MSc International Development: Politics, Governance and Development Policy / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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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