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Home > Geography home > Practising Sustainable Development (Information and Communication Technologies for Development) (MSc/PGDip)

Practising Sustainable Development (Information and Communication Technologies for Development) (MSc/PGDip)

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Course overview

Sustainable development, or development that balances economic, social, and  environmental aspects, is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be powerful tools in helping to achieve this.

The ICT for Development (ICT4D) specialism is a strand within the established and highly successful MSc Practising Sustainable Development. It is offered jointly by the Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) Group and the UNESCO Chair/Centre in ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London.

This ICT4D Masters strand takes a global perspective on sustainable development and the role of ICTs; placed at the interface of research and practice, it is designed for those who want to launch or further their careers as development practitioners or scholars. It combines cutting-edge teaching on ICT4D with rigorous training in the broader field of sustainable development, to provide a well-rounded perspective on current and future development challenges. This degree extends knowledge, develops key skills and optimises career prospects.

The course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Master’s degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

Key facts

Key facts about the course
Qualification Master of Science or Postgraduate Diploma
Duration 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Department and Faculty Geography, Faculty of Science
Partner institution(s) --
Course director Dr Dorothea Kleine
dorothea.kleinerhul.ac.uk|
+44(0)1784 276223
Contact for more information Liz Hamilton and Karen Oliver
Postgraduate Administrators
GeogPGadminrhul.ac.uk|
+44(0)1784 443563

Fees / funding

Please visit the Fees and funding| pages for the latest information about tuition fees| and the different sources of funding which may be available to you.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online|.

Further information on making an application, including the documentation that you will need to submit with the application is available in the How to apply section of this site.

If you are interested in applying to Royal Holloway, why not arrange a visit to our campus to see for yourself what academic and student life is like here. More information on arranging visits is available on our Open days| pages.

 

Entry requirements

Typical offers

Typical offers
First degree

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), or equivalent, in a related field (natural or social sciences or humanities).

Alternative entry requirements

Considerable professional experience in the field of development and/or environment.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with 7 in writing, TOEFL (iBT) 88 with 26 in writing, or equivalent, for non-native English speaking applicants.

 

Students from overseas should visit the International| pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway International offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

 

Why choose this course?

  • This is an intellectually exciting and inspiring course, drawing on both physical and social sciences, which attracts a diverse, international group of students.
  • Our teaching staff are leading international experts and have wide experience in different developing regions and economies in transition, including Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, East Asia and South-East Asia.
  • You will benefit from small group learning and an intense but friendly atmosphere, and will receive individual mentoring and career advice from our staff (both from your personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor).
  • You will receive an internationally renowned University of London degree, giving you a solid foundation for a career in the field of development and/or environment.
  • The course will provide you with training in the skills needed to research and assess ICT for development. These include research design, project development, geographic information systems, remote sensing, participatory methods, project analysis and evaluation.

Department research and industry highlights

PSDICT4DUNlogoPSDICT4DLogo

The UNESCO Chair/Centre in ICT4D| at Royal Holloway is an interdisciplinary centre involving staff in Geography, Management, Computer Science and Earth Sciences. One of the world leaders in its field, with 17 affiliated staff and 18 PhD students, it is a vibrant research community embedded in both the College and the international ICT4D Collective of ICT4D practitioners. It has excellent links with NGOs, businesses and international organisations. Friendly and diverse, it is an exciting place to study and network with other ICT4D experts.

The Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) group| consists of over 20 research-active staff, 35 PhD students and 50 Master’s students on four MSc programmes. We are committed to conducting collaborative research which seeks to understand and contribute to addressing problems of social inequality, environmental destruction and injustice. The breadth of its members’ research places it in an ideal position to contribute to theoretical and policy debates on key challenges facing Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean today.

Course content and structure

The course is divided into three compulsory elements; theory, policy and practice; research training; and a dissertation. Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.

Core course units:

Theory, policy and practice
This element comprises ten modules:

  • Sustainable Development
  • Globalisation and Governance
  • Grassroots Development
  • ICT4D: Theories and Practices
  • ICT4D: Technologies and sectoral applications 
  • Introduction to GIS (applications for development / environment) 
  • New directions in ICT4D
  • Participatory Methods
  • Practising ICT4D
  • Tools 

You will also have the option to take further course units in web design, Computer Science or Management.

Research Training
You will be provided with training in a range of methods to enable you to plan, carry out and complete a piece of research. There are four modules in this element:

  • Social Science Research Methods Training
  • Quantitative Methods for Graduates
  • Qualitative Methods Training 
  • Planning a Research Project

Dissertation (MSc only)
The dissertation is of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, on a ICT4D topic of your choice which has been approved by the supervisor. It requires both secondary and primary research, and the demonstration of originality in integrating theoretical and practical research methods in tackling a particular problem. You will be encouraged to carry out your dissertation in collaboration with an organisation in the field of development and/or environment.

 

On completion of the course graduates will have:

  • an understanding at an advanced level of the relationships between, and complexities of, social, economic, political and environmental aspects of sustainable development and ICT4D
  • an understanding at an advanced level of how the key issues in sustainable development theory and ICT4D influence policy and impact on practice
  • the ability to critically analyse complex or contradictory areas of knowledge in aspects of sustainable development.

View the full course specification for Practising Sustainable Development (Information and Communication Technologies for Development) (MSc/PGDip) in the Programme Specification Repository

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Past students of the MSc Practising Sustainable Development are now employed by international development and/or environment agencies, national government in their countries, national programmes and implementing agencies, higher education institutions, consultancies, private sector businesses, social enterprises and NGOs; as environmental and development policy-makers, managers, workers, activists, teachers and researchers. Many of our alumni are also currently undertaking doctoral programmes in the UK and abroad.

 
 
 

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