Masters Course: International Development and Education

Are you interested in the future of learning in the 21st century? Does private education and self-organised learning have a role in meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education by 2015. Many assume that private education is concerned only with serving the privileged, so is irrelevant to concerns about extending access to the poor. However, the existence of a burgeoning private education sector serving the poor is now acknowledged in the development literature. This course looks at development issues from an historical, philosophical and economic perspective. It uses as its core the research carried out by the E.G. West Centre in Asia and Africa which looks at self-organised learning and private and government schools that operate in slum and low-income areas.



Please visit the E.G. West Centre Youtube Channel to watch more videos about our research across the globe.



The E.G. West Centre Facebook Page also helps students to keep up to date on relevant issues around the world.


Who is this course for?

This exciting NEW Master’s degree programme is aimed at anyone interested in pursuing careers in sectors concerned with

  • international development;
  • the global education industry;
  • international aid agencies and;
  • the education sector in developing countries.

This course will appeal to anyone concerned about development issues, government policy and the reduction of poverty using entrepreneurial ideas. This new MA is designed for graduates from education, economics, politics, geography or business backgrounds who wish to develop an understanding of international development issues in education. Graduates from other disciplines will also be considered as will those who do not have a degree but relevant experience.

Programme description

This Masters programme is offered in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. The course offers modules in areas of economics, development, education policy, and educational technology. Students take all compulsory modules to a total of 120 credits as well as requiring to complete a dissertation in the area of international development and education (60 credits).

World class professors

Two world class Professors teach on the course and supervise students:

  • James Tooley is Professor of Education Policy and is the global leader in the growth and development of private schools serving low income communities across the developing world
  • Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology and the leading authority on self organised learning both inside and outside of the school

Compulsory modules:

Placement in India or Africa

Within the programme there is an exciting opportunity to visit India or Africa during the 2- 4 week placement module. Arrangements can be made to visit and work in schools or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the low income areas and slums of India or Africa during this part of the course. This visit is funded totally by the student but will provide an invaluable experience that will bring issues learnt on the course to life. The placement module can also be taken in the UK or the country of the student’s origin, with the agreement of the Degree Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

Teaching and learning is delivered through workshops, lectures, seminars, and colloquiums. Students are assessed on their work in the form of essays, practical assignments, project, portfolios and presentations. For the placement a diary exercise will be carried out and presented as well as a research project and presentation. .

Entry Requirements

Candidates will be a graduate of this or another approved University; however candidates who do not hold a first degree but who have relevant work experience will also be considered.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will require IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

If you are a non-EU student, the University provides a unique support service tailored especially for the masters programme. It takes the form of an intensive orientation course, starting in early September, with ongoing tutorials and workshops. This support initially helps to orient you to the British learning environment, explores cross-cultural expectations and introduces you to study skills necessary for the master’s programme.

PGCE students

PGCE students can transfer 60 credits onto the Masters course, which is 50% of the total taught credits required!  If you are a PGCE student interested in transferring onto the Masters course please email James Stanfield (

Dissertations by former Masters students

  • A case study looking at aspects of parental choice in five schools in Ghana – David Longfield, 30 August 2011
  • The effects of a synthetic phonics intervention in a rural low cost private school on Ghana
  • Primary education and entrepreneurship in East Africa: a case study of private schools for the poor in Kibera (Kenya)
  • An impact assessment of financial services for private education in Kasoa, Ghana
  • An investigation into the quality of schools in Hyderabad, India: a comparison of private schools and government schools
  • An exploration in parents’ decision-making regarding sending children to low-cost private schools: a multiple-case study of 2 private management types in Hyderabad, India
  • A comparative study of government & private kindergarten system in Kuwait
  • A case study into English language teaching at primary school level in low income areas of Hyderabad, India
  • An assessment of school climate in the developing world: a comparative study of private and public sector school management in Aguablanca, Colombia
  • Are the benefits of ICT in teacher education colleges in Tanzania being realised?
  • What role can microfinance have in low-cost private school sector?  a case study of Hyderabad, indie
  • A study of physical education and sport in low-income areas of Hyderabad, India
  • A case study of the educational barriers and opportunities faced by Dalit families in Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Comparative study of schools: a case study of teacher motivation in Hyderabad
  • A case study of teaching and learning English as a foreign language with a socio-cultural perspective in low-income area private and government schools of Hyderabad, India

What are former students doing now?

  • Elisabeth Tuck is now living in South Africa as the “Kenya Expert” for GVI Volunteer Abroad. She had been volunteer co-ordinator for MADventurer in Ghana
  • Simiao Zhang has a good teaching job in China
  • Christopher-John Counihan and Paul Miller are doing PhD’s with the E.G. West Centre on developments in education in Ghana, South Sudan and India
  • Jonnie Kimmit is now doing a PhD at Newcastle University Business School on a scholarship






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