Global Development Studies
Master of science (2 year) Full time
The Master in Global Development Studies (M-GDS) offers critical knowledge and understanding of contemporary global challenges with the aim of supporting just and sustainable development.
Contact study advisors
Master of Science, two-year, full-time, 120 ECTS
The Master in Global Development Studies engages with contemporary discourses on global development and explores the interplay between social, economic, political, environmental and gendered aspects of societal change across scales from local to global. Central themes addressed are inequality and poverty, the environment, climate change, global governance, armed conflict and violence, gender, food systems, rural development, decolonization and other struggles for justice. The programme builds on research-based knowledge from a wide variety of geographical contexts and emphasizes the complex interlinkages across levels and between countries and localities in a multipolar world.
Student-active learning strategies are emphasised, including field courses, internships, and dynamic student collaboration. The emphasis on interdisciplinary education and research methods provides empirical insights, analytic tools and practical skills in evaluating and formulating policies and strategies within the field of global development. The learning approach is sensitive to diverse cultures, ecologies, institutions, economies and knowledges of different societies and groups. Electives include field courses and internships that provide valuable practical experience. Exchanges with other universities (global or domestic) may be included in the degree. The M-GDS programme attracts students from all over the world and provides the opportunity to study in a unique learning environment with an interdisciplinary and international composition of students at a green and beautiful campus.
The M-GDS degree is a two-year, full-time English language programme accredited by the European Association of Development Research and Training (EADI).
M-GDS graduates find employment in a wide range of national and international organizations including government agencies, research and education, civil society, multilateral and bilateral aid, media and business.
The M-GDS programme is grounded in the social sciences and distinguished by its interdisciplinarity and combined use of research-based pedagogy and real-world study and practical experience as the foundation for understanding global development as manifested and practiced in diverse, complex and rapidly changing contexts.
Students will gain a solid grounding in the concepts, history, theories, methodologies and practices of global development and learn about the conditions for development and the interaction between social, political and environmental processes at local, regional and global levels.
- Knowledge and understanding of the meanings of globalisation and development, and the various approaches and theories used in global development studies and the critique of these.
- Specialized insight into a particular theme in global development, for example inequality and poverty, rights and power, gender, environmental change, food systems, and the politics and of global governance and change.
- Capacity to analyse complex global development challenges through applying interdisciplinary theories and methods.
- The ability to critically assess established and new academic perspectives and policy developments within the field of global development.
- Capacity to create and evaluate solutions to global development issues, acknowledging the dynamics between ecological and social, political and economic processes.
- Competence in planning and conducting field research, project management and development work.
- Ability to use a diversity of approaches and methods in the study of development issues in the field.
- Awareness of critical perspectives on power relations, normative perspectives and values related to global change.
- Ability to critique, engage in and promote academic and public debate on global development.
- Academic writing skills based on experience with different genres in academic and policy-oriented writing.
- Plan and carry out independent and innovative research in Global Development Studies.
- Contribute to solving theoretical, methodological and practical challenges and problems in global development.
- Apply Global Development Studies knowledge in new settings such as in research and education, development processes, civil society action, government programmes or the private sector.
- Participate and engage in networks, negotiations, public debates, and be able to collaborate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and academic fields.
Applicants must hold a Bachelor degree or equivalent in the social, political, environmental, management or agricultural sciences or humanities.
A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of C or the equivalent is required.
Applicants must include a one-page motivation letter outlining their background (personal, professional, academic), their motivation to study the M-GDS programme, and their contribution to the learning environment.
Admission will be based on academic transcripts and the motivation letter.
Applicants must meet NMBU’s requirements for English language proficiency.
General information on Admission requirements | NMBU.
My master thesis involved 5 months of field research in rural Tanzania, which equipped me with the necessary field research experience and thematic pre-knowledge to qualify for my current job.Linn Jaeckle, Social Protection Officer, UNICEF Malawi
The programme is a two-year, 120 ECTS full-time study consisting of a basis of 40 ECTS in mandatory courses, 30 ECTS for the master’s thesis and 50 ECTS for elective courses, internship and/or exchange studies. Students can also take a 60 ECTS master’s thesis and no elective courses in Year 2.
|August Block||EDS201 Introduction to Development Studies (5 ECTS)|
|Autumn Parallel||EDS305 Development Theory and Politics (10 ECTS)||EDS312 Research Methods (0 ECTS – credits awarded in spring)||Elective Course*|
|Spring Parallel||ECN352 Poverty and Inequality (10 ECTS)||EDS312 Research Methods continued (15 ECTS)||Elective Course*|
|Autumn Parallel||Elective Course*||Elective Course*||Elective Course*|
|Spring Parallel||M30 IES Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS)|
*Students can choose from the recommended elective courses below or other NMBU courses:
- EDS313 Internship (offered autumn or spring, 10 – 30 ECTS)
- EDS370 Gender and Development (5 ECTS, August block)
- EDS225 Linking Ecological and Social Resilience (10 ECTS, autumn parallel)
- EDS230 Global Development and Aid (10 ECTS, autumn parallel)
- EDS260 Global Environmental Changes (5 ECTS, autumn parallel)
- EDS285 Global Food Systems and Security (10 ECTS, autumn parallel)
- EDS355 Climate Change and Society (10 ECTS, autumn parallel)
- EDS379 Global Political Economy (10 ECTS, autumn parallel)
- EDS271 Introduction to Gender and Development (10 ECTS, spring parallel, only through 2024)
- EDS341 Decolonial Theory (5 ECTS, January block)
- EDS349 Energy and Society (5 ECTS, January block)