MA International Development

Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences

We produce graduates who can apply their expertise to real-world problems.

Our research partners are global, from UK universities to institutions in southern Africa, Denmark, Iceland, Australia and the USA.

We don't shy away from the big issues. Sheffield is setting the agenda on international development, climate change and social justice.

Most of our masters courses involve global fieldwork in places such as Cairo, Kenya, Hong Kong, India and Nepal.

About the course

Engaging with the challenges of international development in today's complex world, this course is designed to prepare you for an extraordinary career in this field.

You’ll develop skills and knowledge relating to development research and practice.

And the course includes a 10-day field class currently in Nepal or Kenya, providing hands-on experience of research.

Staff from NGOs contribute to the Professional Skills module, helping you to plan your professional development.

Core modules

  • Ideas and Practice in International Development
  • Research Design and Methods in International Development
  • Professional Skills for Development
  • Dissertation with Placement
  • International Development Field Class, currently in either Kenya or Nepal

Optional modules

  • Understanding Environmental Change
  • Data, Visualisation and GIS
  • Key Issues in Environment and Development
  • Living with Climate Change in the Global South
  • The Political Economy of Natural Resource-led Development in the Global South
  • Key Issues in Global Public Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems
  • Cities of Diversity
  • Cities of ‘the South’: planning for informality


  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Reading groups


  • Coursework assignments
  • Project work
  • Dissertation


You'll take part in a 10-day field trip where you can put your research skills into practice. Recent classes visited the West Pokot region of Kenya, urban and rural areas of Nepal, the suburbs of Cairo and India.

Apply now

Students doing fieldwork in kenya

Key facts

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

For all our courses, you’ll need a good 2:1 or first class honours degree in geography or a related subject, or an equivalent recognised qualification.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Your career

You'll develop the skills to work in private or public sector research, or join the civil service. Recent graduates have started careers in consulting or with organisations like CAFOD, the Environment Agency and the British Library.

Many of our graduates stay on to do research. We have a high success rate in securing funding for those who wish to study for a PhD with us after finishing a masters.

How we teach

Our staff are active researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields. That research informs our masters courses. As well as the usual lectures and seminars, there are practicals, lab classes, field trips and research projects.

Study with the best

This is a vibrant postgraduate community, with strong international links.

Our research partners are global, from UK universities to institutions in southern Africa, Denmark, Iceland, Australia and the USA.

Our teaching is invigorated by work from several interdisciplinary research groups, like the Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research (SCIDR), the Urban and Regional Policy Research Institute and the Sheffield Institute for International Development.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

Postgraduate Programmes Officer
T: +44 (0)114 222 7900