Global Development, M.A.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #101 ,
The Global Development course at University of Leeds is an opportunity to learn about and analyse the major socio-economic and political changes that have characterised global development in recent decades. .


MA Global Development at University of Leeds is an introduction to the cross-disciplinary field of global development. It provides an overview of alternative theoretical approaches in the analysis of development, and examines their differing policy and practice implications, with a particular focus on low and mid-income country contexts.

The course is an opportunity to learn about and analyse the major socio-economic and political changes that have characterised global development in recent decades. It offers debate and insight into topical issues in a rapidly changing field, combining theoretical analyses with detailed discussion of how theories and strategies affect people and impact on poverty and well being in specific local contexts.

You will learn development research skills, whether from a programme or advocacy perspective, and explore the principles of project management. You will learn practical skills such as how to run a focus group, undertake a stakeholder analysis, write a project proposal, develop a monitoring and evaluation framework, and prepare a budget.

This interdisciplinary course is a well-established programme that attracts a large and diverse group of international students. Many are mid-career professionals seeking time out to reflect; others seek the disciplinary expertise they will need to take up a career in development – perhaps within a government department, the non-government sector, the agency world or activism.

MA Global Development offers you ...
  • a flexible, cross disciplinary programme
  • critical perpectives on theories and practices in global development
  • research-led teaching by staff who are practically engaged in their field of study and have extensive experience of teaching postgraduates
  • the stimulation of studying with a diverse group of students from around the world.

If you want to …

  • examine issues of global poverty and injustice
  • critically debate topical development issues
  • challenge and contest mainstream ideas on global development
  • combine theoretical discussions with learning practical skills in development research and management
... then consider MA Global Development.

Programme Structure

Compulsory Modules

Global Inequalities and Development provides you with an understanding of why and how the world’s inequalities produce advantages and disadvantages in development. You will cover economic, social, and political inequalities to lay the foundation for discussions about poverty, dispossession, food, environment and aid. You will also explore how social movements in the global south claim rights and thereby challenge global inequalities.

Development Management Techniques reviews the main elements of preparation, management and evaluation of development projects, with examples taken from social, environmental and natural resource development areas. You will study both the theoretical and analytical principles of Project Cycle Management including management by objectives, project logic, Logical Frameworks, budgetary submission and financial management.

Research Methodology for Development is a workshop module and will introduce you to the logic and parameters of the research process. You will examine the relevance of both qualitative and quantitative data and evidence, along with issues of practicality, ethics and epistemology in the research process. You will also develop practical skills in a range of Participatory Rapid Appraisal methods, such as mapping and ranking, as well as conventional qualitative research techniques including questionnaires, focus groups and oral histories.

Global Development Dissertation leads you through the process of developing a deeper understanding of a particular topic in development studies through independent research and the preparation of an extended piece of writing. You agree a research topic with your supervisor and write a 12,000 word dissertation that demonstrates your research skills, your ability to assess information, and appraise relevant concepts and theories.

Optional Modules

You will also study two of the following optional modules:

  • Africa in the Contemporary World
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance
  • Democracy and Development
  • Education in Development
  • Gender, Globalisation and Development
  • Global Justice
  • Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity
  • International Political Economy
  • Political Economy of Resources and Development
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
  • The Rise of China

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Duration 12 months
    • Average duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
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English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

If you wish to apply for one of our MA programmes you should normally hold a good honours degree (upper second class or first class) in a Social Science discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification. Suitable degree subjects for specific programmes are as follows:

  • MA Global Development and pathways: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area e.g. development studies, sociology, social policy, geography.
  • MA Politics and pathways: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area e.g. politics, history, economics.
  • MA International Relations, MA Conflict Development and Security and MA Security, Terrorism and Insurgency: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area, e.g. history, international relations, security studies.

Applicants with 2.2s and/or a degree in a non relevant subject may be considered, taking into consideration full transcripts, references and any relevant work/voluntary experience.

Language requirements

Successful completion of a postgraduate degree demands facility in English. It is a requirement that essays and dissertations be well-written. Prospective and intending students whose first language is not English will need to ensure that their linguistic proficiency is adequate. They may need to undertake some language training in the University or elsewhere.

The School has a minimum requirement:

  • TOEFL score on the internet-based test: 92, with minimum scores of 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 23 in speaking and 22 in writing.
  • A minimum IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with at least 6 in all components.
  • PTE Academic score of at least 64 with not less than 60 in listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Important information about language tests

New British government regulations state that an ...

  • or PET Academic

... test score must be less than two years old when the University of Leeds issues a Certificate of Approved Study (CAS) to an international student that has been offered a place on a postgraduate taught programme.

An international student requires a CAS in order to obtain a British student visa.

What this means for you

When you apply to one of our postgraduate courses, you must ensure that your English Language Test score will be less than two years old when we make a decision on your application.

University Language Centre

The School keeps its requirements under review and may request a higher level of proficiency.

The University's Language Centre offers specialised pre-sessional English language programmes, which are suitable for students going on to study in the Institute. These programmes are also useful in helping students acclimatise to the UK academic environment.

Tuition Fee


There are a number of awards that may be of interest to applicants for taught postgraduate courses at the School of Politics and International Studies. You should be aware that the scholarship deadlines are often much earlier than you may think, so early enquiry is recommended.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.