Development Studies, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 16 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Full programme)
  • English (take IELTS)
The International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague is an international postgraduate school and one of the oldest and largest centres for the comparative study of social, political and economic development.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


The International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague is an international postgraduate school and one of the oldest and largest centres for the comparative study of social, political and economic development.

The Master of Arts in Development Studies offers a solid academic and professionally relevant training in theory and methods in development studies. It is designed for participants who wishes to start nor continue their professional careers in the area of development. In the MA programme you will learn about the most reason theories debates and subsequently apply this knowledge to practical issues of development and social change. The majority of ISS staff comes from diverse background and has tremendous experience in international development.

Majors on offer:

  1. Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES)
  2. Economics of Development (ECD)
  3. Governance and Development Policy(GDP)
  4. Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspective (SJP)
  5. Social Policy for Development (SPD)


ISS MA in Development Studies programme is fully accredited by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO)

Programme Structure

Graduates will be able to understand processes of social development and change and how such processes at various levels (from local to global) interact. They will be able to present a critical overview of major issues, theories, debates and strategic interventions in the field of Development Studies.

Target audience Master in Development Studies

The programme would be invaluable to young and mid-career professionals currently working in the government sector, national or international NGOs and staff of Southern and Northern universities focusing on Development Studies.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 16 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration part-time 30 months
  • Credits
    88 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Test Scores

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Academic Requirements

Admission criteria

  • Bachelors degree in one of the social sciences or equivalent, comprising at least three years studies at a recognized university or institute of higher education.

  • Applicants must have obtained at least class 2.2 (Lower Second), B or equivalent, but preferably class 2.1 (Upper Second), B+ or equivalent.

  • TOEFL score: for the paper test (PBT) 580; - for the computer-based test (CBT) 237; - for the internet test (IBT) 92

  • IELTS score: 6.5 overall for the Academic Test

  • We may also accept other Englist test. Please contact us for more information

  • ISS does not require a language certificate from native English speakers

Work Experience

At least 1 year(s) of work experience are required.

Professional experience relevant to the Major which the applicant wishes to study is normally expected and is a preference for admission. However it is not compulsory. ISS have admitted students without experience in the past under special conditions.

Tuition Fee Per Full Programme

  • EUR 15500 EU/EEA


ISS offers many funding opportunities for you to pursue for your masters at ISS. Please visit our Funding and scholarship page for more information:

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.

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