MA in Development Studies

The Master of Arts in Development Studies at the International Institute of Social 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.

Programme information

Duration15.5 months
DatesSeptember 2021 - December 2022
Tuition fee€ 17, 500
LocationThe Hague
Application deadline1 July 2021
Credits88 ECTS (40 weeks of fulltime study, 63 ECTS credits
research paper 25 weeks of fulltime study, 28 ECTS credits)
Programme contactDarren Baradhan


MA Accreditation

NVAO accreditation


The MA Programme in Development Studies is organized into five Majors and an MA track in Migration and Diversity

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

The Majors form an important part of the study programme. The courses are closely related and are designed to give students deeper insight and a higher level of competence in their field of study. Students write their research paper under the guidance of staff with relevant expertise.

The teaching offerings are attuned to the diverse backgrounds of ISS students. All students receive thorough academic counselling at the beginning of the programme to help them determine their study paths. The counselling, which is given by the convenor of each Major, provides information about the compulsory and optional courses, in particular about the foundation, research techniques and major courses.

Students may take voluntary remedial courses to make up for a deficiency or weak background knowledge.

After the Christmas break, students take courses to further deepen their study of a theme or element of the Major or to focus on a topic not exclusively related to their field of study.

Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies


Find out more about AFES

Economics of Development


Find out more about ECD

Governance and Development Policy


Find out more about GDP

Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives


Find out more about SJP

Social Policy for Development


Find out more about SPD

Governance, Migration and Diversity Track


Find out more about GMD