Taught course (will run subject to approval)

Global Development

Queen Mary, University of London · Geography

Entry requirements

An upper second class honours degree or higher in a relevant subject from a UK university (or an equivalent international qualification), together with two supportive references, at least one of which must be academic. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account. Candidates are expected to have good English language ability and to meet the standard of the IELTS, or equivalent, at a level of 7.0. Read more about English language requirements.

Other routes

Candidates that do not currently meet the set entry requirements may also have the option to study the Graduate Diploma in Humanities and Social Sciences. Meeting the required grades on completion of this programme will provide a pathway to study MA Global Development.

Find out more about how to apply for our postgraduate taught courses.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office on +44 (0) 20 7882 5533 or email admissions@qmul.ac.uk. It is not necessary to have a first degree in geography and we welcome applicants from different backgrounds in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Months of entry


Course content

Explore the multiple connections (and disconnections) between countries of the Global North and the Global South. You will consider alternative future possibilities for international development in theory and practice, combining cutting-edge thinking on development, economic geography, political economy, labour studies and social change.

  • Gain a detailed understanding of development practices and experiences within different sites and spaces of the Global North and South
  • Engage with leading academics in the School of Geography's world-leading Economy, Development and Social Justice research theme
  • Develop field-based research skills through a field trip to Mumbai or Malaysia

What you'll study

You will be encouraged to challenge the common use of Western historical experiences and categories. Instead, you will reconsider the diversity of populations, economies, urban centres, and governance practices in the Global South on their own terms – and in so doing, step outside the conventional lenses of mainstream development theory and the international policies they inform.

Your studies will encourage you to examine these realities in light of the contrasts and continuities between the Global North and South and critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches to studying development futures.

You will be able to extend your understanding of these topics through an optional field trip to Mumbai or Malaysia. You will also be able to develop your research skills and experiences by undertaking an independent research project and fieldwork. This will be supported by research training as well as one-to-one tailored supervision from experienced researchers.

You will have the opportunity to attend weekly research seminars and research framework sessions with top-level academic researchers.

This programme also offers students the opportunity to undertake an unpaid internship with London International Development Centre (LIDC) while studying. LIDC will take on up to 4 Masters students as interns per year. Learn more here.

Additional costs

  • Flights, accommodation and living expenses for optional field trip to Mumbai. In 2018/19, the cost of the Mumbai field trip (requires a minimum number of students) was approximately £1,200
  • Dissertation field-work costs


  • Two compulsory modules
  • Two elective modules
  • Compulsory 15,000-word dissertation


Teaching for all modules includes a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars.

You will receive tailored research supervision and training. You will also be given the opportunity to participate in an optional seven-day field trip to Mumbai or Malaysia to further develop field research skills.

Some optional modules will include evening classes (5-7pm) and you may experience some intensive teaching periods.

If you choose to study part-time, the number of modules you take is reduced per semester. The full number of modules you need to complete the programme will be spread over two academic years.

We received 100% for teaching categories in the 2019 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES). Learn more about our PTES results.


  • Geospatial analysis, remote sensing and environmental modelling software and computing facilities
  • Field equipment and laboratory facilities to analyse environmental samples, the River Laboratory, a micromorphology and micropalaeontology suite and a luminescence dating laboratory
  • Learning resources and libraries at Queen Mary, the University of London and other collections such as the British Library


Teaching is based at Queen Mary’s main Mile End campus, one of the largest self-contained residential campuses in the capital. Our location in the heart of London’s East End offers a rich cultural environment.

We have invested £105m in new facilities over the past five years to offer our students an exceptional learning environment. Recent developments include the £39m Graduate Centre, providing 7,700 square metres of learning and teaching space.

The campus is 15 minutes by tube from central London, where you will have access to many of the University of London’s other facilities, such as Senate House.

About the School

Geography has been taught at Queen Mary since 1894, making us one of the longest-established schools of geography in the UK. Today, we are one of the leading centres for geographical scholarship. We were ranked 11th overall for our excellence in the latest UK research rankings and fifth for the quality of our staff’s research publications (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Set in the heart of one of London’s most vibrant and diverse areas, the School is ideally placed for studying the capital’s people, places, cultures and environment, as well as being a global hub for geographical expertise. We have a culturally diverse and inclusive postgraduate community.

We pride ourselves on our close links with external partners including the Environment Agency, the Geffrye Museum of the Home, Citizens UK and Natural England.

The School of Geography received the Athena SWAN bronze award in September 2016.

Career paths

This programme will prepare you for a broad range of careers but will specifically deliver the research skills and substantive knowledge required by NGOs, development organisations, national government departments and academic research roles. Previous graduates have gone onto undertake PhDs and further professional training as humanitarian doctors. They have also worked in an environmental waste management department, in consultancy, as a trader and marketer and in management.

Information for international students

Click here for more information.

Fees and funding

There are a number of ways you can fund your postgraduate degree.

Our Advice and Counselling service offers specialist support on financial issues, which you can access as soon as you apply for a place at Queen Mary. Before you apply, you can access our funding guides and advice on managing your money:

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

School of Geography
+44 (0)20 7882 8128