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Victoria University of Wellington
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Master of Development Studies

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree

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Expand on your Bachelor's degree and improve your knowledge and skills with in-depth study of development.

Increase your expertise and make a positive contribution to development practice around the world. Examine the theories and practices associated with inequalities in world development, and investigate the enormous differences between the living standards of people worldwide and what we can do about them.

Look at the relationships between people and institutions, developed and developing societies, and consider the effect these relationships have on the processes of social, political, economic and environmental transformation.

Postgraduate Development Studies is designed to suit people from a wide range of disciplines and occupations. If you have work experience in community and international development, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, or want to work in the area in the future, postgraduate Development Studies is a good choice for you.

Overseas research opportunities

You'll be encouraged to spend some time in a developing country as part of your postgraduate study you can complete your Master's thesis based on your work in a developing country.

Past research has been done in countries such as Cambodia, Chile, the Cook Islands, Indonesia, Laos, Peru, the Philippines, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Current issues and possible research areas in Development Studies include:

  • environmental change
  • gender equity
  • globalisation
  • human rights
  • inequality
  • international aid
  • participation and democracy
  • poverty.

You'll be part of an active and dynamic culture of world-class research. Work with experienced staff who are internationally renowned in their fields. Choose an area of research that interests you.

How you'll study

The first year of the Master of Development Studies consists of four core courses. You'll look at the theories of development, professional practice and technique, and the concepts and tools of development policy.

Development Research (DEVE 514) will prepare you for your thesis. You'll cover research methodology for development fieldwork and put together a full research proposal for your thesis, which you'll submit at the end of the course.

You'll also do a further 60 points of approved 400- and 500-level courses. You'll need to work towards an average of B+ grades in your first year.

In your second year you'll research and write your thesis. Your thesis has a maximum of 40,000 words which is around 120-150 pages.

Entry criteria

To be accepted into this programme you need:

  • A Bachelor's degree with an average grade of B+ or higher
  • To be accepted by the Director of the Postgraduate Programme in Development Studies as being capable of proceeding with the proposed course of study

Proof of English proficiency

To be accepted into this programme you will need to meet one of the following:

IELTS: minimum overall score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.0

TOEFL: minimum score of 90 for the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing

Pearson Test of English: minimum score of 58 (with a ‘Communicative’ score of not less than 50)

EPP: minimum final scores of 4,4,5,5

Application Deadline - Trimester 1: 1 Dec.

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