Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD) in International Development

General

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Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time


Students may follow the PhD pathway in International Development by being based at either SOAS, LSHTM or IoE. All PhD students on the International Development pathway will attend an advanced research training seminar run by LIDC. The series will provide students in the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre's International Development Pathway with a broad understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to development, and a detailed understanding of selected areas of interest.

All MPhil/PhD in International Development research students will participate in the compulsory course work and attend research student seminars in the college and department where they are registered for the MPhil/PhD. At SOAS the Economics and Development Studies departments hold seminar series and students will be expected to involve themselves in the work of the relevant research clusters.

Admissions Process

There are three admissions routes to the MPhil and PhD in International Development:

  • The 1+3 structure: Following successful completion of the MSc Research for International Development at SOAS. ESRC 1+3 studentships are available to fund this route.
  • The +3 structure: By direct applications for MPhil/PhD in International Development admission. ESRC 1+3 studentships are available to fund route.
  • The 4 structure: not currently available at SOAS.

Structure

The PhD in International Development is the research degree part of the PhD pathway within the Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre that is one of the few such Centres recognised by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and which thereby receives financial support for MSc and research students. But the pathway is open to applicants whether eligible for or in receipt of ESRC funding or not, with ESRC funded-students expected to form a small minority overall. The pathway may be entered directly at the first-year of the MPhil/PhD, subject to prior suitable postgraduate qualification, usually MSc at a suitable level, or through a dedicated SOAS MSc that qualifies for admission subject to a level of achievement and other requirements.

Schedule

The research degree embodies a core of training in research methods combined with a clear structure of progression thereafter. The training components are explained below. The duration and structure of the research degree will be as follows:

  • Full-Time Research Degree: 3 years plus 1 year writing up.
    • Year 1: Research Training: research students will take one or more "Research Methods" courses in Economics and/or Development Studies departments, for their research topics.
    • Year 1: Upgrade: Students will normally be expected to pass an upgrade from MPhil to PhD status within 9 months of commencing the degree.
    • Year 2-3: Research: Core research undertaken: primary and secondary data collection as appropriate, thesis chapters finalised.
    • Year 4: Write Up: If necessary a 4th year can be taken to write the final thesis. Examination of the thesis will take place after submission within the 4th year.
  • Part-Time Research Degree: 6 years plus 1 year writing up.
    • The research degree can be undertaken over 6 years; Research Methods courses can be taken over the first 2 years, but at least one has to be taken in year 1.
    • Upgrade will take place within the 24 months after initial registration.
    • Examination: this will take place after submission within the writing-up year (year 7) at the latest.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Research Admissions and Applications

We welcome applications from qualified students holding a good Master’s-level degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject for research degrees at SOAS. Applications should be submitted online.

It is important to apply well before the start of the academic year in which you wish to enrol to allow us time to process your application. If you are applying for scholarships, earlier deadlines may apply.

The SOAS PhD programme is competitive and applicants should have a track record of high academic achievement and a viable proposal which will contribute to the research interests of the Department. Please note: we discourage purely speculative applications. Applications for interdisciplinary research are welcome, but only one application to one Department may be submitted.

Unconditional English Language Entry Requirements

Applicants that require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must provide a UKVI IELTS Academic certificate from a UKVI approved test centre.

International applicants requiring a Tier-4 Visa to study in the UK

Test Unconditional entry Unconditional entry with in-sessional support
IELTS (Academic) 7.0 overall or higher, with 7.0 in sub-scores. 7.0 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in sub-scores

EEA and EU applicants

Test Unconditional entry Unconditional entry with in-sessional support
IELTS (Academic) 7.0 overall or higher, with 7.0 in each sub-score. 7.0 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in sub-scores.
TOEFL IBT 105 overall or higher, with a minimum of 25 in sub-scores. 105 overall with a minimum of 22 in sub-scores.
OR
100 overall with a minimum of 25 in writing and 22 in other sub-scores.
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 75 overall or higher, with a minimum of 70 in sub-scores. 70 overall or higher, with a minimum of 65 in sub-scores.
Last updated November 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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