International Development in the Americas MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The MSc in International Development in the Americas offers an interdisciplinary grounding in the central themes of development theory, policy, and practice. It focuses on the analysis of major contemporary challenges such as reducing economic and social inequalities, promoting inclusive economic growth, and achieving environmental justice. The course links theory and practice by examining concrete case studies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This is an ideal option for people interested in understanding the economic, political, social, and environmental dimensions of development processes shaping societies in the Americas.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A basic reading competence in Spanish, French or Portuguese is useful but not essential.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Building on the success of our previous ‘Globalisation and Latin American Development’ programme, this new MSc degree provides a solid formation on the political economy and sociology of development. We encourage students to think critically about development and actively consider the factors that enable and hinder efforts to build economically prospered, socially just, and environmentally sustainable societies. Students receive advanced training in theories of development and a strong introduction to social science methods and the principles of policy analysis.

Who this course is for

We aim to attract a diverse cohort of people from different backgrounds and experiences who nevertheless share a deep interest in understanding some of the most pressing global development issues and how these play out in the Americas. We welcome social science and humanities graduates and applicants with other qualifications that have gained development-related work experience in government, NGOs, international organisations, and media.

What this course will give you

UCL is one of the world's top ten universities and the UCL Institute of the Americas has the largest programme of teaching, research and events on the Americas in the UK, covering Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States.

In addition to tuition by world-leading scholars, students benefit from access to a wide range of events, seminars, and conferences on the Americas delivered by scholars, policy-makers, diplomats, activists and other experts on the region.

The institute provides a unique environment in which to study the Americas and excellent networking opportunities are available through our strong links with academic, cultural, diplomatic, policy and business institutions with interests in the region.

The foundation of your career

Graduates from the previous version of the programme have successfully secured employment in international development organisations (for example, United Nations Development Programme, World Food Programme, Red Cross), governmental bodies (for example, FCDO, UK Department of International Trade, Banco de Mexico), NGOs operating in various countries (for example, CAFOD, Colombia Diversa, Women for Women International, Stockholm Environment Institute), and media organisations (for example, The Guardian Brazil, Development Media International). Others have pursued further studies at the doctoral level at the most prestigious universities in the UK and the US. 


Our students generally go into careers in the development sector in the UK, Europe, and and Latin America. Our recent graduates have found jobs in international organisations, government institutions (UK and Latin America), NGOs, charitable organisations, think tanks, global news agencies, media groups, higher education institutions, and development consultancy organisations.

Some of our MSc graduates have also successfully gone on to PhD studies in top universities in the UK and the US.


Students can benefit from a wide range of networking opportunities to enhance their future careers both in the academic and policy/development sectors. The Institute of the Americas actively organise spaces of debate with leading scholars, activists, and policymakers. In addition, members of staff have close connections with government institutions, NGOs, think tanks, and media organisations throughout the Americas.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, independent reading and research, seminar discussions and research skills training.

Assessment is through essays, term papers, presentations, analytical exercises and the dissertation.

The programme will include a total of 40 hours of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Additional learning hours will include independent study and assessment.


The core module of the programme introduces students to the main themes of development theory, policy, and practice. . You will also take a module in research methods for the social sciences that includes sessions on research design, qualitative and quantitative methods, and fieldwork ethics and preparation. These modules will set the foundations for the whole Master's, preparing you for further topics and your research dissertation.

In terms one and two, you will select modules of further substantive-subject options from a broader range of modules. You will explore key topics concerning the politics and history of the Americas that intersect with development processes shaping the region. During term two, you will also prepare your research project proposal, giving continuity to activities in your research methods module.

In term three, you will fully develop your research dissertation in consultation with a specifically designated dissertation supervisor. Many of our Master's students undertake fieldwork in order to carry out research for their dissertation projects.

Part-time students will split the taught modules between year 1 and year 2. The core module will be taken in year 1, the research skills module is usually taken in year 1, the dissertation is taken in year 2.

All part-time students must complete a minimum of 60 credits in their first year. These include any core modules that need to be taken in year 1.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in International Development in the Americas.


Many of our Master's students undertake fieldwork in order to carry out research for their dissertation projects.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

Additional costs

There may be travel costs associated with fieldwork. The institute has limited funds available to students to help towards the costs of fieldwork. These funds are awarded on a competitive basis on the criteria of academic performance to date, the quality of the research proposal and the importance of fieldwork for completing the research.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Funding opportunities at the Institute of the Americas can be found here.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Value: Full tuition fees (equivalent to 1yr full-time) (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver. 

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study International Development in the Americas at graduate level
  • why you want to study International Development in the Americas at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that some funding schemes have an earlier application deadline; please view the Funding section for further details.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.