approved if satisfactory evidence of postgraduate study, research or substantial relevant professional experience can be provided.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2021. Later applications will be processed at our discretion.

Applications for this course are very competitive. Due to the high demand we may not be able to offer places to all applicants who have the entry qualifications that we require. If you meet our entry requirements but we are unable to make you an offer you may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates on a waiting list will receive an offer only if places become available.

Advice to applicants

Please submit the following documents with your completed application form:
  • copies of official degree certificates and transcripts of your previous study, showing the subjects taken and grades obtained. If these documents are in languages other than English please provide official translations;
  • two written academic references on official institution letterhead, signed, dated, stamped and containing the official university email address of your referees. Alternatively, your referees can send us the reference letters directly from their official university email address. If you have had a substantial period away from any formal learning, professional references may be considered. Professional references should be written on official company letterhead, signed, dated, stamped and containing the professional email address of your referees. Alternatively, your referees can send us the reference letters directly from their professional email address;
  • a personal statement (maximum 500 words) detailing why you wish to study the course, your experiences, what you can bring to the course and any other information that you see as relevant to your application;
  • your CV;
  • copies of English Language Certification, eg IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test score report.
Ensure that you enclose all the necessary documents, as the delay caused in having to seek any missing documents from you might adversely prejudice your application.

How your application is considered

Once your application has been received, our admissions team will contact you. We may ask you to submit additional information, if necessary.

Applications for MSc ICTs for Development are very competitive. Due to the high demand for the programme we may not be able to offer places to all applicants who have the entry qualifications that we require. If you meet our entry requirements but we are unable to make you an offer you may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates on a waiting list will receive an offer only if places become available.

If you decide to accept your offer, when you arrive in Manchester you will be required to show to us the original documents which demonstrate your academic qualifications and your English language ability.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. 

In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

MSc ICTs for Development will train you to become an information-and-communications-technology-for-development (ICT4D) champion who possesses the necessary technical and contextual skills to lead digital development programmes and projects to completion, such as ICT-enabled enterprise, e-government, m-health, MOOCs, etc.

In recent years there has been - and continues to be - a massive expansion in the number of ICT4D projects in developing and transitional economies. With a skills shortage resulting in a high project failure rate, this course satisfies the pressing need for ICT4D champions.

By taking this course, you will benefit from The University of Manchester's world-leading Centre for Development Informatics and gain:

  • conceptual frameworks to understand the process of socio-economic development and the role of information and of ICTs in the development process;
  • new knowledge and skills to help in the effective planning, development, implementation and management of ICT4D initiatives.

A range of optional course units provides an opportunity to satisfy specialist ICT4D champion knowledge and skill requirements, while the overseas field visits that we offer will enable you to build up your real-world experience at no additional cost

The course is designed for those applying, or seeking to apply, digital information and communication technologies in pursuit of socio-economic development goals.

It will include those who have, or plan to have direct design and implementation responsibilities, project managerial responsibilities, or broader strategic or policy-related responsibilities. Typical participants include:

  • early-career professionals who have found themselves involved with ICT4D projects and want a period to reflect, learn and broaden their impact and career horizons;
  • technical staff involved with ICT4D projects who wish to add systems, managerial and development skills to their portfolio;
  • computing graduates who wish to make ethical use of their skills but lack the necessary understanding of systems and development.

Special features

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Development Informatics fieldwork in Cape Town
  • We're Europe's largest dedicated development research and teaching institute and have been at the forefront of development studies for over 60 years .
  • We're ranked 6th in the UK and 9th in the world for development studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020).
  • Our research was ranked first in the UK for impact and second in the UK for quality in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
  • We are proud to tackle global inequalities and rank first in the UK for our impact on the Sustainable Development Goals ( THE Impact Rankings 2020 ).
  • We bring cutting-edge insights from our research into all our postgraduate teaching. Our courses bring different development perspectives and voices to Manchester, from activists from the Global South to the leaders of multinational companies.
  • We are home to the internationally-recognised Effective States and Inclusive Development and FutureDAMS research centres.
  • Students are part of our vibrant research community this includes our public lecture series which brings world experts, former heads of state, and leading development thinkers, to discuss current issues in development.
  • We have numerous scholarship opportunities for outstanding applicants.

Teaching and learning

Please note that field visits may be scheduled at any point during the course, including during University vacations. You are expected to be available to attend.

Part-time students complete the course over 24 months. There are no evening or weekend course units available; you should, therefore, discuss course requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer. Timetabling information is usually available from late August. You can discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

The taught elements of the course, carrying 120 credits overall, is continuously assessed by a variety of methods (eg project-based reports, essays), involving largely individual submissions, but also elements of group work.

You must also complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice approved by the Programme Directors. You are encouraged to base your dissertation on topics of direct professional concern.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
ICTs & Socio-Economic Development MGDI60701 15 Mandatory
Planning and Managing Development MGDI70992 15 Mandatory
Research Skills Development MGDI72090 15 Mandatory
Teaching and Learning Online EDUC70050 15 Optional
Multimedia Design and Development EDUC70510 15 Optional
Introducing Information Systems in Organisations MGDI60012 15 Optional
Issues in the Management of Information Systems MGDI60052 15 Optional
Human Resource Development & Leadership MGDI60162 15 Optional
Behavioural Experiments, Quantitative Field Research and Development Policy MGDI60191 15 Optional
eBusiness: Organisation and Strategy MGDI60352 15 Optional
Development Fundamentals MGDI60411 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Information and Information Systems MGDI60481 15 Optional
Human Resource Development: Programmes and Policies in Practice MGDI60492 15 Optional
Economic Development MGDI60711 15 Optional
Anti-Poverty Transfers MGDI61512 15 Optional
Organisational Behaviour MGDI70072 15 Optional
Organizational Psychology, Management and Change MGDI70081 15 Optional
Gender & Development MGDI70802 15 Optional
ICTs in Practice MGDI71932 15 Optional
Development Practice: International Contexts and Worlds of Action MGDI71981 15 Optional
Characteristics and Skills of Development Practice MGDI71992 15 Optional
Contemporary Issues in Development Finance MGDI72162 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 22 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

There are many internal and external funding opportunities for postgraduate study.

We offer several postgraduate taught scholarships to outstanding applicants. We also regularly welcome students on the University's Equity and Merit scholarship scheme.

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class Bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

Many of our students have gained British Chevening, British Council or Commonwealth scholarships, as well as country-specific awards.

For more information, see  fees and funding  or  search the University's postgraduate funding database .

What our students say

'To expand my career in the field of international development and business in developing countries, I was looking for postgraduate program. In this field, Prof. Richard Heeks at The University of Manchester is one of the most famous professors in the world. That's why I chose this program.'

Tomoya Ichikawa, MSc ICTs for Development

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email  dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

The course is relevant to those with career trajectories in the NGO and public sectors, and in the private sector given the private sector's increasing involvement with ICT4D projects. It is particularly intended for those who will be working in or with transitional and developing economies.

MSc ICTs for Development can help you select and target jobs in any part of the tribrid triangle which marks the overall set of typical jobs into which our graduates move. These are some mix of international development roles, management roles (including strategic and analytical management), and digital technology roles.

Each year, one or two of our students decide to continue their studies by undertaking a PhD. Those who take a PhD typically see themselves with a career trajectory into academia or into a research-intensive job role such as consultancy or policy advisory positions. Those from the MSc ICT4D programme may study with the University's Centre for Digital Development .

NGOs and third sector organisations

Our teaching and research aims are suited to work in non-government and civil society organisations where you take on a range of roles from policy advisors, project managers, HR and communications staff. Our alumni can be found at large international NGOs like Oxfam as well as in many smaller organisations.

Government and policy

Graduates can be found in national governments, multilateral organisations and policy influencing positions around the world, in organisations including DFID, the World Bank, African Union, United Nations and as civil servants around the world.

Private sector

Our focus on how businesses and the private sector can play a role in development enables you to gain employment in multinational organisations, private sector firms or to start your own organisations addressing some of the biggest global challenges.

Research and teaching

Our master's courses provide you with a strong theoretical foundation for further study. Alumni find employment in research and teaching positions at universities and research institutes around the world.

Top employers include:

  • African Union;
  • Oxfam;
  • Inter-American Development Bank;
  • Care;
  • Mercy Corps;
  • The British Council;
  • the World Bank;
  • the Department for International Development;
  • United Nations;
  • USAID.

Find out more about our alumni and some of our notable former students .

Careers support

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .

Careers support for international students

The Careers Service provides specialist resources, advice and events to help with career planning and making the most of your time while studying in Manchester.

Global networks

The University of Manchester is proud to have the largest global alumni community of any campus-based university in the UK. After your course, you'll join our 10,000 strong alumni network . We'll keep you up-to-date with all the new insights and implications from our research.

International alumni groups are a great way to keep in touch with fellow Manchester graduates in your country. It is an opportunity to build professional and social networks.

You can view the alumni networks already operating across the globe, here .