University of Edinburgh

School of Social and Political Sciences

PG Cert/MSc Global Development Challenges


Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Postgraduate Certificate in Global Development Challenges, Master of Science in Global Challenges

Format: Online

Program Description:

Introduction Delivered through online distance learning, this Postgraduate Certificate programme – which can be combined to form an MSc degree – offers you an innovative route to gaining understanding and skills to address the complex, interrelated problems facing the world today. The programme draws on the University’s best research and teaching to deliver a programme that is flexible, challenging and cutting edge in content, delivery and ambition. You’ll examine a variety of case studies to shed light on strategies for addressing some of the most pressing global challenges of our time. Issues covered by this programme range from global governance, human rights and donor aid strategy, to global health challenges, climate change impacts and ecosystem management. The courses in the programme offer innovative opportunities for thinking globally and locally while examining institutional debates that highlight complexities of policy, governance and social interaction at multiple levels of society, in both wealthier and poorer countries. Delivery The PG Certificate is delivered part time via distance learning through a mix of online modes, including video lectures that draw upon expertise from across the University, study guides, self directed and guided reading, and a range of interactive online reflection and discussion activities. Assessments include written essays, reports, case study activities and presentations. The PG Certificate adopts an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on expertise from across and beyond the University. It offers a flexible approach to personal and professional development and can be studied around your other commitments, including full time work, from anywhere in the world with internet access. Careers This programme offers flexible study via distance learning and can be taken alongside a full-time job. It attracts students around the world with diverse interests, including those interested in working with - or already working with - governments, NGOs, international development and aid organisations, international health organisations, international environmental organisations, United Nations agencies, the private sector, charities, universities and other research institutions. The diverse group makes it an exciting network! Programme aims The Certificate will provide you with: The analytical and conceptual skills to enable critical evaluation and investigation of global development issues Training in comparative and development policy analysis In-depth knowledge of the drivers, processes and contexts that shape global development Structure and courses Students must satisfactorily complete three prescribed courses in order to complete the 60-credit Certificate. Global Development Challenges Globalisation, rapid technological change and constantly changing political and economic systems are linking the world together in hitherto unimagined ways. These new connections are both symptomatic of and drivers of emerging global challenges. ?This course examines these global challenges and their implications for institutional decision-making and for society. Students in the course build skills analysing complex development issues in context and gain familiarity with concepts while debating policy options and constraints in global governance processes. Politics and Theories of International Development This course examines the politics and theories of international development by analysing the dominant and alternative social theories that seek to explain development outcomes and the actors and institutions involved. Students in this course gain familiarity with the major cultural, economic and political theories of overdevelopment and underdevelopment and the debates about these concepts internationally as well as related theories on modernisation and dependency.? Analysing Development Development aid has played and continues to play a significant role in addressing humanitarian emergencies, funding social services, stimulating economic change and supporting the work of non-governmental actors. Yet it can have perverse effects, putting recipient states in a situation of dependency vis-à-vis their international sponsors, undermining public services while seeking to strengthen them, and even fuelling economic crises and political turmoil. This course provides a practical overview of international development assistance, and equips students with the knowledge and tools to critically assess the social and political effects of aid and the way aid policy is made and executed. Students reflect on a variety of case studies that are discussed in the lectures and the readings, and students also have the opportunity to bring in particular case studies that they wish to add and examine.?


Fully accredited by The University of Edinburgh and internationally recognised.

International Student Requirements:

For students whose first language is not English, detailed information about required English language qualifications can be found on our website. Our website will also inform you which international qualifications meet our general entry requirements.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

Classification: Higher Education Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

Locale: Midsize City

Find Schools