Develop the skills and understanding to tackle the global challenges of poverty, inequality, conflict, sustainability and social justice.
Whether you are a graduate aiming to make a difference in the world, or a professional wishing to deepen your knowledge and critical thinking, our master's courses in International Development, could be for you.
Engaged with current debates in policy and practice and grounded in interdisciplinary social sciences, you will develop the tools and confidence to work towards creative solutions that address practical problems in strategic ways.
Four distinct pathways provide a choice of flexibility and breadth, or the chance to pursue a particular interest in greater depth.
You will use innovative learning approaches to investigate particular cases and issues. These will draw out connections and contradictions between different actors and analytical perspectives, across global, regional, national and local scales.
The opportunity of a placement, leading to a work-based project, will provide hands-on experience to complement classroom-based learning.
Matthew Wilson graduated from MSc International Development at Bath in 2001. He's now Barbados’ Ambassador to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and other international organisations. Read more about his career and his experience at Bath.
Gain key skills
You will leave the course with:
- a critical understanding of the concepts and approaches used in international development and humanitarian action, and their strengths and limitations
- practical skills in research, analysis and communication and an understanding of how these can be applied in work for social, economic and environmental justice in both global North and global South
- the ability to analyse the complex interaction of social, economic, political and environmental factors in shaping problems and proposed solutions
- rich experience of working with people from a wide range of disciplinary, professional and national backgrounds
You have the choice of taking the interdisciplinary MSc or one of three specialist pathways.
MSc International Development with Conflict and Humanitarian Action
The MSc International Development with Conflict and Humanitarian Action pathway enables you to gain an in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of the theories and concepts that underpin contemporary humanitarian action and conflict response. You will also form a critical understanding of humanitarian, peacebuilding and development policy and practice. You will learn how to interpret and evaluate research information and evidence on topics related to humanitarianism, conflict and development.
MSc International Development with Economics
The MSc International Development with Economics pathway covers the key economic concepts, theories and tools required to understand development issues, policies and practices, including those of heterodox and social economics. You will learn how to apply them to analyse specific development problems, such as through appropriate combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods.
MSc International Development, Social justice and Sustainability
The MSc International Development, Social justice and Sustainability pathway enables you to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of theories and concepts of social and environmental justice, wellbeing and sustainability. You will develop in-depth knowledge of people’s practical struggles globally and locally for a better life, and the forms of policy and politics that can support or frustrate these. You will also explore how integrated perspectives can capture the complex interactions between social and ecological systems. Additionally, you will consider areas of complementarity and the trade-off between economic development, human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.
Learning and teaching
You will join the Department of Social & Policy Studies here at Bath.
Our staff are all active in this field, research-led, and united in their commitment to finding better solutions to the world’s development problems.
We encourage diversity of intake, in experience, qualifications and interests, to stimulate the richness of experience and learning.
This course provides an excellent background for those wishing to pursue an international development career and improve people’s lives.
You will be qualified to work in a wide variety of roles, including social research, public policy, public information and campaigning.
Graduates from our suite of International Development master's courses have gone on to secure the following roles:
- Programme Assistant, The Advocacy Team
- Fundraising Assistant, Refugee Cafe
- Senior Program Officer, Hashoo Foundation
- Relief Support Worker, United Response
- Analyst, Start Fund Bangladesh
- Director of Programmes for North West Syria, Mercy Corps
- Programme Specialist, African World Heritage Fund
- Operations and Finance officer, The Washing Machine Project
Other graduates have chosen to work for themselves and set up their own charities, while others have stayed in academia, to complete doctoral studies.