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International Development Studies

Study programme

The Master’s programme of 60 EC credits begins once a year in September and runs for 12 months. Some students will be required to follow a half-year preparatory programme before being able to start the one-year Master’s programme.

First semester

In the first block of the programme, students take the comprehensive core course in which we discuss the theoretical foundations of International Development Studies (IDS), topical debates in the field of IDS, and look into the application of development theory to policy and practice. In addition to this, students take the research training and fieldwork preparation course.

In the second block of the programme, students take two elective courses and the second half of the research training and fieldwork preparation course. Simultaneously, students will begin drafting their research proposals which will be finalised by mid-January before they leave for fieldwork.

Second semester

During the second semester, beginning mid-January, students will carry out their fieldwork and write up their thesis. Students return from the field in the last week of March in order to begin with the Thesis Seminar, which supports students in the writing process. Students will also meet once a week for the course Job Market Preparation in ID in which they get exposure to what is happening in the professional field of development and can start thinking about what steps they will want to take after completing the programme.

Fieldwork and Thesis

Together, the fieldwork and the Master's thesis come to 24 EC credits. The thesis is based on the student’s independent fieldwork research and gives the student the opportunity to combine theory with their own empirical findings. It is carried out by the student under the supervision of a faculty member.

As students consider applying to the programme, they are encouraged to think about possible topics. Once they have accepted their offer to start the programme, they will get access to the Canvas fieldwork page. For the most part, students will join a topic in line with the supervisor's expertise. There is some space in the programme for students who wish to pursue additional topics outside of these selections, but it is important to be aware that finding expertise supervision may be more difficult, and students will have to draw more on their own networks and options for arranging the fieldwork. The Master's thesis consists of 20,000-25,000 words.

  • Core Issues in IDS: theoretical approaches and current debates
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  • Research Training and Fieldwork Preparation
  • Job Market Preparation in the Field of International Development
  • Thesis Seminar Master International Development Studies
  • Restricted-choice electives: IDS Electives
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  • Research Project IDS - Field Work and Thesis
See more information in the Course Catalogue


The Master's is a full time programme with an average of 40 hours a week.