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Research Master
International Development Studies

Open day

Want to know whether this really is the right programme for you? The information and activities on this page can help you find out.

What is this programme about?

Study adviser Eva van der Sleen and student Keeke van Paassen tell you all about the Research Master's programme of International Development Studies.

What is a Research Master's programme?

The Graduate School of Social Sciences (University of Amsterdam) offers three Research Master's programmes in the field of International Development Studies, Social Sciences and Urban Studies. Would you like to know what a Research Master's is?

Explore your campus

Want to see where you will be studying? Explore the campus in our virtual map, or plan a visit and experience it yourself using the interactive app.

Frequently asked questions

  • What does the programme look like?

    In the online Course Catalogue you will find an overview of the programme.

  • What are the admission requirements?

    Please read the information on application and admission.

  • If I don’t meet all the requirements, can I still be admitted?

    Please send an e-mail to: studyadvisor-ids@uva.nl

  • What are the main differences between the one year and the two year master?

    The first major difference between the regular Master and the Research Master programmes is the length of the programme. The regular Master is one year, and the Research Master runs for two years. This also means that students spend 8-10 weeks doing independent research in the one-year programme, and 14-16 weeks of independent research in the two-year programme.

    The one-year Master programme focuses on leading students towards becoming “academic professionals” where they can use their knowledge and research skills to join the professional field of development. The same is provided in the Research Master, but more emphasis is placed on preparing students for being competitive in applying for Ph.D. programmes once they have graduated. This is facilitated by including more methodology courses and the requirement of writing an academic article based on the thesis.

    A key component in the two-year programme is the development of the Portfolio. This is 15 EC of independent work which is normally carried out in the same period of time as the field research. Portfolio activities help students make crucial decisions about how they want to contribute to the field of development. Portfolio activities have included research or professional internships, but also less conventional activities or projects such as mini-documentaries, photo-narration projects, volunteer work, and extra-curricular courses, among many others. Students will be guided in making their decisions about the portfolio.

  • How many people are accepted in both programmes?

    Both the one year and the two year master programme are selective. This means that in our one year master IDS  50-60 students are accepted in the programme. In the Research Master IDS 20 students are accepted on a yearly basis.

  • How many electives can I choose?

    In both the master programmes we offer a range of thematic elective courses of which you have to select two of them.

    Within the regular programme, student may chose 12 EC elective courses offered within the master programme. For more information see the Course Catalogue.

    Within the research programme two thematic IDS electives of 6 EC each have to be chosen in the first year of your studies.

    In addition you will have to choose 2 method electives of 6 EC, out of about 10 method elective courses. For more information see the Course Catalogue.

  • Is there a preparatory programme?

    Please look at the entry requirements.

  • What is the ‘crash course’ on methodology?

    Promising applicants who are lacking sufficient credits in social sciences research methodologies may be admitted to the Master’s programme after successfully completing the Research methodology module in the month prior to the programme starting (July/August).

    Please check the entry requirements.


  • When and how long do students undertake fieldwork?

    Once the thesis proposal has been approved by your thesis supervisor, one-year master students (MIDS) undertake three months of fieldwork in Block 4, i.e. between the end of January until early April (for exact dates please consult your specific MIDS Canvas Page). The research master students (RMIDS) undertake three to six months of fieldwork in Block 1 and 2 of their second year or between the end of August until early January (for exact dates please consult your specific RMIDS Canvas Page). 

  • What can I expect from a thesis supervisor?

    While every supervision is different depending on the student and the supervisors, all students are entitled to a maximum of eight meetings with his/her first supervisor to discuss data-analysis, chapters, the final draft or other issues the student or supervisor considers relevant. The date of submission of the thesis, the date of the thesis defense and planned graduation date have to be carefully coordinated with the supervisor and second reader, to ensure their availability in the planned period. 

    Please send an e-mail to: studyadvisor-ids@uva.nl

  • What are the estimated costs for fieldwork?

    Estimated costs for fieldwork are 3000 euros , depending to your destination. Take into account that this may vary for MIDS and RMIDS students, since the former have an 8 week fieldwork period and the latter 14-16 weeks.

    More information about Fieldwork Finance.

  • Are there any grants or subsidies I can apply for?

    Read more to know about possible grants or subsidies.

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