Bridge under construction in Cameroon
Course type
Masters degree
Credits
180

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
2–3 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements
Find out more about
Entry requirements

MSc in Global Development

Course code: F86

The world is at a turning point. In these times of uncertainty and change, this MSc in Global Development equips you with the knowledge, understanding, and skills, to investigate, analyse, evaluate and respond to the major global challenges of our times. Studying on this innovative, interdisciplinary and flexible course involves critically examining development theory, policy and practice across a range of contexts. You'll have the opportunity to explore six major issues: migration, socio-economic security, environmental sustainability, technological innovation, the global politics of development, and the politics of doing development. You’ll also deepen your understanding of the issues of most interest to you by examining them through four cross-cutting challenges: conflict, governance, justice, and transformation. This will lay the foundation for undertaking your own independent research project. Supported by a dedicated supervisory team you will examine a development topic of your choice, deepening your knowledge, enhancing your skills and finding ways to have impact in a world of change, whilst helping you to achieve your own personal and professional goals.

Overall, the MSc will enable you to build in-depth knowledge and understanding of key development issues, ideas and debates as well as an advanced capacity for critical and reflexive thinking, independent study and research, and collective dialogue and action.

  • Builds an in-depth understanding of development theory, policy and practice. 
  • Enhances your ability to identify and analyse different forms of evidence, enabling you to intervene critically and confidently in development debates.
  • Provides cutting-edge course materials that draw on the internationally recognised development teaching and research of our academics.
  • Equips you with the essential skills for a career in development and related areas.
Course type
Masters degree
Credits
180

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
2–3 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements
Find out more about
Entry requirements

How to register

Select the module you will study first, read the full description, and follow the instructions to register.

Modules

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits and there are two routes to achieving this with a choice of modules at Stage 1.

Route 1 begins with Understanding global development (DD870) which critically interrogates global approaches to contemporary development and sets these in the context of the evolution of development thinking and practice. 

Route 2 begins with Global development in practice (D890) which is presented on the award-winning FutureLearn platform. With an emphasis on development as practice, this module helps you discover, critically analyse, evaluate, and apply the key tools and techniques needed by a development manager or practitioner.

Route 1

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Stage 1
Understanding global development (DD870)  

This module introduces global approaches to contemporary development issues such as poverty, inequality and environmental sustainability, equipping you with the analytical tools to critically examine and respond to these challenges.

See full description

Register
60 05 Oct 2024
Stage 2
Key challenges in global development (DD871)  

This module enables you to critically explore the challenges of conflict, governance, justice and transformation that cut across all development issues.

See full description

Register
60 05 Oct 2024
Stage 3
Researching global development (DD872)  

You’ll learn how to conduct independent research about a global development topic of your choice.

See full description

Register
60  05 Oct 2024

Route 2

 
Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Stage 1
Global development in practice (D890)  

Engage with complex and contested processes, policies and practices involving global development and gain a clearer understanding of the role of development manager.

See full description

Register
60 05 Oct 2024
Stage 2
Key challenges in global development (DD871)  

This module enables you to critically explore the challenges of conflict, governance, justice and transformation that cut across all development issues.

See full description

Register
60 05 Oct 2024
Stage 3
Researching global development (DD872)  

You’ll learn how to conduct independent research about a global development topic of your choice.

See full description

Register
60 05 Oct 2024


You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules for the qualification you will be awarded an MSc in Global Development. You will be entitled to use the letters MSc Glob Dev (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 14 March 2023.

We recommend that you hold a UK bachelors degree (or equivalent), or have had experience of working in a development-related agency (international or local), in either a paid or voluntary capacity, prior to starting this qualification. However, these requirements are not compulsory and you will not be required to provide any supporting documentary evidence.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details. If you’re not sure whether your English skills are good enough, there is some help and guidance at our Skills for OU Study website.

How long it takes

Most students study this qualification in three years by studying 60 credits a year. To achieve this you should expect to devote 16 – 20 hours each week to your studies. You can however study Stages 2 and 3 simultaneously and complete within two years. This will require you to be able to devote 26 – 30 hours each week to your studies. We strongly recommend that you speak with a study adviser if you are considering doing this. 

If you start this qualification with Understanding global development (DD870), Route 1, and achieve a resubmission result outcome on your first submission, it will be possible to pass the module on resubmission and progress to Stage 2 in the same calendar year.

If you start with Global development in practice (D890), Route 2, this module is designed for the FutureLearn platform and it offers a different model of learning and timescales. This means that if you achieve a resubmission result outcome on your first submission, it will not be possible to pass Stage 1 and progress to Stage 2 in the same year. You will need to wait until October of the year following your first submission to start DD871.

Career relevance

Development scholars and practitioners are highly employable social scientists. They go on to a wide range of destinations after graduation, including:

  • Development managers
  • Government policy makers
  • Development consultants
  • Business managers
  • Environmental consultants
  • Data analysis and visualisation using development techniques
  • Transport planners
  • Commercial analysts
  • Financial services
  • Field centre instructors
  • Teachers 

In addition, a significant number of postgraduate students choose to register for doctoral studies in a variety of specialised areas.

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