Development Studies

5 minute read
Development Studies

As an interdisciplinary blend of varied branches of Social Science. It became a prominent field of study in the latter part of the 20th century as third-world countries aimed to establish themselves after years of colonization. As an academic discipline, it centrally emphasizes the evolution of countries in terms of political, economic, cultural, socio-economic, and geographical perspectives. For those inclined towards contributing to the development of third-world economies, this field offers a wide array of courses and career opportunities to choose from! If you aim to work towards social and economic development on a global level, this blog brings you a collated guide on courses, universities, eligibility criteria, and career opportunities in Development Studies.

Eligibility Criteria

If you want to study this course at a top-ranked university abroad, you must fulfill the eligibility requirements specified by your chosen academic institution. As there are various courses in the field, the entry requisites may differ as per the course and university. Listed below are the general eligibility criteria:

  • Usual formal schooling of 10+2 from a recognized institution. 
  • For master’s degree programs, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline with minimum marks required by the chosen university.
  • To study Development Studies courses abroad, you will be required to provide English language proficiency test scores of IELTS/TOEFL, etc along with an SOP and LORs.

Development Studies Courses 

A variety of courses are available in this field. Since it is a specialization of Social Science, postgraduate-level courses are majorly offered in this emerging area of study. You can opt to pursue this field under various degrees like MA or MSc in Development Studies, etc. Tabulated below are the popular development studies courses around the world:

Master in Development Studies and Foresight  Master of Arts in International Development MSc International Development Management MA Globalisation: Politics, Conflict and Human Rights
Master in Economics: Regional Development and Governance  MSc Development Studies  Master in Coastal Communities and Regional Development MA Culture, Society and Globalisation 
Master in Population and Development Master in Community Development and Social Innovation  Master in International Development Studies MSc International Humanitarian Affairs 
Master of Arts in International Development MA in International Development Sports and International Development MA MPA Public Administration – International Development 
Master in International Development and Service Master of Arts in International Development Studies MSc Tourism and International Development  Master of International Development
Credits: Massey University

Admission Process 

The MA development studies admission is conducted on the basis of the following criteria 

  • Merit-based admissions- That is, students who scored exceptional marks in graduation can apply for merit-based admissions.
  • Entrance-based admission- Another criterion for admission is entrance. In India, entrance exams such as JNUEE, and TISSNET are conducted for admission

Top 10 Universities for Development Studies Abroad

Many top universities in the world offer various courses in this multidisciplinary field of study. Before you go on to selecting a particular course, you must be familiar with the program structure, faculty as well as research facilities at your chosen university. Enlisted below are the popular institutions across the globe offering this program:

  1. University of Brighton 
  2. University of York 
  3. Aberystwyth University
  4. Texas State University
  5. University College Dublin 
  6. La Trobe University
  7. George Washington University
  8. University of Kent 
  9. Keele University
  10. DePaul University 

Check out the Development Studies Harvard Prospectus

Check out the Development Studies LSE Prospectus

Top 10 Colleges for Development Studies in India

There are plenty of colleges in India offering this course. Enlisted are some of the reputable names offering this program: 

  1. Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  2. Ambedkar University, Delhi
  3. Azim Premji University, Bengaluru
  4. Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi
  5. Gandhigram Rural Institute, Dindigul
  6. Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata
  7. University of Madras, Chennai
  8. Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
  9. Swami Vivekanand University, Sagar
  10. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow

Application Process 

The admission process for MA Development studies is as follows. 

  • First, select the MA Development studies course through the  AI Course Finder
  • Next, the experts at Leverage Edu will help the student to start the application process with the respective university
  • Manin documents such as SOPs, Essays, LORs, and IELTS, TOEFL needs to be submitted 
  • The application process for accommodation,  student visas, and scholarships/student loans will be started by Leverage Edu experts.
  • Finally, you can wait for the offer letter which takes around 4-6 weeks.

Documents Required 

The main documents required for admission are as follows. Students applying for the development studies admission require to submit these documents.

Development Studies Jobs & Salary

After completing a degree, graduates can explore an assorted range of career opportunities. You can work in policymaking, journalism, social work, and rural and urban development, amongst others. If you want to study further, you can also pursue a PhD in this field. Here are the major job profiles in this field. There are numerous job opportunities after completing your studies. Some of the prominent job profiles and salary structure is mentioned below:

Job Profiles Salary p.a. in INR
Policy Maker ₹500000
Social Worker ₹402158
Research Assistant ₹306386
Policy Assistant ₹500000

Students who complete MA development studies can also work in several job roles. Some of them are listed below.

Designation Average salary per annum
Communication officer INR. 4.95 lakh
Documentation Specialist INR 2.32 lakh
Research consultant  INR 4.4 lakh

Masters in Development Studies

MA in Development Studies is a postgraduation program that is designed to help students gain a deep understanding of Sociology, Political Science, and other allied subjects like Economics and Geography. Running for a period of 1-2 years, it lays emphasis on the political institutions, civil society, and other aspects of public policies that are invariably related to developing countries. As a student, you will be able to gather insight into a chosen community and will learn how to overcome impediments and create a sustainable community. To know more, check out our blog on MA in Development Studies


It is one of the most important fields to study. It is important for the evolution of the political, cultural, geographical, and socio-economic of all nations. You can either pursue bachelor’s or master’s courses. The subjects you will study include international development, tourism, population studies, etc. You can later work as a policymaker, social worker, research assistant, and even as a teacher. 

Hopefully, this blog familiarized you with the quintessential aspects of building a career in Development studies. Selecting the right course and university as per your interests and preferences can be a daunting task. Reach out to Leverage Edu experts as they are here to help you shortlist the one which aligns the best with your career aspirations. Sign up for an e-meeting with us today!

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