MA in Development Studies

The Master of Arts in Development Studies offers a solid academic and professionally relevant training in theory and methods for development studies. It is designed for those wishing to start or continue their professional careers in the area of development. In the MA programme you learn about the most recent theories and debates. You will also learn to apply this knowledge to practical issues of development and social change.

Critical thinking

MA students are encouraged to develop a critical understanding of major debates, theories and strategic interventions and of the skills to analyze the issues, and to design and assess interventions aimed at tackling these issues. An essential part of this process is to develop skills in research methodology, which will be applied in a research paper prepared as a requirement for the Masters degree.


The MA Programme in Development Studies is organized in five Majors. 

You must select one of these Majors when you apply to the MA programme.

Period of study

The 15.5 month MA programme consists of coursework (40 weeks of full-time study, 61 ECTS credits) and the research paper (25 weeks of full-time study, 27 ECTS credits).

ISS offers the possibility to do the one-year coursework at ISS and to work on the Research Paper at home with supervision being available through the electronic learning environment.