International Development MSc

Northumbria University

Program Overview

Would you like to develop the specialist skills and knowledge required to work in a range of international development careers?

The MSc International Development will equip you with a critical and up-to-date understanding of the field of international development. It is hosted by the Northumbria Centre for International Development, which brings together students, academics and practitioners.


The course attracts a cohort of students from a wide variety of professional and disciplinary backgrounds. This includes those from government, the private sector and NGOs. It is also popular with students who have studied social sciences, law, geography and business at undergraduate level.


You will engage with contemporary debates on the issues that are currently defining the sector. Alongside this you will also critically examine key international development policies, theories, strategies and practices. Your analytical skills will be developed through analysing the ways in which poverty and marginalisation is experienced and challenged.


As part of your dissertation, you will have the opportunity to undertake a research placement on a self funded basis. This will allow you to apply your knowledge in a real-world environment. You will also have the opportunity to engage with guest lecturers from industry.


This International Development course is delivered by our specialist teaching team of internationally recognised academics. Our staff draw on their extensive experience to ensure that you graduate with knowledge that is at the forefront of the sector.


When studying the MSc International Development course, you will be part of the Centre for International Development. The centre is a vibrant, multidisciplinary virtual research hub, providing an engaging and supportive research-rich learning environment.


NewcastleUnited Kingdom

  Course Duration

12 Months

  Tuition Fee

£ 16,500


IELTS: 6.5

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This course examines a wide range of subjects such as conflict and security, civil society and non-government organisations (NGOs), the impacts of rising economic powers, gender, the environment and resource conflicts, advocacy and citizenship.

On graduation you will be able to understand and critically engage with key development theories, tools and techniques, including participatory methodologies, rights-based approaches and monitoring and evaluation strategies.


This course is delivered via interactive workshops, involving a mixture of small group discussion, lectures, and seminar activities, which are further supported by networking and placement opportunities.


The assessment methods utilised on this course have been specifically developed to prepare you for employment, and incorporate the writing of funding bids, policy briefs, and academic poster presentations. Traditional essays and a dissertation also form part of the assessment process.


If you choose to do a placement, you will have the opportunity to develop your own real-world research project together with a development organisation.



Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.


Year one


  • EF0126 -Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)
  • KE7038 -Development Research, Management and Practice (Core,30 Credits)
  • KE7039 -Critical Development Thinking (Core,30 Credits)
  • KE7040 -Contemporary Development Challenges (Core,30 Credits)
  • KE7041 -International Development Study Visit (Optional,30 Credits)
  • KE7042 -Geopolitics of Development (Optional,30 Credits)
  • KE7043 -International Development Postgraduate Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

Entry Requirements 2022/23

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:


A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in any subject. Applicants with appropriate work experience and/or a relevant professional qualification will be considered.


International qualifications:


If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. 


English language requirements:


International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

Fees and Funding 2022/23 Entry

Full UK Fee: £7,950


Full EU Fee: £16,500


Full International Fee: £16,500

This course has been designed to enhance your employability in international development practice, and you’ll be offered bespoke career support. 

Throughout your studies you will engage in real-world research and problem-solving, developing the practical skills required for a successful career in this sector. You’ll have the option to base your dissertation on field work, providing you with industry contacts and valuable experience of international development in a real-world environment.


Our graduates are able to work in a broad range organisations such as charities and third sector organisations, UK and international government agencies, NGOs and international organisations. They may also wish to pursue careers in research, consultancy or to launch their own NGO. Continuing on to doctoral study and a career in academia is also an option.


Former graduates have gone on to work for national and international organisations including Barnardo’s, Leprosy Mission, International Service, UTSAAH Initiative, the Barzani Charity Foundation, or they have set up their own NGOs, while others have taken up PhD studies.

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