Development Studies Degree Programs

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A Guide to Development Studies Degrees Abroad

While the world has witnessed extraordinary leaps forward in areas of technology, infrastructure, and industry over the course of recent history, it is a hard fact that these advancements have benefited countries and communities around the world unequally. Earning your degree abroad in development studies is a first step toward realizing the concrete changes that our generation has come so passionately to believe in; of ushering in a more just and equitable world order, where prosperity and opportunity are accessible to all, no matter country or creed.

Why Earn Your Degree Abroad

As each new year comes to pass, our world becomes more integrated than the last. It makes sense that in this era of rapid globalization, so many students are heeding the call to devote themselves to development studies, so that we may work together to lessen the divides which separate us. Pursuing a development degree abroad is the opportunity to break out of your comfort zone and explore the emerging world order with like-minded peers, learning and growing from your experiences, and becoming inspired by your experiences and those you meet.


Development studies degrees abroad are commonly pursued in countries with deep international ties, diverse populations, and extensive global influence, such as the United Kingdom or United States. As you may have assumed, they are also popular in many parts of the developing world, where most on-the-ground work is actually taking place.

In Asia, this includes countries such as China and India, which share many demographic trends in that they are nations with over 1.3 billion people and have launched into industrialization within the past century. China and India are crucially important nations within the international community, which combined are home to over one-third of the people on earth, so it makes sense that these are such popular places to earn a development degree abroad.

In the Americas, countries ranging from Argentina to Peru to Costa Rica are also popular destinations where to pursue a development degree abroad. All of these Spanish-speaking nations offer an opportunity to immerse yourself within a distinct culture, in a part of the world that has long struggled to balance internal development with regional stability.

These are only a few of the many countries where you can pursue a degree abroad in development, but give a basic sweep of the varying contexts you might choose to study within. While choosing where to earn a development degree abroad, it’s also important to also keep in mind the language barrier; while many countries will offer English-taught degree programs, learning the local language is always the way into the most enriching experience.

Academics & Degrees

Development studies is a broad, overarching discipline within the social sciences which encompasses many subfields such as political science, economics, anthropology, environmental science, and other related disciplines. Through your studies abroad you will learn about all different aspects of development theory and implementation, as well as the various the international stakeholders which influence development outcomes.

Development studies degrees have been traditionally conferred at the Master’s level, but as the field gains in global necessity and academic popularity, they are more commonly offered as part of an undergraduate course of study as well. The former typically requires one or two years of study and field work and/ or independent research, while the latter requires three or four years of study, along with a number of prerequisites in related fields.

Various countries and universities around the world may pose different prerequisites in order to be considered for enrollment into a development degree abroad program, so be sure to do your research and take all the necessary steps to become a viable candidate. Affordability is another major area where development degree abroad programs will differ from country to country; at some institutions you may be able to pursue a development degree abroad virtually tuition-fee, while at others you may end up paying tens of thousands of dollars.

For these reasons and more, cast a wide net in your search!

Benefits & Challenges

Beyond Class. Especially if you are studying in the developing world, the education you will immerse in beyond the classroom as part of earning your degree abroad in development studies far outweighs any academic consideration. As they say, experience is the best teacher.

Language Immersion. Another invaluable part of pursuing your degree abroad in development studies is the opportunity to become fluent in a second language. If you are considering a global career in development, this will be crucial.

Personal Growth. Beyond your studies, college is a time to grow and discover how you want to live your life. Travelling the world to earn a degree abroad therein can be the most important decision you make.

Earning a degree abroad in development studies is your chance to get a head start into the global arena, learning and doing much which can benefit the global community. Are you ready to begin the journey?

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A Guide To
Development Studies Degrees Abroad


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Middlesex University, London UK

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TEAN: Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in New Zealand

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University of Otago - Study Abroad

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Dublin City University Study Abroad and Degree Abroad Programmes

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Study a Full Degree at Deakin University in Australia

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Master in Global Energy Transition and Governance

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Cappex: American Scholarships

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Master of Management Studies

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