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MA Global Development Politics

Create and evaluate novel solutions to the fundamental challenges facing the world.

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Explore the transformations that shape our world, challenge orthodoxy, and help innovate solutions to global problems.

The MA in Global Development Politics offers an interdisciplinary people-focused approach to understanding the politics of global development. It will equip you to create and evaluate innovative solutions to the fundamental challenges facing the world. Such solutions require redressing imbalances of power at local, regional, national, and global levels.

As a student of the MA in Global Development Politics you will appreciate that development is a complex of practices, policies and possibilities that encompass worldwide socio-economic and environmental transformation. The intellectual and practical training provided by the course will help you contribute to creating a world that promotes dignity, equality and fairness.

16th in the UK

for Politics, according to Complete University Guide (CUG) 2024.

Experts on the global stage

Our staff advise governments and international organisations on a wide range of issues, and contribute to news media and current affairs programmes around the world.

Course content

This course will give you a firm grounding in the fundamental principles of global development politics. You'll learn to analyse and address specific global challenges through innovative research, critical thinking and transformative practice. 

You'll study 180 credits in total. The course consists of:

  • core modules 
  • option modules 
  • independent research dissertation

Our option modules, Global Classroom with four institutions in the Global South, summer school in Greece, and fieldwork placements will allow you to tailor the course to your interests, from global governance to local government, and including the sustainable development goals, politics of infrastructure, social welfare, and other themes and topics.


Core modules

  • Global Development Politics

Option modules

You will also study five option modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information, please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


During the summer and vacation you will consolidate your interests in a 10,000-12,000-word policy report on a topic of your choice.

You'll have regular meetings with your assigned policy report advisor, who will help guide you through the process and support you in the exploration of your chosen topic. You'll also have the opportunity to present your policy report at our research seminar presentation workshops.

Previous policy report titles include:

  • The relationship between U.S. government donors and international non-profit organisations: A comparative analysis of the George W Bush and Barack Obama administrations
  • Challenges of Public Administration reform in Afghanistan on corruption and development in Afghanistan
  • Understanding China’s policy towards Africa, its impact and policy implications
  • ProÁrbol: achieving sustainable development in Mexico through the Payment for Environmental Services (PES)
  • A comparative study of health care systems in Brazil, India and China: what lessons can China learn?

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Articulate understanding of the origins and evolution of the discipline (from development studies to global development via international development) by demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of historical and contemporary political issues in global development. [Substantively knowledgeable agent]
  • Apply different theoretical perspectives, methods to specific aspects of the politics of global development, such as the changing global order, climate change, persistent poverty and rising inequality,  and growing challenges to human well-being, using advanced critical graduate-level reasoning and empirical testing (where appropriate) to assess their strengths and weaknesses and advance innovative arguments and solutions that challenge the frontiers of existing knowledge. [Advanced critical thinker]
  • Undertake independent work relating to the field of global development politics by selecting and justifying the use of appropriate theories and concepts, gathering and interpreting data, and arriving at appropriate and justified conclusions based on a critical awareness of interdisciplinary and decolonisation-informed perspectives in dealing with problems in global development, taking into account ethical, social, political, geographical, environmental, historical, and financial factors, human rights, ethnicity, gender, and other intersectional considerations. [Interdisciplinary problem-solver]
  • Communicate effectively to achieve collective aims in global development contexts, integrating and adapting practical, conceptual and interpersonal skills to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and provide evidenced, structured and well-supported advice, vital to graduate employment. [Engaged communicator]
  • Engage with shared learning across different disciplines and develop an understanding of the values of tolerance, sustainability and inclusivity. [Professional skills]

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,590£23,900
Part-time (2 years) £5,295£11,950

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

If you choose to undertake the two-week summer school in Greece, you will need to budget for around £2000, over and above MA tuition fees and living expenses. Placements in York do not incur additional costs, apart from some potential limited local travel.

Although you may decide to purchase some textbooks or other resources, we have an extensive physical and electronic library, so that there is no requirement to do so.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Departmental funding

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

The course has allowed me to follow my interest in development across the world, and given me the theoretical and analytical tools to adapt myself to different situations.
Solene, MA Conflict, Governance and Development

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

This course comprises a variety of teaching environments - lectures, seminars, group work and opportunities for one-to-one tutorials - which have been designed to enable students to experience the tasks and demands that will be required of them in their future careers. This involves collaborative learning from four partner institutions in the Global South, and placements and fieldwork. 

Research-led teaching

You'll be taught by academics at the forefront of research across a number of political areas such as conflict, security and development, political economy, international politics, political theory and public policy. As international experts in their field, our staff advise governments and organisations and regularly contribute to news and current affairs programmes. Our expertise and experience feed directly into our teaching.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Politics and International Relations on Campus West. Most teaching will take place nearby. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

The diverse assessments for this program include essays, podcasts, policy reports and an independent project that will be advantageous to graduates in their future careers.

PEP students sat in lecture theatre

Careers and skills

Graduates of previous Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre programmes have found work in a range of sectors - from central and local government to law firms and media companies.

Career opportunities

  • Multilateral institutions
  • Bilateral development offices
  • Donor agencies
  • International NGOs 
  • Local government
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Community and voluntary organisations
  • Social enterprise
  • Higher education
  • Accountancy and banking organisations
  • Law firms
  • Media companies
  • International organisations
  • Thinktanks

Graduate profiles

Transferable skills

  • Logical thinking
  • Analysis of complex ideas, arguments and theories    
  • Problem-solving
  • The ability to present succinct reports    
  • Intellectual independence
  • Communication skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent. We are willing to consider applicants with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate professional experience. Additional information may be requested.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

If we make you an offer, we'll invite you to visit us between November and April. You can meet current students and chat one-to-one with our academic staff.

Apply for this course

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Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr. Judith Krauss
Dr. Barnaby Dye

Learn more

Department of Politics and International Relations

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