Global Development and Education MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a social science, humanities or related subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£12,250 (Total)
International fees
£26,000 (Total)

Course overview

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This course examines the plural and diverse roles that differing forms of education play in political, economic, and socio-cultural transformations in the Global South. It examines the positive contributions that education makes to equitable and sustainable development, and how it creates and perpetuates socio-economic and political inequalities.

The course will enable you to engage critically with global and national policies, strategies and programmes that promote inclusive education. You’ll learn about the experiences and viewpoints of people and nations of the Global South regarding education in development, as well as the inter-relationships between global, national and local actors.

You’ll assess progress made towards key global development goals and understand why this is often slow and uneven. Analysing the theories and realities of education in development, you’ll explore the different approaches, practices and discourses involved, and your own role in contributing to positive change.

Please note this course is not intended to prepare you for a career in teaching. If you are interested in studying education for the purposes of teaching please see our School of Education Masters courses.

Research expertise

This course features research-led teaching in the cross-cutting, dynamic field of education in global development. It is directly informed by research that has global impact, hosted in the School and supported by the cross-disciplinary Centre for Global Development.

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Course details

The course offers a critical approach to education in development, with analysis of education’s potential to contribute positively to sustainable human/planetary development, but also to perpetuate inequalities. Exploring the major changes, problems and opportunities facing societies and people in the Global South, you’ll analyse, understand, and discuss education in development – in all its dynamism, complexity and significance.

There are two compulsory, core modules. Education in Development offers a grounding in key theories of education’s role in development, which are applied to critical appraisals of the policies and practices of diverse development actors in a wide range of global contexts. Education in Emergencies examines how the roles of different forms of education are envisaged in a range of emergencies, and the practical realities of such situations.

You’ll complement these core modules with selections from a list of optional modules. This will enable you to explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest, including natural resources struggles, global health, gender and globalisation, international political economy and issues related to Africa.

You’ll build key research and writing skills in your modules, and demonstrate your knowledge in a compulsory dissertation, which is a piece of independent research on a topic of your choice with the field of education in global development.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Global Development and Education MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Education in Development 30
Education in Emergencies 30
Dissertation 60

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 60 credits of optional modules.

Module Name Credits
Global Politics of Health 30
Africa in the Contemporary World 30
Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30
Gender, Globalisation and Development 30
Global Inequalities and Development 30
The Rise of China 30
Theories and Concepts in Global Political Economy 30
Capitalism in Practice 30
Popular Culture: World politics, Society and Culture 30
Climate Security 30
Research & Project Skills- Experiential Learning 30

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include lectures, seminars, online learning and workshops. Tutors also provide you with individual advice on written work and you should begin to develop expertise in improving your work through face-to-face discussion with your tutors, formative assessment and through detailed feedback. You’ll be expected to carry out a good deal of independent, detailed and considered study.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Each module is assessed separately, through assessments that range from long essays to projects and assignments, offering you the opportunity to work in your particular field of interest within each topic area. You’ll also carry out a dissertation in a research area of your choice in the broad field of education in global development.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or a non-UK equivalent in a social science, humanities or related discipline. Relevant experience will also be taken into account.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Politics and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Politics and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Friday 28 June 2024

UK – Friday 16 August 2024

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you will need include:

  • original or certified copies of your transcripts

  • original or certified copies of your degree certificate

  • original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language).

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

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UK: £12,250 (Total)

International: £26,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School offers a number of scholarships for Masters study. Find out more about our scholarship opportunities.

Career opportunities

You’ll gain a wide range of professional skills on top of your subject knowledge, developing your ability to construct clear arguments, critically assess different options for action, analyse policy documents, write research reports and give presentations.

Our course equips you for various career paths. Compatible careers include working in international development agencies, international organisations, governments, politics, NGOs, research organisations, policy-making, companies, media, and academia.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in the UK and overseas for a range of organisations, including their national Ministry of Education, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Department, the British Council, Voluntary Service Overseas and other civil society organisations. Many also pursue further study by commencing PhD research.

Throughout the course, we’ll encourage you to seek practical work experience in the field of education in international development, and advise you on how to go about it.

Careers support

The School of Politics and International Studies has a dedicated Careers Consultant who is on hand throughout the year to support and advise you about your career. The School also arranges a number of guest speaker events where you are able to engage with prospective employers, and hear from leading figures in the field.

Find out more about how we support your career development

In addition to the School-specific careers support, you’ll also have access to the University’s award-winning Careers Service. The Careers Service offers one-to-one appointments, advice on starting your own business, careers events, mentoring schemes and support with your CV, applications and interviews.

Find out more about the Careers Service