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

Year of entry: 2021

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.

Read our latest coronavirus information

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 developing countries 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 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

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 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.

The School of Environment, Education and Development aim to run advertised fieldwork in the 21/22 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; and
  • 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 of 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 (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
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 MGDI60202 15 Optional
E-Government MGDI60312 15 Optional
Reconstruction and Development MGDI60402 15 Optional
Conflict Analysis MGDI60451 15 Optional
Migration and Development MGDI60742 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 20 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

'Choosing The University of Manchester was not a difficult choice: a highly reputable academic institution, one of the highest ranked worldwide in development studies, and a range of research-informed specializations within international development on offer.

The Global Development Institute offers a unique course that puts politics and governance at the heart of development. The University has well established academic programmes and research projects that interrogate the discursive paradigms in the area of politics and governance

My MSc in International Development helped me well in my career endeavours. The course equipped me with a range of transferable skills that make me a better person and a more competitive candidate: critical analysis, deep understanding of development theories and practices, qualitative research techniques and a range of social skills gained through my interactions with diverse community at the GDI.

The Development Fundamentals course, core to all international development pathways at the GDI, is also a fascinating unit that maps the trajectory of development thinking, past and present, and critiques some of the fundamental issues in development studies. Professor David Hulme, Dr Thomas Lavers, Dr Pablo Yanguas and Professor Sam Hickey were all inspiring and shaped my thinking in development.

To prospective students considering the GDI, you are about to join a leading and well reputed development institute that offers a range of specialist courses in international development. At the GDI, you are given every possible support to choose your field of interest within international development. From lectures and workshops, to the exciting fieldwork trips to the essays and dissertation project, you are presented with endless opportunities to shape your studies and choose your specialist area of interest.'

Mubarik Ali, MSc International Development: Politics, Governance and Development Policy

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