M.A. Development Studies

Institute of Social Studies The Hague

Application deadline: July 1; Scholarships: January 1
Tuition fee:
  • € 13,500 / Year (EEA)
  • € 13,500 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 88 ECTS
Duration full-time: 15 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The Institute of Social Studies offers a programme of studies leading to a Masters degree in Development Studies. With a strong focus on training in the theory and methods relevant to development studies, the MA Programme aims to equip graduates to apply new insights in policy analysis in a practical context. The ISS MA Degree in Development Studies is widely recognised and provides eligibility for entry to PhD programmes in the Netherlands and other countries worldwide.

The 15.5 months MA Programme starts each year in September.

The following Majors are on offer:

· Agrarian and Environmental Studies

· Economics of Development

· Governance, Policy and Political Economy

· Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives

· Social Policy for Development


In the MA programme you learn about the most recent theories and debates in your area of specialisation. You will learn to apply this knowledge to practical issues of development and social change. This 15.5 months programme starting in September consists of 10 months coursework and 5 months research paper.

The programme allows you to choose from a menu of introductory, research methodology, core and optional courses, it enables you to attend the courses that best fit your professional background and your personal learning objectives. Academic staff advises the students on the requirements and possibilities.

Students come from government, NGOs and social movements, universities and private companies, as well as some directly from their previous studies. This mixture of professional backgrounds and the large variety of nationalities and cultures among staff and students provide the exceptional participatory learning environment that characterises ISS.


Applicants are required to have a Bachelors degree in one of the social sciences or equivalent, comprising at least three years studies at a recognised university or institute of higher education. They must have obtained at least class 2.2 (Lower Second), B or equivalent, but preferably class 2.1 (Upper Second), B+ or equivalent. Applicants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan are required to have an MA degree.

Professional experience relevant to the specialisation which the applicant wishes to study is normally expected and is a preference for admission.

All programmes are conducted in English and applicants who are not native English speakers are required to demonstrate their proficiency in the language.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 92

Work Experience

At least 2 year(s) of work experience is required.



The MA in Development Studies is an NVAO accredited programme.


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