Taught course

International Development Practice (MSc)

University of St Andrews · Graduate School

Entry requirements

Our minimum academic requirement for entry to most programmes is a 2:1 degree classification from a recognised UK university or the equivalent in a subject-related area.

While the course draws elements from anthropology, economics, geography, international relations, management, medicine, modern languages, and statistics, applications are welcomed from suitably qualified applicants in other disciplines. Applications are also welcomed from suitably qualified applicants with degrees in applied fields – such as nursing, engineering, or education – who are interested in developing a career in international development.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc International Development Practice is a one-year interdisciplinary Masters degree designed to train students in both the theoretical and practical aspects of international development work.


  • Combines exploration of key theoretical concepts in development studies with training in skills used by development practitioners.
  • Provides substantial introduction to quantitative and qualitative methods for assessing development programmes.
  • Targeted at students intending to follow a career in international development, and the summer research project can be undertaken in collaboration with organisations involved in development work.
  • Interdisciplinary approach means you can explore a range of methodological approaches.

The programme emphasises practical skills which will be of particular value if you are looking to develop a career in international development. Specific attention is paid to training in data methods – familiarising students with the ways in which quantitative and qualitative data methods can be used to understand and improve the effectiveness of development programmes.

Practical components are, in part, taught through hands-on workshops facilitated by experienced development practitioners. The programme also features discussion of different careers in development and a literature-based exploration of identity and development work.

Additionally, the summer research project has a strong practical focus. Subject to availability, projects may be undertaken in collaboration with an organisation involved in development work – allowing students to gain first-hand professional experience.

The MSc International Development Practice is distinguished by its interdisciplinary character and involves academic staff from the following Schools:

  • Economics and Finance
  • International Relations
  • Medicine
  • Modern Languages
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Philosophical, Anthropological, and Film Studies.

The interdisciplinary approach means that you can explore a range of methodological approaches and use ideas from different disciplines to illuminate development studies questions.

Teaching format

The MSc degree requires two semesters of full-time coursework, normally equivalent to six modules.

The course involves both independent and group study. Modules have different methods of delivery, including:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • practical classes
  • field work

Assessments include:

  • written assignments
  • presentations
  • technical summaries


Each semester is organised around two core modules exploring the theory and methodologies needed to complete the end of programme project. The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students
EU: £10,880  Overseas: £21,990

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0)1334 46 2032