Taught course

Research for International Development

SOAS University of London · Department of Economics

Entry requirements

In addition to degree classification in a relevant subject we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

See international entry requirements

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc Research for International Development is a cutting-edge degree funded and supported by the UK’s ESRC (The Economic and Social Research Council).

The programme equips you with the theoretical background and analytical skills to inquire into the relationship between theory, research methods and politics in international development.

Our academic staff provide students with knowledge about the plurality of methodological approaches in key areas of international development research, and the policy choices and strategies associated with these. The module offers students the opportunity to engage with a selection of methods used in international development research.

Why study MSc Research for International Development at SOAS?

  • we are ranked number 2 in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • SOAS is ranked in the top 5 universities in the UK for producing a CEO or Managing Director, according to new research
  • two of the three core modules focus on the research methods. The first, Fundamentals of Research Methods for Development Studies, reviews the main research designs and techniques used in development research. The module explores both the use of secondary sources (text, numbers, images, audio, etc.) and the process of collecting primary empirical materials for analysis. The course addresses the dichotomy quantitative-qualitative in social research methodology, the key differences between the two approaches and the potential for complementarity
  • the second core model, Statistical Research Techniques in International Development, covers the necessary statistical methods for social sciences including survey design and regression analysis. It aims to a) introduce students to statistical inference; b) encourage the clear and coherent expression of statistical results; and c) promote the critical reading of statistics within the development literature. Students without prior training in statistics and maths are advise to either audit or choose Introductory Statistics as one of their optional modules
  • the two core courses above give students advanced interdisciplinary training in research methods. The third core module, for which students can choose either Political Economy of Development or Theory, Policy and Practice of Development, grounds students in the key topics, and the analytical and policy debates surrounding them, in international development

Who should apply

The degree has been developed to meet the needs of both development practitioners and researchers on international development, including those wishing to pursue an MPhil/PhD in International Development. The programme will suit students with a variety of backgrounds in social sciences, including politics, sociology, economics, and so on. It would also meet the needs of people working, or hoping to work in international agencies, humanitarian organisations, and NGOs. Students with a strong interest in research and research methods will thrive on the MSc distinctive focus on training in research methods.

Information for international students

For details, including English language requirements, please see SOAS website

Fees and funding

For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Study
+44 (0)20 3510 6974