Postgraduate study

International Development (Online Learning) MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Part-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The MSc in International Development programme offers you an unparalleled opportunity to deepen your understanding and engagement with the most pressing challenges confronting people, communities and institutions in the Global South:

  • What are the processes that have shaped poverty and inequality across the world – as well as the responses to them?
  • How do they differ across international, national, and local contexts?

How will I learn?

This programme builds and strengthens critical skills for analysing these development processes and inequities, exploring development issues in a range of different social, historical and political contexts.

It is multidisciplinary in nature and it aims to provide you with a rigorous grounding in major debates, theories and critical concepts as well as proficiency in applying these to investigate contemporary development challenges, policy processes, and initiatives.

Online community

Our students are part of a vibrant and growing online community at our prestigious School of Social and Political Science and the College for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Through our innovative platform and learning activities, you will forge meaningful relationships with your peers and a range of academic colleagues linking you to other relevant online programmes, such as:

  • MSc Global Challenges
  • MSc in Global Health Policy

    You will also engage with related programmes such as:

  • MSc in Social Justice and Community Organising, in Moray House School of Education and Sport

Recognising the need for flexibility, our online programmes are an excellent way for those with professional or family commitments to gain a further qualification with minimum interruption, or to introduce students to a virtual learning environment.

Our award-winning online learning technology is fully interactive, enabling you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

You will learn through a mix of online methods, including:

  • video lectures
  • study guides
  • self-directed and guided reading
  • a range of interactive online reflection and discussion activities

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a vibrant and supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Studying online at Edinburgh

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

The MSc International Development is a part-time online learning programme which can be pursued over two or three years.

All courses are taught through a combination of:

  • independent study
  • online group activities

This will allow you to continue your life and career uninterrupted whilst returning to university study.

Core courses

There are three core courses:

  • Politics and Theories of International Development
  • Analysing Development
  • Global Development Challenges

These will equip you with a solid grasp of the key theories, issues, and actors of International Development, providing an optimum balance between policy and academic approaches.

Option courses

You will then further your interests in specific areas of international development, such as:

  • mobility and migration
  • monitoring and project design
  • the environment
  • global health

New optional courses, based on successful on-campus courses, will be added.

Research training

Research training is provided via a core course:

  • Researching International Development

This introduces you to cutting-edge innovations in the field whilst preparing your for your dissertation – be it a research or applied project.

Dissertation

You will discuss dissertation plans with tutors and the Programme Director in Collaborate seminars and in weekly guidance and feedback sessions. You will also have your own dissertation supervisor.

Your Personal Tutor

You will be mentored by a Personal Tutor, a member of our teaching staff who provides academic guidance and pastoral support.

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
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
MSc3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

With a solid background in international development study and practice, our graduates pursue current and future careers in a range of institutions including:

  • United Nations agencies
  • charities
  • non-governmental organisations
  • government ministries
  • private sector
  • research institutions
  • journalism

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

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 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
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MSc3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Barbara Bompani
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3891
  • Contact: b.bompani@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 7 August 2021

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.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Barbara Bompani
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3891
  • Contact: b.bompani@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD