In the wake of the 'global' economic crisis, this innovative new masters programme offers students the chance to explore alternative future possibilities for international development in theory and practice. Combining cutting-edge thinking on development, economic geography, political economy, labour studies and social change, we will help you explore the multiple connections (and disconnections) between countries of the Global North and Global South.
At the heart of this alternative development agenda, you will be encouraged to challenge the common use of Western historical experiences and categories as the universal templates against which the rest of the world is measured and found lacking. Instead, you will reconsider the diversity of populations, economies, urban centres, and governance practices in the Global South on their own terms - and in so doing, step outside the conventional lenses of mainstream development theory and the international policies they inform.
Our Global Development Futures MA is delivered through intensive small group teaching and close engagement with leading academics in the School of Geography's world-leading Economy, Development and Social Justice research theme. MRes version of this course is also available.
- provides you with a detailed understanding of development practices and experiences within different sites and spaces of the Global North and South
- encourages you to examine these realities in light of the contrasts and continuities between the Global North and South and critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches to studying development futures
- provides you with the opportunity to develop your research skills and experiences by undertaking an independent research project and fieldwork. This will be supported by research training as well as one-to-one tailored supervision from experienced researchers.
Become a part of QMUL Geography
- Professional and friendly environment: We are recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars. Joining the School of Geography places you alongside academics that are actively developing and challenging contemporary thinking in their field.
- Research excellence: Almost 80 per cent of the School’s research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing it 5th in the UK for this measure. Our scores increased across all areas in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) and we were ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. We are also proud to feature in the top 100 geography departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
- Employability: Students completing this programme will be well-placed to enter governmental, non-governmental organisations, civil society, and academic research roles.
- Field-based research: Students receive tailored research supervision and training suitable to their individual research interests. They are also given the opportunity to participate in an optional field trip to either Mumbai or Malaysia to further develop field research skills.*
- Twilight teaching: Some optional modules will include evening classes (5-7pm) and intensive teaching periods will condense required attendance. Small group teaching will provide students the unique opportunity to work closely with leading academics in this field of study.
- Capital location: We're a School that cares about the world beyond the university, working with a range of community groups, artists, cultural and heritage institutions and policy makers, particularly here in east London. Our passion is to demonstrate through research and teaching the intellectual and political significance of geographical research and understanding. We encourage our students to become part of this vibrant intellectual culture.
- Walter Oldershaw Award: eight awards (£3,000 each) are available across all masters degrees offered by the School of Geography
- Queen Mary Alumni Loyalty Award: all graduates of QMUL are awarded a £1,000 bursary
- Postgraduate Loans Scheme: eligible students are able to borrow loans up to £10,000
- Read more about these opportunities on the funding a masters page
- Weekly research seminars: As a postgraduate student you will be invited to weekly research seminars as well as several research frameworks sessions with top-level academic researchers.
- Dedicated working space: QMUL's new Graduate Centre, opened in early 2017, provides excellent teaching and learning spaces for all postgraduate students, including a 200-seat lecture theatre, study spaces, seminar rooms, an open-plan study area, landscaped courtyard and a cafe. Additionally, postgraduate students have desk and computing space in dedicated offices within the School of Geography and access to facilities for specialist statistical and Geographical Information System (GIS) analyses, desktop publishing and the processing of video and electronic images.
- University of London network: QMUL is a part of the University of London, so our students have access to the facilities, learning resources and libraries across the group's institutions. You can also use the first-rate resources of other libraries with London collections (e.g. the British Library).
* Fieldwork costs are additional to tuition fees. In 2016/17, the cost of the Mumbai field trip (which runs in alternate years and requires a minimum number of students) was approximately £1,200. If a field trip is oversubscribed, places are allocated by ballot.
The programme is made up of 180 credits. For full details on our modules please go to the online module directory.
- Dissertation of 22,500 words (90 credits)
- Geographical Thought and Practice (30 credits)
- Re-theorising Development Futures (30 credits)
- Democracy, Rights and Citizenship (15 credits)
- Global Working Lives (15 credits)
- Migration and Mobilities (15 credits)
- Researching Development in Practice: Mumbai Unbound OR Malaysia Emerging (30 credits)*
Part-time students will normally take 'Geographical Thought and Practice', 'Re-theorising Development Futures', and one option module in their first year. In the second year, they will register for the dissertation and one other option module.
The ‘Researching Development in Practice: Mumbai Unbound OR Malaysia Emerging’ modules include the opportunity to travel to either India or Malaysia on fieldwork. These field trips run in alternate years and require a minimum number of students to register on the modules. Students taking field trip modules are responsible for paying the costs of flights, accommodation and living expenses. As a guide, in 2016/17, the cost of field trip to Mumbai was approximately £1,200.
- For enquiries, contact the Postgraduate Studies Manager on +44 (0)20 7882 8165 or email email@example.com
- The programme is led by Professor Kavita Datta, Professor of Development Geography
An upper second class honours degree or higher in a relevant subject from a UK university (or an equivalent international qualification), together with two supportive references, at least one of which must be academic. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account. Candidates are expected to have good English language ability and to meet the standard of the IELTS, or equivalent, at a level of 7.0.
Read more about English language requirements. If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office on +44 (0)20 7882 5533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is not necessary to have a first degree in geography and we welcome applicants from different backgrounds in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
For detailed country-specific entry requirements please visit the international section of our website.
Learning and teaching
As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercises and role-plays as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.
For every hour spent in formal classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work and completing projects.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning requirements and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Students receive tailored research supervision and training suitable to their individual research interests. They are also given the opportunity to participate in an optional seven-day field trip to Mumbai to further develop field research skills.
Assessment on each of the modules is through a variety of coursework assignments ranging from extended essays to reviews.
You will also complete a 22,500-word dissertation (equivalent to 90 credits) on a topic of your choice relating to the programme. You will be assigned an academic supervisor from the School of Geography who will provide guidance and advice on your dissertation research. You will meet your supervisor at least six times from January through to June in order to ensure that work is on track for completion.
Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.
There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.
These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.
Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships
We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.
Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.
Alternative sources of funding
Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.
Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.
Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717
Eleanor Coe, class of 2017
“I choose to study at QMUL because of the wide range of academic expertise in my areas of interest. The School of Geography has a great mix of academics working on global development issues from economic, political and gendered perspectives – in line with the areas of development I wished to pursue within my own studies. Furthermore, QMUL offers a unique way of studying development by re-theorising dominant means of conceptualising the global South and looking at the possibilities of blurring the lines between ‘development’ and ‘economic’ geography. As both sub-disciplines interest me, QMUL gave me the opportunity to study them simultaneously in new and cutting edge ways.
“Building on my undergraduate studies – which I also completed at QMUL Geography –, I wished to look at the economics and politics of global development from a gendered perspective. This course gave me the flexibility not only to have complete freedom in choosing my dissertation topic – which focuses on the gendered politics of water insecurity in India – but also to write my own essay titles for my coursework assessments.
“Queen Mary has a lively and close-knit campus, the new Graduate Centre has great study spaces and views, while the School of Geography offers a homely vibe where you have space to study independently, a kitchen and a common room to spend your lunch break and staff are always on hand if you have a query.
“After my studies, I wish to pursue a career in development and social research. As such, the skills I’ve gained during my course at masters level such as interviewing, conducting surveys and analysing data, will be invaluable in allowing me to achieve this.”