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Masters in Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice

About the course

Poverty reduction is a key focus of the Millennium Development Goals and is at the heart of international, national and NGO development objectives and activities. Recent achievements in poverty reduction have varied widely across and within countries, regions, and social groups.

This programme focuses on rural areas which, despite growing urbanisation, continue to be home to the majority of the world’s poorest people. It examines the complex nature of poverty, its causes, and processes of poverty reduction.

A key feature of the programme is a unique partnership with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This has led to the involvement of key professionals from specialist CGIAR institutes in the design and development of the programme and of specific modules within it. These modules thus take advantage both of relevant professional expertise from specialist CGIAR institutes and of wider development and distance learning expertise of the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP), SOAS and the University of London.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Program Aims

The purpose of this programme is to enable students to acquire and build multi-disciplinary
knowledge which integrates scientific, technological and economic insights and skills to enable them to analyse and address the poverty reduction challenges of this millennium. The programme will give students the opportunity to develop:

  • a critical, inter-disciplinary, integrative and global perspective on poverty reduction issues
  • a theoretical approach to intellectual enquiry of poverty reduction issues, which nevertheless emphasises the integration of theory and practice
  • broad understanding of ideas and approaches for managing organisations within their cultural, political, technological, social, and institutional contexts, to solve problems related to poverty reduction.

Structure and Syllabus

MSc: 10 modules (4 core, 4 elective plus 2 research)
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (4 core plus 4 elective)
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules (at least 3 core plus up to 1 elective)

Core modules (4 from the following)

Climate change and development (C124)
Economics and institutions for development (C116)
Managing knowledge and communication for development (C123)
Rural development (C230)
Understanding poverty (C119)
Understanding sustainable development (C201)

Elective modules

Note: at least electives 3 from one specialism, plus 1 free choice from all specialisms.

Development management
Gender and social development (C140)
Management in rural development (C231)
NGO management (C132)
Project planning and management (C134)
Rural finance (C128) [scheduled for 2012]

Food and agricultural policy
Agricultural trade and policy (C110)
Food security and social protection (C125)
Marketing for small agribusinesses (C138)
Political economy of public policy (C127)
Socioeconomics of rural livelihoods (C135)

Natural resource management
Environmental science and management (C200)
International environmental law (C114)
Natural resource economics (C105)
Sustainable land management (C168)
Water resources management (C126)

Research modules (MSc only)

Research methods (R106)
Research report (RR01)

Short courses

Many modules can also be taken as short courses for professional development or as a taster of the full degree, diploma or certificate programme. To apply, please fill in the short course application form available on the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (SOAS) website [external link].

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