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MSc ICTs for Development
Acquire long-term capabilities in development and informatics to use digital technologies to transform socio-economic development.

MSc ICTs for Development / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

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, 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 the largest development-focused teaching and research institute in Europe, and have been at the forefront of development studies for more than 60 years.
  • We're ranked 6th in the UK and 10th in the world for development studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019).
  • We're dedicated to addressing global poverty and inequality.
  • 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're home to a multicultural community of 450 students from 30 countries.
  • We have numerous scholarship opportunities for outstanding applicants.
  • Our alumni are recognised for their contribution to global development across the globe.
  • The combined field experience of our staff covers 60 countries.
  • We've trained almost 10,000 individuals from more than 170 countries.
  • Many of our master's include fieldwork, giving you the opportunity to observe development interventions in situ and to reflect on how theoretical explorations of development are operationalised in the real world. Recent destinations include Uganda, South Africa and Cyprus. Find out more at  Fieldwork

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
ICT's & 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: Key Concepts MGDI60151 15 Optional
Human Resource Development & Leadership MGDI60162 15 Optional
E-Government MGDI60311 15 Optional
eBusiness: Organisation and Strategy MGDI60352 15 Optional
Development Fundamentals MGDI60411 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Information and Information Systems MGDI60481 15 Optional
Civil Society & Public Action MGDI60521 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 23 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

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 Bachelors degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught masters course.

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

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