University of Edinburgh

School of Social and Political Sciences

MSc Africa & International Development


Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Science (MSc)

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Introduction Uniquely this MSc programme combines a comprehensive knowledge about sub-Sahara Africa drawing on social anthropology, political science, human geography and history with a focus on development interventions on the continent. It combines academic and practical elements, fundamental to understand the complex reality of development and to gain skills for a competitive work market. This programme is offered by the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh. This is one of Europe’s premier hubs for research and teaching on sub-Sahara Africa and we equip our students with the analytical and practical tools needed to engage with the challenges faced by international development today. We provide a vibrant academic environment to critically discuss development interventions in Africa and elsewhere. We also offer a large number of work-based projects in a number of African countries where our students work up to two months with a wide range of organisations active in the field of development. Who is this programme for? This masters programme is open to students and professionals looking to develop a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics of international development and how they play out in an African context. As one of our past students said: "focusing on Africa provides the student with a specialism and a competitive edge in the development market sector" (Alex, MSc student, 2012). Programme aims The MSc in Africa and International Development firmly locates African development in theory and practice. It contextualises and analyses development interventions in a range of fields including governance, transitional justice, mineral extraction and public health. Our philosophy emphasises critical engagement advancing from a thorough knowledge of the history of international development and critical assessment of development practice in Africa to a pragmatic engagement. Our teaching is research-driven and will familiarise you with cutting-edge research in the field. The MSc Africa and International Development will enable you to make a real difference in the design and implementation of development policies and projects. Structure and courses The programme is available on a full-time basis over one year or on a part-time basis over two years. Masters students are expected to complete six courses* (two core courses and four options) and an extended dissertation (around 15,000 words). As integral part of the programme we offer a limited number of work-based placements in a wide range of development organsations in Africa that enables our students to acquire practical experience. Our placements provide the unique opportunity to apply academic training to real-world problems. They feature eight weeks of on-location research with a host organisation.  Our extensive network of partners in the UK and a large number of African countries (including Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania) includes NGOs, charities, social enterprise, think-tanks and government bodies ensuring a rewarding student experience. You will acquire key skills and practical, first-hand experience of working in international development in Africa. Core courses: Governance, Development and Poverty in Africa Politics and Theories of International Development Optional courses include (only a selection): Key Skills in Development Practice Gender and Development Contemporary African Issues and Debates Modern Africa Africa and International Politics Anthropology of Global Health Anthropology of Health and Healing International Political Economy Governing Mineral Extraction in Africa Interpreting Development: Institutions and Practices Foundations of Science, Technology and Development Cultures of Human Rights and Humanitarianism Social Interventions in HIV/AIDS Key Concepts in Global Social Change Development and Economics Research in Africa African Cities Urban Development Critical Perspectives on Mental Health and Well-being in the 'Global South' Swhaili Transitional Justice in Context Human Dimension of Environmental Change and Sustainability Georgraphy of Food Security International Perspectives on Education and Training Participation in Policy and Planning Economics for Postgraduates Career Opportunities? The degree equips our students to pursue a successful international career in development working for charities, NGOs, government agencies, international organisations, think- tanks, news media and lobby groups. Our degree also serves as a stepping stone for a career in research and academia. In general, it will be of particular use to those who want to be able to draw on a comprehensive in-depth knowledge of lived realities when addressing the challenges faced by Africans today.


Fully accredited by The University of Edinburgh

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

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