MSc Research Methods with International Development / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

MSc Research Methods is a research intensive master's designed for those who wish to continue on to PhD and/or are considering embarking on a career in research. It has a strong focus on developing research skills combined with further study in international development.

The MSc is designed to comply with the research training requirements for two ESRC scholarships as administered by the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP): the three-year PhD scholarship (commonly termed +3) and the four-year scholarship that covers an eligible one year master's and a three-year PhD (commonly termed 1+3). 

The course is ideal if you want to apply for an ESRC scholarship through the NWSSDTP or a School of Environment, Education and Development scholarship. NWSSDTP approved master's must meet the minimum research training requirement expected by the ESRC.

Aims

You will:

  • develop as a well-rounded researcher who is able to access the full range of research in relation to international development;
  • actively and practically engage with research methods used in the context of international development;
  • attend introductory PhD research training lectures, seminars and tutorials and get a taste of life as a PhD student.

Special features

  • 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

You will conduct a small-scale piece of empirical research of relevance and use this as the basis for your dissertation. The emphasis of the dissertation will be on the use of methodology in the context of:
  • tracing the application of certain methods to the investigation of particular issues;
  • discussing how that methodology functioned in practice;
  • research reflexivity.

You will be expected to report on the findings of the study, although the scale of the work will necessitate modest aims and outcomes, given that you will require space to provide in-depth methodological critique and potentially also methods development as an outcome of their study.

It will also be possible you to choose to undertake a literature-based dissertation, in which case there will be an expectation that a formal review methodology will be used to conduct the review.

The form the dissertation ultimately takes will reflect the particular study conducted, and its structure will be negotiated and agreed your supervisor. All dissertations undertaken will be required to contribute to meeting the ESRC's research training criteria.

Coursework and assessment

You will conduct a small scale piece of empirical research of relevance within your pathway field and use this as the basis for your dissertation. The emphasis of the dissertation will be on the use of methodology in the context of:
  • tracing the application of certain methods to the investigation of particular issues
  • discussing how that methodology functioned in practice
  • research reflexivity.

You will be expected to report on the findings of the study, although the scale of the work will necessitate modest aims and outcomes, given that you will require space to provide in-depth methodological critique and potentially also methods development as an outcome of their study.

It will also be possible you to choose to undertake a literature-based dissertation, in which case there will be an expectation that a formal review methodology will be used to conduct the review.

The form the dissertation ultimately takes will reflect the particular study conducted, and its structure will be negotiated and agreed your supervisor. All dissertations undertaken will be required to contribute to meeting the ESRC's research training criteria.

Course unit details

Core course units typically include:
  • Research Literacy and Design
  • Qualitative Research Approaches
  • Quantitative Research Approaches
  • Dissertation

You will select one from the following options:

  • Doing Environmental Research
  • Development Fieldwork
  • Independent Research Methods
You will also select four units from our international development postgraduate portfolio.

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
Development Fundamentals MGDI60411 15 Mandatory
Doing Environmental Research GEOG70472 15 Optional
Industrial Competitiveness and Global Transformation MGDI60002 15 Optional
Poverty and Development MGDI60141 15 Optional
Globalisation, Trade and Development MGDI60271 15 Optional
The Politics and Governance of Development MGDI60391 15 Optional
Development Fieldwork MGDI60502 15 Optional
Critical Issues in Urban Inequality MGDI60531 15 Optional
Climate Change, Disasters and Responses MGDI60552 15 Optional
Environment, Climate Change and Development MGDI60801 15 Optional
Global Inequalities and Social Development MGDI61461 15 Optional
Planning and Managing Development MGDI70992 15 Optional
Planning Powers and Procedures PLAN60021 15 Optional
Property Valuation PLAN60331 15 Optional
Environmental Impact Assessment PLAN60411 15 Optional
International Urban Design PLAN60491 15 Optional
Planning for Environmental Change PLAN60771 15 Optional
International Planning: Systems and Frameworks PLAN60861 15 Optional
Real Estate Markets PLAN61061 15 Optional
Urban Development Planning in Cities of the South: an international perspective PLAN72061 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

MSc Research Methods complies with the research training requirements for ESRC scholarships for a PhD scholarship (commonly termed +3). It is also suitable as the master's year as part of an ESRC scholarship award that covers both the master's and PhD (commonly termed a 1+3 award). 

It is ideal if you want to apply for an ESRC scholarship or School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) scholarship, as 70% of the ESRC Core Training can be demonstrated prior to commencing a PhD.

It will also be of interest to people who are considering a career in research in one of the pathway fields.

We also 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