MSc ICTs for Development / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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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