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MSc African Development

About the MSc programme

The MSc African Development programme aims to provide students with a high quality academic introduction to the study of politics, economic development, and economic policy in Africa. The programme employs political economy approaches to understand the variegated national trajectories of African states, regionalism and localism in politics and economics, and the political and economic forces that shape Africa's insertion into to the global economy. One core objective of the programme is to track the causes and effects of shifts over time in development theory and practice -- these have exerted powerful effects on public policy in Africa since the mid-twentieth century. A second objective will be to identify forces that produce political economy similarities and differences across and within African countries. A third is to consider the global, political and institutional, environmental, and technological changes that are shaping Africa's future. 

The programme aims to recruit students from all over the world and will consider all applicants with degrees in any subject.  A first degree in the social or policy sciences will provide useful skills and background. The course also welcomes applicants with backgrounds in fields related to health, earth sciences and natural resource management, agriculture, engineering, and business. As the programme requires intensive reading across a broad literature drawn from the various social science disciplines, students must have high proficiency in English to perform well.  

Programme details

The MSc in African Development consists of the compulsory courses African Political Economy and African Development. Students combine this with either Development: History, Theory, and Policy, or Development Management, or the half unit course in Key Issues in Development Studies plus one of the following half-unit courses: International Institutions and Late Development, Global Health and Development, Complex Emergencies, or Managing Humanitarianism. Students are also required to do the full-unit course in Research Design and Dissertation in Development Studies, which includes Social Research Methods in Developing Countries. Students then select courses to the value of one full unit from a wide range of optional courses from within the LSE to broaden their disciplinary, substantive, and methodological training.

African Political Economy and African Development will require students to complete class assignments and formative essays, plus summer term exams. Other compulsory courses will also require formative essays and exams in the summer term. The MSc dissertation of approximately 10,000 words on a topic related to development in Africa allows you to tailor your studies to your academic and career objectives. Students are expected to participate in many of the public and departmental lectures, conferences, and workshop series that take place throughout the year at LSE, as well as in the Africa Film Discussion Series that is organised for this programme.

Compulsory courses

(* half unit)

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of one full unit from a range of options. 

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

Many LSE International Development students go on to pursue PhDs in related disciplines, and we anticipate that many African Development students will follow this path. We also expect that African Development MSc students, like other International Development students, will find opportunities in international aid agencies, NGOs, government agencies, the media, and research positions that allow them to employ the skills gained on the African Development degree programme. 



Application code: L8UA

Start date: 24 September 2015

Duration: 12 months full-time

Intake/applications in 2013: New programme for 2014

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 in any discipline with a considered interest in the area covered by the MSc (see entry requirements)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £12,024; overseas £18,600 

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme
(see Fees and financial support)

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions