Master of Arts in Development Management

The aim of the 18-month MA in Development Management is training of professionals to meet the increasing need that has emerged in international development cooperation for experts in programme and project management.

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18 months

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy

Location The Ruhr-University Bochum is located in the industrial heart of Germany. With more than 40,000 students (more than 5,000 of them international students) and a staff of 5,600, the Ruhr-University Bochum is one of the most diversified German universities. Various central facilities, such as the university library, and relaxation opportunities like the botanical gardens, are open to all students. Furthermore, the Ruhr area is one of the most culturally interesting regions in Europe, and numerous parks and green areas form a natural attraction.
Course focus The aim of the 18-month MA in Development Management is the training of professionals to meet the increasing need for experts in programme and project management that has emerged in international development cooperation.

The course provides the student with the necessary tools to deal with practical problems of managing development programmes and projects. Elements of the curriculum are:

  • an introduction to relevant theories in social science and economics
  • methods of empirical social research and project cycle management
  • the application of theoretical and methodological knowledge

During their first semester, students are given an interdisciplinary intro­duction to relevant theories and strategies of development. Students will learn about actors in international development cooperation and the role of institutions in development and will be faced with relevant case studies. In consultation with the course coordinator, students will select a research problem related to a development programme or project as the starting point for their MA thesis project. This project is preferably related to their home country. After the first semester, students can undertake a minimum two-month internship in Germany in a development organisation or a corporation in the private sector.

Building on the knowledge of relevant theories and tendencies in international development cooperation students acquired during the first semester, the second semester is taken up with learning about the variety of methods for programme and project planning, implementation, and evaluation. Students are required to apply their knowledge to case studies related to the programme or project chosen in the first semester and present the results in a seminar paper.

After the second semester, students undertake fieldwork on projects and programmes in international development cooperation in developing countries. This will form the empirical basis of their MA thesis project.

In the third semester, students concentrate on writing up their thesis, which must contain theory, methodology and the results of the fieldwork. The thesis is designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to embed the re­search in the scientific debate and communicate it in a clear and coherent way.

Target group Young professionals from all over the world with a B.A. or relevant degree and practical experience with relevance to development management.
Course language English
Entry requirements
  • B.A. or relevant degree in political science, social science, law, economics or geography or in other subjects related to the planning and evaluation of development programmes and projects
  • Certified experience related to the management of development programs and projects, either practical work experience of more than four weeks or academic experience in research and teaching at an institution of higher education; for DAAD-EPOS applicants at least two years’ career experience in a relevant field is required; preference is given to candidates whose employers offer a reintegration guarantee
  • Minimum certified proficiency in written and spoken English – TOEFL: 79-80 points internet based (equivalent to 213 points computer based or 550 paper based) or IELTS: Band 6.0
Degree Awarded Master of Arts in Development Management
Course Begins August 2020 (biannually)
Course Duration 18 months
Course Structure For an overview about the course structure see the compendium of modules and the general schedule of the current (2018-20) intake:



Application Deadline  30 September 2019 at the University for DAAD-EPOS applicants. Applications have to be submitted via an online application platform which can be accessed via the programme’s website from January 2019:
Remarks Throughout the entire programme we offer intensive coaching. Research Fellows of the IEE act as mentors to small groups of up to 3-4 students especially for the MA thesis projects.

The MA in Development Management cooperates with the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the Institute of Political Science of the University Duisburg-Essen within the UAMR Graduate Centre for Development Studies.

Furthermore, the MA in Development Management is the twin course of the Bochum Programme of Development Management at the University of the Western Cape, which is part of the South African-German Centre for Development Research and Criminal Justice.

Two summer schools on Methods of Empirical Social Research and Development Practice (held in Germany and in South Africa) together with the students of the Bochum Programme of Development Management at the South African-German Centre for Development Research at the University of the Western Cape, are part of the Programme.

Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Dr. Tobias Thürer
Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-22418
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294