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MSc Development Studies

Programme Director: Prof James Putzel

No field in contemporary social science is more challenging and exciting than the study of development – the processes involved in overcoming poverty and creating healthy, wealthy and sustainable societies. This programme provides students with a high quality academic training in development studies using contemporary theory in the social sciences to understand the processes, policy and practice of development. Our graduates have gained employment in government, international development agencies, international and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international and local private firms, or have gone on to obtain PhDs in development studies or other social science disciplines.

A full-unit intensive core course at the heart of the programme allows students to study the theories and historical experience of development, as well as the cutting-edge policy debates of the present.  The course provides students with a strong foundation to engage with the economic, political and social dimensions of development policy and practice. By meeting throughout the Michaelmas and Lent Terms at weekly lectures and much more intimate weekly classes, students build a comprehensive and coherent foundation to bring together the diverse optional courses they choose in an individually designed programme of study.

The MSc Development Studies offers students a wide range of choice in optional courses within the School so that they can deepen or broaden their disciplinary training, or take up the advanced study of a particular region of the developing world. Flexibility of dissertation topics allows students a further opportunity to shape their studies to meet their own needs and career objectives.

The programme brings together an exciting group of European and international students with a diversity of academic and professional backgrounds who have gone on to establish an international alumni network involved in development research and practice.

We will consider applicants with a background in any subject, although a first degree in a social science or humanities subject would be an advantage. As the programme requires intensive reading across a broad range of literature drawn from various social science disciplines students must have a high proficiency in the English language to perform well.

The MSc Development Studies (Research) is more heavily focused on methodology. It offers students a choice of courses for advanced training in research methodology through LSE's Department of Methodology (see Department of Methodology), including both qualitative and quantitative elements.  Students on the research programme must take the course on Foundations of Social Research taught in the Department of Methodology and a half unit optional course.

Please see the Graduate Prospectus| for further details.