• Application Deadline
  • 18 months
This Development Management degree from The Open University UK addresses the needs of development managers as well as other professionals who work in development contexts, local and global,  Study promotes a better understanding of the complex processes labelled ‘development’, with a particular focus on dealing with conflict and on building the institutions that make development sustainable.
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The Development Management degree from The Open University UK culminates in a research project which enhances both your research skills and understanding of a development management problem. 

Throughout, this degree helps build a range of development management skills, and encourages critical reflection on how development is managed at present and creative thinking on how it might be managed better.

Key features of the course 

  • Explores the complexity of ‘development’ locally and globally
  • Critically analyses development management, challenges conventional thinking and encourages the creation of better approaches
  • Builds a range of understandings and skills – conceptual, professional, and practical – for managing development
  • Builds the research skills needed to create evidence-based understandings of development management problems and make cases for change
  • Links academic learning and professional practice, to the benefit of both

Career relevance

Development agencies across the world increasingly require qualifications at masters level for their staff, and this degree is well-regarded by employers. The value of the degree will vary according to your situation.

 If you're already working in development, particularly if you have responsibility for development interventions, you will find your practice challenged and developed. If you are a professional – engineer, health worker, educationalist, banker, for example – working in development contexts, you will develop an understanding of those contexts, and a grasp of the skills necessary to negotiate them. If you're thinking about moving into development work, you will find a guide to the world you are entering and build up a variety of skills needed to work in that world.

These competences cover the whole range of development management processes, from problem identification, through policy development, project and programme design, planning and implementation, to evaluation and critical assessment. They include:

  • knowledge and understanding of particular development problems – most obviously poverty and inequality – and of ways of thinking about and responding to these problems
  • strategic thinking, including mapping and modelling skills, both about development problems and about the relationships, particularly between organisations, that are required to manage these problems and bring about solutions
  • negotiation and brokering skills that make possible joint action in contexts characterised by differences, often conflicts, of interests, values, meanings and agendas
  • practical skills for creating, establishing and evaluating development policy, projects and programmes
  • research skills that are fundamental for establishing evidence-based policy and practice.

Programme Structure

Modules include:

  • Capacities for managing development 
  • Conflict and development 
  • Institutional development
  • Business, human rights law and corporate responsibility
  • Development: context and practice
  • Leading healthcare improvements
  • Making environmental decisions 
  • Managing systemic change: inquiry, action, and interaction

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 18 months
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration description

      1.5 years – 3 years

  • Credits
    180 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
  • More information Go to the programme website

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent), or have had experience of working, in a paid or voluntary capacity, in a development agency (local or international).
  • Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. 

Getting a Student Visa

This is an online programme. You can attend from the comfort of your chair! So you don't need a student visa!

Tuition Fee

  • International

    7884 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 11820 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 18 months.
  • EU/EEA

    7884 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 11820 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 18 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Development Management
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