International Development Studies (research MSc), M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #55 (BCR) ,
The two-year Research Master's in International Development Studies focuses on development processes and transformations and shifting balances of power in the Global South. During the programme, you will discuss societal transformation and development trajectories.


In this programme the underlying interplay between social, political, economic, environmental and cultural factors, at multiple levels of governance will be discussed, focusing on inequalities and social justice in current issues. As a theoretical and empirical science, IDS studies development as a phenomenon that results from the interaction between diverse local and international actors and processes, within context-specific institutional environments. The shifting power balances have resulted in a multi-polar, polycentric world, where emerging economies such as China and Brazil have become global players, and where governments increasingly work in partnership with other actors in shaping development processes. This has created a need for well-rounded professionals with an in-depth understanding of the complexities of local to global development processes, and with specific understanding of theories and perspectives from the Global South. .

The programme curriculum covers these subjects at different interacting levels, ranging from the micro-level of individuals and households to the macro-level of states and finally to the global level. The programme trains you in a variety of research methodologies and techniques to understand these processes from  a critical comparative perspective.


Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

Programme Structure

This two-year programme offers a range of specialised courses mainly emphasising state-of-the art theories and approaches towards international development studies. The first year of the programme consists of classroom courses.  In addition to one required thematic core course , students can choose from a range of thematic electives. Similarly, the students take a required course on Epistemology and methodologies in mixed methods and  then choose from a wide range of methodological electives. The last course of the year – Undertaking Fieldwork in developing Countries – prepares for the second year, a year of scholarly practice.  

During this second year of the programme, students conduct sustained independent study in a developing country, on a topic related to international development. They develop their individual portfolio, and attend  the professional and academic skills seminar in which they prepare for an academic or professional career. 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

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.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade B2):


    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 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:


    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

Applications will be carefully evaluated by the admissions committee. The committee determines whether all entry requirements as specified below are met and assesses the quality of each application in comparison with the other applications received.

The number of available places is limited to 20-25 students per year. If more qualified students apply than there are places available, candidates with the most convincing academic standing are selected. This is based on:

  • Clear affinity with scientific research
  • Previous study results
  • The relevance of their previous studies
  • Previous knowledge of social sciences research methodology
  • Motivation
  • Job experience
  • Previously written academic work.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    12000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 12000 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    1906 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1906 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Amsterdam

  • 1000 - 1500 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Scholarships / Grants:

The University of Amsterdam:The University of Amsterdam provides a limited number of full and partial scholarships for excellent students from outside the European Economic Area. The Amsterdam Merit Scholarships have specifically been designed to offer talented, ambitious and dedicated students the opportunity to pursue a MastFor additional information: Website

:Students from Columbia can apply for this scholarship through their website. For additional information: Website

Neso Indonesia:StuNed Scholarships for Master studies, short courses and customized training programmes are available for Indonesian professionals with at least two years work experience in a development-related organization.For additional information: Website

U.S. Department of Education:Loans are no longer being made under this program. All new loans will be made under the Direct Loan program.For additional information: Website

Fulbright/NAF:The Fulbright Center is a bi-national, non-profit organization established by international agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It promotes educational co-operation and provides information on study, research and internships in the United States.For additional information: Website

Nuffic:Following a decision by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Dutch cabinet called for the termination of the Nuffic-run HSP and Libertas Support Fund as from 01-01-2012. This has no consequences for students currently receiving a scholarship or for the current application round.For additional information: Website

:Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme, which has been implemented for 20 years and aims to support Turkey's administrative capacity building efforts for the effective implementation of the EU acquis, is the most prestigious scholarship programme in Turkey.For additional information: Website

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.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.