Postgraduate study

Global Development Challenges (Online Learning) PgCert (ICL), PgCert

Awards: PgCert (ICL), PgCert

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Part-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

This is a part-time, online programme taking a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the issues around international development and developing your capacity to address them.

Delivered through online distance learning, this Postgraduate Certificate programme – which can be combined to form an MSc degree – offers you an innovative route to gaining understanding and skills to address the complex, interrelated problems facing the world today.

The programme draws on the University’s best research and teaching to deliver a programme that is flexible, challenging and cutting edge in content, delivery and ambition.

You’ll examine a variety of case studies to shed light on strategies for addressing some of the most pressing global challenges of our time. Issues covered by this programme range from global governance, human rights and donor aid strategy, to global health challenges, climate change impacts and ecosystem management.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy.

You will learn through a mix of online methods, including video lectures, study guides, self-directed and guided reading, and a range of interactive online reflection and discussion activities. You will be part of a vibrant and supportive virtual community.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

MSc Global Challenges

After taking this programme, graduates can also take two further postgraduate certificates in Global Environment Challenges and Global Health Challenges. Completion of all three certificates leads to an MSc in Global Challenges.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgCert (ICL)Global Development ChallengesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCertGlobal Development Challenges1 YearPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

When you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate you will:

  • understand development issues and international development in comparative global perspective
  • be able to critically evaluate the factors shaping particular development processes and their outcomes
  • be able to apply theories and insights from scholarly research to practical issues and problems of global development practice and policy

This programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need for work with governments, NGOs, international aid organisations, United Nations agencies, the private sector, universities, other research institutions and elsewhere.

The transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your career.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgCert (ICL)Global Development ChallengesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCertGlobal Development Challenges1 YearPart-timeTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 13 August 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD