MSc International Development: Politics, Governance and Development Policy

Year of entry: 2022

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science (MSc)
Duration
1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)
Entry requirements

We require a UK Honours degree with a First or Upper Second (2.1) 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

Course options

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

Course overview

  • Join a university ranked seventh in the UK and 11th in the world for development studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).   
  • Discover the many ways that politics is critical to the success of development. 
  • Explore a topic taking centre stage on the international development agenda. 
  • Examine the 'lived' or 'real' politics in the global South and the dynamics underpinning change.
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Uganda field trip by GDI students (The University of Manchester)

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 (SEED), 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 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £24,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,250
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £12,000

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 several 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 and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

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

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
School of Environment, Education and Development +44 (0) 161 275 2814
Telephone
+44 (0) 161 275 2814
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 Honours degree with a First or Upper Second (2.1) 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 7 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 6.5 and no other subsection below 6.5
  • TOEFL internet-based test score of 100 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 22 and no other subsection below 22
  • Pearson Test of English score of 65 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 59 and no other subsection below 59.

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.

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.

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.

We do not consider Pre-sessional courses as a method of satisfying the English language requirement for this programme.

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

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;
  • your CV;
  • copies of English Language Certification, eg IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test score report.
Ensure that you enclose all the necessary documents to avoid any delays.

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 International Development: Politics, Governance & Development Policy 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.

Please note, the course may reach capacity before the official closing date of 31st of August, so all students are advised to apply as soon as possible. 

Deferrals

Deferral of entry will be accepted for the next consecutive academic year of entry.

Should applicants request a second deferral of entry, they will be required to submit a new application.

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 International Development: Politics, Governance and Development Policy examines the obstacles to, and pathways towards, more legitimate, democratic and pro-poor forms of governance at global, national and local levels - a topic that is currently centre-stage on the international development agenda.

The course interrogates the discursive paradigms and material interventions in the area of politics and governance, which has moved to the centre of the international development agenda since the late 1980s.

It is therefore ideal if you're interested in the many ways that politics is critical to the success of development and would like to examine the 'lived' or 'real' politics in the global South and the dynamics underpinning change.

Aims

  • Provide critical insights into different theoretical and disciplinary perspectives on the politics and governance of development. 
  • Develop your analytical skills in critically evaluating and employing different theories of politics, governance and policy analysis. 
  • Provide you with an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the how politics, governance and the formulation and implementation development policy interact in the global South. 
  • Provide critical insights into the key strategies, policies and practices currently employed to promote `good governance' and improved policy processes in the global South. 
  • Develop professionally oriented skills related to formulating, investigating and implementing different approaches to promoting good governance. 
  • Provide a wide range of options for advanced training in areas of specialist expertise relevant to politics, governance and development policy. 
  • Develop advanced competencies in transferable areas, including developing reasoned arguments, gathering, organising and using evidence and information from a wide variety of sources, undertaking both team-based and independent work to deadlines, and both written and verbal forms of communication. 
  • Assist you in developing your specialist area of expertise within the field of politics, governance and development policy, and applying their understanding and skills through supervised individual research culminating in a dissertation.

Special features

  • 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 7th in the UK and 11th in the world for development studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021). 
  • 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 (SDGs) in 2021 ( THE Impact Rankings 2021 ). Most of the course units - core and optional - are closely associated with SDGs.  
  • 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  African Cities Research ConsortiumEffective States and Inclusive Development  and  FutureDAMS  research centres. 
  • Students are part of our vibrant research community, including our  public lecture series  which brings world experts, former heads of state, and leading development thinkers, to discuss current issues in development.  

Teaching and learning

An overseas field visit is an integral part of the course.

Recent fieldtrip locations have included Uganda, Ghana, Sri Lanka and India.

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

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.

Important notice

The School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) aim to run advertised fieldwork in the 22/23 academic year and we very much hope that students will be able to enjoy the fieldwork experience in the usual way. The ability of fieldwork to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork might be necessary, will remain subject to the current global situation and factors such as the:

  • rules and guidance on travel and activities implemented and published by the UK and overseas governments;
  • outcome of any risk assessments conducted by the University;
  • educational value and student experience of the fieldwork, if significant changes to the proposed fieldwork would be necessary;
  • availability of appropriate insurance cover;
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

We will therefore assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any decisions to our students at the earliest possible opportunity.

Any fieldwork that does go ahead will be subject to a rigorous risk assessment process and the implementation of any protective measures identified by the risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff.

If the fieldwork does not go ahead as planned, then the School's focus will be on seeking to offer a suitable alternative and ensure that the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the programme are met.

Coursework and assessment

The taught elements of the course, carrying 120 credits overall, is continuously assessed by a variety of methods (e.g., 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
The Politics and Governance of Development MGDI60391 15 Mandatory
Development Fundamentals MGDI60411 15 Mandatory
Development Fieldwork MGDI60502 15 Mandatory
Political Analysis of Development Policy MGDI60522 15 Mandatory
Understanding Development Research MGDI70982 15 Mandatory
Global Political Economy MGDI60072 15 Optional
Public Sector Reform and Management MGDI60081 15 Optional
Poverty and Development MGDI60141 15 Optional
Gender Inequality: Theory and Evidence MGDI60201 15 Optional
Digital Governance MGDI60311 15 Optional
Reconstruction and Development MGDI60402 15 Optional
Conflict Analysis MGDI60451 15 Optional
Critical Issues in Urban Inequality MGDI60531 15 Optional
Global Health Inequalities MGDI60542 15 Optional
Migration, Mobility and Displacement in the Contemporary World MGDI60731 15 Optional
Migration and Development MGDI60742 15 Optional
Environment, Climate Change and Development MGDI60801 15 Optional
Economic Analysis of the Public Sector MGDI61091 15 Optional
Global Inequalities and Social Development MGDI61461 15 Optional
Planning and Managing Development MGDI70992 15 Optional
Economics of Governance and Development MGDI72152 15 Optional
Global Governance POLI70422 15 Optional
Critical Environmental Politics POLI70921 15 Optional
The Politics of Global Climate Change POLI71141 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 24 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 .

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

Teaching and research at the Global Development Institute covers a wide variety of topics and as a result our students can be found in a range of jobs and careers.

Our teaching aims to support students from all backgrounds to acquire valuable knowledge, skills and attributes to achieve their educational and professional goals.

It includes regular contributions from researchers and practitioners with a view to equip our students to make a positive difference in their chosen sphere.

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 .