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Study international development abroad

An in-depth guide to studying international development as an international student.

International development degrees abroad

International development degree programs examine the major issues facing developing and emerging nations around the globe. You’ll look at a wide range of issues including colonialism, gender, poverty, environment, health and economics, and consider what innovative solutions can be found to tackle development challenges all over the world.

A degree in international development is ideal if you dream of working with organizations in roles like fundraising, campaigning, community development and public affairs. It will give you the skills and knowledge you’ll need to make a difference to societies across the globe.

There are international development degree programs available all over the world, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Choosing to study abroad will give you a chance to broaden your horizons, improve your language skills and see how international development is approached in a different country.

International development program structure

International development degrees are offered at all levels, including foundation, diploma, bachelor’s and master’s. At undergraduate level, you can study international development as a BA or BSc over three or four years, depending on the university. The difference between the two is usually small, but a BSc program will usually include more technical and scientific modules.

A taught or research master’s in international development will be between one and two years of study, and you can choose between an MA, MSc and MRes. It’s also possible to study for a PhD, which can take up to six years to complete.

International development programs are often offered as joint honor degrees, which means they’re combined with another subject. For example, you can study international development with politics, economics, education or geography.

The program structure and content of each course will differ based on several factors including the university, level of study and type of degree you choose. However, here are some of the study areas and modules you can expect to find on an international development program:

  • International relations
  • International economic development
  • International politics
  • Social and cultural issues in emerging economies
  • Globalization
  • Academic skills and research methods
  • Global environmental issues
  • Global justice

How to study international development abroad

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International development study abroad programs

International development undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in international development

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    International Development and Education - BA (Hons) Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,511 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,300 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about International Development and Education
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    International Development - BA (Hons) University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    21,148 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,500 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about International Development
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    International Development Studies - BA Portland State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,709 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 23,709 USD

    Start date
    January, March, September
    Show program overview about International Development Studies
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    Community and International Development - BSc University of Vermont, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    41,280 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 41,280 USD

    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about Community and International Development
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    International Development - BComm Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,036 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,840 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about International Development
See all bachelor's degrees in international development

Pathway in international development

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    International Relations and International Development - International Year One - UGP University of Sussex, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    23,467 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,200 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about International Relations and International Development - International Year One
See all undergraduate pathways in international development

International development graduate programs

Master's in international development

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    International Development - MA (with foundation) Maynooth University, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,028 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,000 EUR

    Start date
    September, January, June
    Show program overview about International Development
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    International Development - by coursework - MSc RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,670 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 30,720 AUD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about International Development - by coursework
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    International Development, Environment and Conflict - MA Dublin City University, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    18,244 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,000 EUR

    Start date
    September, February
    Show program overview about International Development, Environment and Conflict
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    International Development - MA Clark University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    20 months
    Annual tuition fee
    35,136 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 35,136 USD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about International Development
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    International Development - MSc University of Portsmouth, UK
    • Online
    • Part-time

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    4,980 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 3,650 GBP

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about International Development
See all master's degrees in international development

Doctorate in international development

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    International Development - PhD University of Southern Mississippi, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,770 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,770 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about International Development
See all doctorates in international development

Certificate in international development

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    International Development - PGCert Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    18 months
    Annual tuition fee
    13,006 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,531 CAD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about International Development
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    International Development - PGCert Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    18 months
    Annual tuition fee
    19,345 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 24,588 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about International Development
See all postgraduate certificates in international development

Future international development careers

As an international development graduate you will be in demand from a wide range of employers. Some of the roles graduates have gone on to include:

  • Politician’s assistant
  • Project manager
  • Public affairs consultant
  • Local government administrator
  • International relations specialist
  • Fundraiser
  • Economic development officer
  • International aid worker

Many graduates go on to work for charities or in government, but the transferable skills you’ll gain from your degree mean you don’t have to limit your search to careers related to international development.

Make use of any career services offered by the university you choose, as they’ll be able to help you work out what you want to do, and put you on the right path to get there.