International Development Studies, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #351 ,
The International Development Studies programme provides an understanding of global social, political and economic change. The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) degree provides a critical understanding of the history and current dynamics of globalization, and its impact on societies and environments.


What can you use this qualification for?

Students find employment in a wide range of national and international institutions, government agencies, non-governmental development organizations, multilateral and bilateral aid organizations, businesses, research and teaching institutions.

What will you learn?

The International Development Studies degree is distinguished by its combined use of research-based pedagogy and real-world study and practice as the foundation to understand what development means, and how it is practiced in a complex and changing global context. Students will gain a solid grounding in the concepts, theory and practice of international development, and will learn about conditions for human development at the local and global levels, as well as the relationships between development and ecological processes.

Short description

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) degree is organized as a full-time program over a 2-year period with 120 study points. All teaching is in English; basic requirements regarding English qualifications must be met. The degree consists of a series of courses including a Masters thesis. Students have the choice of a 30 or 60-point thesis. Students are encouraged to write their thesis on the basis of research carried out in ‘field’ conditions in the global North and South.

The first year consists of course work covering development theory and policy, research methodology plus elective subjects. Field courses, providing valuable practical experience, are offered as electives and are usually followed by field research for the Master thesis. Students design an individual study plan during the first semester. Compulsory courses can be waived for students with a strong background in the subject. The thesis is usually written in the final spring semester.

You will understand the connections and political and economic processes in the global North and South, and acquire the necessary analytical and practical skills to work in the field of international development.

Programme Structure

Some courses

  • Intro to Development Studies
  • Development Theory and Policy
  • Development Classics
  • Research Methods
  • Poverty
  • Political Ecology
  • Conflict and Development
  • Gender and Development
  • International Relations Theory
  • Human Rights and Development
  • Global Food Security
  • Development Theory and Policy 
  • Development Classics 
  • Introduction to Development Studies
  • Master's Thesis

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 7

    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
  • Minimum required score: 580

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 92

    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

Admission requires either a Bachelor degree, a Norwegian cand. mag. degree, or an equivalent background in one of the following fields: Social Sciences, Development Studies, Political Science, Education, Anthropology, Sociology, Resource Management or Economics. Applicants must meet the university’s requirement for English language proficiency.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • Free International
  • Free National


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.