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M.A. Development


Programme Details

M.A. in Development

The M.A. Development Programme offers a deep understanding of development and social change and enables you to develop capabilities for action.

After successful completion of the programme, you can look forward to a variety of roles such as Program Associates/Managers, Domain Specialists, Researchers and other exciting roles in organisations working in the domains of livelihoods, sustainability, public health, social entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, advocacy, etc. About 90 organisations visit the campus every year for recruitment. Our alumni are working in established organisations like PRADAN, Foundation for Ecological Security, Gram Vikas, BAIF, State Livelihood Missions, Kudumbashree, among others.

The M.A. Development requires full-time engagement for two academic years, including one summer and one winter break. The curriculum is broad-based and encompasses theory, practice and research relating to development.

  • In the first year, students study eight core courses which help provide a foundational understanding of ‘development’ in the Indian context. During the first semester, students go on a two-week ‘Field Immersion’ where they live in a rural area to observe and learn about ground realities.
  • In the summer break between first and second year, the students are expected to do a guided field internship for six weeks. This internship helps students understand the nature of development actions on the ground, their objectives and challenges.
  • In the second year of study, students choose courses from a wide range of electives. Students interested in focusing on specific domains can select from a set of ‘concentrations’ available. Concentration refer to a set of four elective courses, which together cover a specific development theme/topic/domain in a focused and well-rounded manner.
  • During the winter break in the second year, students are expected to complete a field project on a topic of their interest. The field project is designed under the guidance of a faculty mentor, but conducted by the student independently in the field.

Core Courses: The core courses will set the context and build foundational understanding and appreciation of key developmental concepts, theories and methods as relevant to examining the Indian development experiences. These courses are expected to provide adequate knowledge, competencies and orientations to embark on a deeper exploration of specific themes and practices in development. These courses are mandatory for all students.

Electives: Elective courses will build upon the concepts, ideas, theories and methods learnt in the core courses to deepen and broaden the understanding about a wide variety of specific, topical and relevant local and global development issues. Elective courses will enhance two broad competencies, namely critical analysis and imaginative practice. These electives cover a range of topics – Gender, technology, public health, Sustainability, Globalization, Policy and Programmes, Poverty, Water etc. Typically, 50-60 electives are on offer each year.

Click here for a glimpse of Electives offered in the 2 nd  year of study.

Open Courses: These courses allow students to explore the arts, culture, the sciences and other subjects of interest. Students are required to enroll in two courses from a wide range of subjects such as literature, art, cinema, epics, science, history, dance etc. based on their interest. About 10- 15 open courses are offered each semester.

Field Practice: Field Practice refers to multiple field engagements over two years which expose students to people’s lives in diverse social, economic and cultural contexts. Field practice will complement the students’ learning in the class room and offer opportunities for experiencing diverse kinds of development action spaces as sites of knowledge, experience and imagination.

Click here to download Field Practice Brochure

Course and Credit Structure

* Students can opt for a Course of Independent study (CIS) in place of an Elective.

Click here for a glimpse of Electives offered in the 2 nd  year of study.

  • M.A. in Development

    India has daunting developmental challenges - An alarming number of children suffer from stunted growth; Nearly 50 per cent of Indian women are anaemic, a large percentage of school-going children are unable to learn anything useful in spite of being in school for a long time; farmers are struggling for decent income; decent jobs are rare, water is scarce in many cities, pollution is already a menace in almost all urban Indian centres.

    These are just some of the problems. Addressing them requires a different set of skills and knowledge.

    It demands - A holistic understanding and Study of:

    1. Indian society, its people and their culture,
    2. Various institutions and structures that influence people's lives,
    3. Existing government policies at work, and
    4. How some other countries have addressed similar problems.

    This learning may be broadly defined as Development education.

    Development interventions now take place in multiple sites and scales — local, national and international, in the shape and form of policy, programmes, movements, campaigns, institution, model buildings etc.

    1. Development professionals are recruited by local NGOs, CBOs, national level CSOs, national and international campaigns, social movements, banks, philanthropic foundations, CSR units of corporate bodies and of course, government missions and UN organisations.
    2. Their roles vary from directly mobilising communities for behaviour change, building lasting community institutions, district level programme oversight, to policy analysis, programme design, Programme evaluation.
    3. Social entrepreneurs capable of innovative thinking are needed to ideate, create and implement path-breaking solutions to social problems.
    Our Major recruiters are:
    Aajeevika PRADAN
    Srijan FES
    Arghyam BAIF
    Vrutti Gram Vikas
    Pravah Selco Foundation


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Visiting Faculty

Field engagements are integral to the curriculum of all programmes of the University. The opportunity for students to closely interact with the Field Institutions helps students to develop a deeper understanding of the practical implications of educational understanding gained through the academic programmes.

Azim Premji University Winter Fair

Click here to download Field Practice Handbook

Click here to download Field Practice Brochure (M.A. Development)

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