Master Studies in International Development
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4 Master’s studies that will get you into international development

International development is a very competitive field. As such, practitioners often benefit from advanced education in the field. For many management positions, a Master’s level education is imperative. So, we’ve put together a shortlist of Master’s studies that will get you into international development.

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1. MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies

The London School of Economics offers one of the most prestigious and well-recognized Master programs in international development. The MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies takes 12 months to complete full-time, and 24 months if you do it on a part-time basis.

In total, there are three compulsory courses. These provide an overview of global development and humanitarian issues. The rest of the courses are electives, allowing students to shape their studies to their areas of interest. You can choose to specialize in African development, population studies, or applied development economics.

Besides courses, students must also write a dissertation paper on a relevant issue. Further, they participate in a real-life consultancy project with prominent international development or humanitarian organizations.

2. Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree Programme in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA+)

The NOHA program allows students to pursue a degree in humanitarian action through four different universities. This includes schools in France, Malta, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Poland, and Sweden. The program also has about a dozen international university partners outside Europe.

All students begin with an orientation at the University of Warsaw for the first couple of weeks. Semester 1 provides a set of core courses at your university of choice. Semester 2 allows students to specialize in their preferred area. In semester 3, contextualization takes place, either through an internship, region-specific courses, or a work placement. Finally, students work on their thesis at a fourth university.

As an Erasmus Mundus program, there are several scholarships available. This makes the entrance to the NOHA Master’s very competitive. However, it does provide the advantage of a multi-lingual degree, a hands-on semester, and a comprehensive understanding of humanitarian issues.

3. Master in Public Administration in International Development

Another prestigious program on this list is the Master in Public Administration in International Development by Harvard University. The program focuses on policy and practice, particularly in terms of international development economics.

Students can receive a degree in two years. In the first year, you will take core courses in economics, institutions, management, and international development. The second-year is more flexible, with an array of elective options. These include business, design, education, law, public health, and other alternatives.

To complement these, students must undertake a summer internship and a year 2 Capstone project. The internship takes place in a relevant company, and Harvard has a vast network of partners. Meanwhile, the Capstone project is an opportunity to do in-depth policy analysis and recommendations on a specific issue.

4. MA in International Humanitarian Action

If you are looking for a great mix of quality education and value, then the University of Uppsala may be an ideal choice. All citizens of the EU, Sweden, and Switzerland can study here free of tuition fees. Students from other parts of the world do need to pay, but there are several different scholarships available to fund your studies.

Also, the University of Uppsala offers several relevant programs in international development. One of these is the MA in International Humanitarian Action (part of the NOHA agreement). However, students may also choose among several other degrees. For example, Humanitarian Action and Conflict is a 1-year program, best for practitioners already working in the field.

Those looking to focus more on sustainability and international development can opt for a degree in Sustainable Development or Sustainable Destination Development. Both degrees are inter-disciplinary and speak to the need for better durability in all aspects of international development, business, and other areas.

There are hundreds of Master’s programs around the world that will help you to launch your international development career. This list by the Center for Global Development Studies provides an excellent overview of applications that you can look into. Further, you can check out the Top Universities ranking for the best schools for development studies.

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