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Development Management

This masters degree addresses the needs of development managers as well as other professionals who work in development contexts, local and global, Study promotes a better understanding of the complex processes labelled ‘development’, with a particular focus on dealing with conflict and on building the institutions that make development sustainable.

The degree culminates in a research project which enhances both your research skills and understanding of a development management problem. Throughout, this degree helps build a range of development management skills, and encourages critical reflection on how development is managed at present and creative thinking on how it might be managed better.

Key features of the course
• Explores the complexity of ‘development’ locally and globally
• Critically analyses development management, challenges conventional thinking and encourages the creation of better approaches
• Builds a range of understandings and skills – conceptual, professional, and practical – for managing development
• Builds the research skills needed to create evidence-based understandings of development management problems and make cases for change
• Links academic learning and professional practice, to the benefit of both

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent), or have had experience of working, in a paid or voluntary capacity, in a development agency (local or international).

If you are a non-graduate we suggest that you contact us for advice before registering on your first module.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

Duration

Minimum 1.5 years.

Most students study this qualification in three years by studying the six six-month modules in succession, though some take one or two six-month breaks during their studies. The minimum time to complete is eighteen months, by studying two modules at the same time for three six-month periods. We do not recommend this, but it might suit you if you have no other major time commitments during that period.

If you are following Route B, you must complete your studies by 31 December 2021.

For Route A there is no maximum time to complete but we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
Development agencies across the world increasingly require qualifications at masters level for their staff, and this degree is well-regarded by employers. The value of the degree will vary according to your situation. If you already working in development, particularly if you have responsibility for development interventions, you will find your practice challenged and developed. If you are a professional – engineer, health worker, educationalist, banker, for example – working in development contexts, you will develop an understanding of those contexts, and a grasp of the skills necessary to negotiate them. If you're thinking about moving into development work, you will find a guide to the world you are entering and build up a variety of skills needed to work in that world.

More specifically, this masters degree builds a range of competences that are vital for people engaged in development and for the agencies (in all sectors) that employ them.

These competences cover the whole range of development management processes, from problem identification, through policy development, project and programme design, planning and implementation, to evaluation and critical assessment.

They include:
• knowledge and understanding of particular development problems – most obviously poverty and inequality – and of ways of thinking about and responding to these problems

• strategic thinking, including mapping and modelling skills, both about development problems and about the relationships, particularly between organisations, that are required to manage these problems and bring about solutions

• negotiation and brokering skills that make possible joint action in contexts characterised by differences, often conflicts, of interests, values, meanings and agendas

• practical skills for creating, establishing and evaluating development policy, projects and programmes

• research skills that are fundamental for establishing evidence-based policy and practice.

In addition, you will be encouraged to develop the critical reflection that is essential if policy and practice are to be improved.

Given this, you can be confident of the value of your MSc to any organisation concerned with bringing about good change.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442
Email: ireland@open.ac.uk

Subjects taught

Modules
There are two routes through this qualification:
• Route A for students starting their studies from May 2015 onwards
• Route B for students who started their studies before May 2015. If you are following this route you must complete your studies by 31 December 2021.

If you are interested in international development, and in particular if you are new to the subject, we recommend that you begin with the optional module Development: context and practice (T877) before moving on to T878 and TU872.

For both routes, we recommend that you study Capacities for managing development (T878) before Institutional development (TU872).

Whichever route you follow, you must finish your MSc with The development management project (TU874).

Route A – to gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

90 credits of compulsory modules:

Compulsory modules
Capacities for managing development (T878)
Conflict and development (T879)
Institutional development (TU872)

Plus

60 credits from this list (or 30 credits plus 30 credits from any other postgraduate modules):

Optional modules
Business, human rights law and corporate responsibility (W822)
Development: context and practice (T877)
Leading healthcare improvements (K827)
Making environmental decisions (T891)
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action, and interaction (TU812)
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716)
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track) (BXFT716)
Project management (M815)
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules D837, ET821, TD866

Plus

Compulsory module
Development management project (TU874)

Route B – to gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

60 credits of compulsory modules:

Compulsory modules
Capacities for managing development (T878)
Institutional development (TU872)

Plus

90 credits from this list (or 60 credits plus 30 credits from any other postgraduate modules):

Optional modules
Business, human rights law and corporate responsibility (W822)
Conflict and development (T879)
Development: context and practice (T877)
Leading healthcare improvements (K827)
Making environmental decisions (T891)
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action, and interaction (TU812)
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716)
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (fast-track) (BXFT716)
Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches (T889)
Project management (M815)
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B713, B800, B820, B822, B856, B880, B882, BXX822, BZX822, BZX713, BZX820, D820, D830, D831, D832, D833, D837, D860, D861, ET821, T860, T861, T863, T889, T890, TD866, TU871, TU875, TXX860, TXX861, TXX863, TUXX871, TUZX871, TUXR873, TUXX875

Plus

Compulsory module
Development management project (TU874)

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Comment

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded an MSc in Development Management entitling you to use the letters MSc (Dev Mgmt) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded an MSc in Development Management entitling you to use the letters MSc (Dev Mgmt) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

The classification of your degree will be based on your best 120 credits of study:

• you will be awarded the degree with distinction if you obtain a distinction in 90 credits, including the 30-credit compulsory project module plus at least one of the other compulsory modules and you obtain a merit or above in a further 30 credits

• you will be awarded the degree with merit if you obtain a merit in 120 credits including the 30-credit compulsory project module and at least one of the other compulsory modules.

Credit transfer
If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

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