MRes International Development

Qualifications and durations

  • Full-time MRes (1 year)
  • Part-time MRes (2 years, allowing three months for the final dissertation*).

*At the discretion of the Director of Studies, part time students may be able to have an extension of three months (giving a total of six months for the dissertation and an overall total registration period of 27 months). Students extending into their 3rd academic year may be liable for a pro-rated continuation fee.


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The course is designed for those wishing to pursue PhD research and those seeking to develop careers as policy analysts or applied researchers in international development.

The course:

  • combines the academic study of key international development issues with a comprehensive exploration of research methods and skills
  • offers a detailed examination of current and applied international development research
  • supports the application of knowledge and skills to address contemporary research questions.
  • comprises a mix of Faculty-wide research-based units and departmental disciplinary-based specialisations.

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South West Doctoral Training Centre

This MRes is accredited by the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC), specifically, as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC). It forms part of the Area and Development Studies Discipline-specific Pathway.

The MRes can be taken as a course in its own right, or as part of the 1 + 3 (MRes + PhD) pathway, where successful graduates could proceed onto a PhD in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences.

If applying for an MRes + PhD (the 1 + 3) you should indicate on the Application Form, your preferred PhD route.

Progression from the MRes to the MPhil or PhD stage is dependent on achieving an acceptable level of achievement (typically an overall average of 60% on at least the taught component of the MRes).

Course structure

Core Units

  • International development and poverty
  • Short and long research apprenticeship projects
  • Quantitative methods 1
  • Qualitiative methods 1
  • Principles & skills of social research
  • Research skills and dissertation prepartation
  • Dissertation

Optional Units

  • Sociology & anthropology of development
  • Policy theory & the politics of developing countries
  • Comparative European social policy
  • Globalisation 1: political sociology of globalisation
  • Economics for International Development
  • International policy analysis
  • Quantitative methods 2
  • Qualitiative methods 2
  • Critical issues in social development
  • Management of Development
  • International development extended essay
  • World politics, conflict , security & development
  • Sustainable development livelihoods and wellbeing
  • Wellbeing & human development 2 : development ethics
  • One of Regional research specialisms (Africa, South America or South East Asia)

Further information can be found in the Programme & Unit Catalogue (this is the current structure of the course).

Course intake is limited to 10 students per year, fostering a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Typically a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree (or its international equivalent) in an appropriate subject such as economics, history, geography, politics, or international relations.

A strong personal statement (typically 500-1,000 words) that provides evidence of:

  • how your academic, professional and personal experiences equip you to meet the demands of the course
  • your reasons for wanting to study on the course at University of Bath
  • how your studies may fit with your subsequent professional/academic intentions 

English language requirements

  • IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each of the four components)
  • PTE Academic of 62 with no less than 59 in each component

Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the course of study.

There is further information about meeting the English requirements.

You can improve your English proficiency before commencing this course through pre-sessional language training at the Academic Skills Centre.

You may be eligible for a combined offer to include both pre-sessional English 5 (PS5) and the master’s degree.


Two references are required. At least one of these must be an academic reference.

How to apply

You must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.

Financial information


Potential sources of funding

This course is recognised as being part of the Area and Development Studies Discipline-specific Pathway, in the ESRC-funded South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP). Details of funding opportunities to follow in October 2016.


We suggest you apply before the following dates:

  • 30 June 2017 for International Students (who need to apply for a UK Visa).
  • 31 August 2017 for Home/EU students.
  • funding deadlines for studentships and scholarships


Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6634

Related links

Main areas of research

We are an internationally-recognised research-intensive department with a strong focus on policy and practice and a commitment to contribute to social wellbeing and social justice.

We draw together academic staff with backgrounds in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Work and International Development and work closely with colleagues in Psychology, Economics, and Health.

We also have an active and vibrant community of research students undertaking their own research alongside our academic staff.

Research Centres

Research themes

Our five research themes are:

Departmental Staff

Find out more about our staff and their research interests.


The Department of Social & Policy Sciences includes academics from social policy, sociology, social work and international development.

The international excellence of our research was recognised by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.

We are committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching and research. Our Department collaborates with a wide range of users at the local, national, European and global levels.

Postgraduate programmes

We offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes. Our postgraduate teaching strongly reflects our research and our links to policy-makers and development institutions at the national, European and global level.

Our Department also has an active MPhil/PhD research programme. We take great pride in fostering a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Seminar series

We run a lively and well attended postgraduate research seminar series. Each of the Research Centres run seminar series and conferences associated with their research activities. The University of Bath also has a Research in the World public lecture series where key national and international academics are invited to speak.

Careers information

We are committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their training. Our graduates generally go on to work in a wide variety of organisations, for example:

  • social research in universities and research institutes, government, business, voluntary organisations and international organisations
  • public policy analysis at local, national and international levels
  • public information and campaigning within organisations concerned with wellbeing, sustainability and social justice.