Master of International Development – MIntDev

Help solve the world’s development problems. Our postgraduate students come from a wide range of academic, cultural, and professional backgrounds, and our programme is enriched by this diversity.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

More about study levels

NZQF level 9

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year 6 months full-time (180 credits)
Up to 5 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Study a Master of International Development – MIntDev

In the Master of International Development, you’ll learn how global economic, social, political and environmental forces affect people and shape different parts of the world. These insights will allow you to recognise where inequalities lie. You’ll identify strategies to help overcome poverty and enhance human wellbeing.

When you graduate from the Master of International Development you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and skills that can be applied in developing policy and strategies, and in managing and evaluating international development programmes
  • critically and rigorously evaluate contemporary international development theories, policies and approaches
  • conduct independent research and analysis of international development issues, collect relevant data, and be able to write persuasively about this
  • demonstrate mastery of social science research approaches and techniques and be able to undertake independent research in a well-planned and ethical manner
  • interpret research findings and draw out relevant implications for development theory, policy and practice.

Learn from experts in the field

Massey University, in 1989, was the first in New Zealand to offer courses leading to recognised qualifications in Development Studies. In 2019 we celebrated our 30th anniversary! We’ve built on that reputation by developing world-class courses in international development.

Our professors and lecturers are scholars and active researchers. They also have experience in development policy and practice in diverse contexts.

A MIntDev is a good fit if you:

  • want advanced knowledge and skills in international development
  • value cultural awareness, sensitivity and empathy
  • take ideas about ethics, engagement and citizenship seriously.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of International Development you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Development Studies, or equivalent, with a minimum B average across the 200 and 300 level major courses, or
  • a bachelor’s degree with a B average across the relevant 200 and 300 level courses and relevant field or industry experience of an appropriate kind and duration, or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development, or equivalent, with a B average.

If you have a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development from Massey University as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification.

Field experience includes:

  • voluntary work (eg refugee resettlement with Red Cross, or supporting a disadvantaged community group in New Zealand)
  • other relevant work or experience (eg a social worker, nurse or teacher in New Zealand or overseas)
  • specific development experience (eg an engineer who worked in Nepal).

In this instance you will need to provide your curriculum vitae outlining this experience.

If you take the Research Pathway, you must supply a research proposal for your thesis when you apply.

You must provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with Distinction or Merit. 

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Master of International Development

The Master of International Development is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second. 

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

This master’s can be completed in one of two ways:

Coursework pathway (180 credits)

  • 120 credits coursework and a 60 credit research report.
  • Progression to Part Two of the coursework pathway requires a minimum B average in in Part One.

Research pathway (240 credits)

  • 120 credits coursework and a 120 credit thesis.
  • Progression to Part Two of the research pathway requires a minimum B+ average in Part One.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions about this qualification or would like further information.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

180-240 credits

Coursework Pathway (180 credits)

  • Part One compulsory courses – 90 credits
  • Part One courses selected from the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Part Two research report – 60 credits

Research Pathway (240 credits)

  • Part One compulsory courses – 90 credits
  • Part One courses selected from the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Part Two thesis – 120 credits

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements and have been granted credit for it, may be able to complete this degree in 60 - 120 credits.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Part One (Choose 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 90 credits from)

Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 131701 Rethinking Development 30 credits

An interdisciplinary course that explores and critically reflects on the trajectories of development thought and the contemporary processes of international development. The main areas covered include: the origins and meaning of development; paradigmatic approaches to development; and contemporary approaches to development practice.

View full course details
Course code: 131702 Development Management 30 credits

An applied course dealing with the processes and methods for the planning, implementation and evaluation of development programmes and projects. The course focuses on the managerial aspects and on the analytical tools that link contemporary policy frameworks and operational practices.

View full course details
Course code: 131707 Development Research Design 30 credits

An examination of research methods and ethical issues and their application in development studies.

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Subject courses (Choose 30 credits from)

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 131703 Gender and Development 30 credits

An examination of the interaction of gender difference, development planning and social change. Selected topics include empowerment and human rights, masculinities, the household, work, education, and health.

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Course code: 131704 Sustainable Development 30 credits

A course concerned with the concept of sustainable development in all its dimensions (economic, social and environmental), focused on the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Conceptual lenses, including Indigenous understandings of sustainability and the sustainable livelihoods framework, are also discussed.

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Course code: 131706 Globalisation and Development 30 credits

An examination of three critical themes in globalisation and development: conflict (and post-conflict), migration, and tourism.

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Course code: 131708 Development Practicum 30 credits

Advanced study in development practice, involving 260 hours of professional work in an approved development agency. As an integral part of the course, students will reflect on how this work can be understood in relation to current literature on development theory and practice.

Prerequisites: 131701 or 131702 or Appraisal Required

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Course code: 294717 Human Security in Application 30 credits

This course examines critical analysis and application of human security in national and international contexts. This would allow the participants to understand and engage in a wide range of theoretical studies and practical projects on human security.

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Part Two: Coursework Pathway (Choose 60 credits from)

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 131897 Research Report International Development (60) 60 credits

A supervised scholarly research report in International Development.

View full course details

Part Two: Research Pathway (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 131816 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 131817 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 131816

View full course details
Course code: 131899 Thesis 120 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career

You’ll get the skills and experience to begin or progress your career in a wide range of government, NGO, multilateral and private sector spheres including organisations such as Red Cross, World Vision, the New Zealand Aid Programme, United Nations Development Program and Caritas.

Our graduates work all over the world providing humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and peace keeping. Careers include positions such as:

  • advisor in tourism, health, education or agriculture
  • advocacy officer
  • community affairs officer
  • monitoring and evaluation officer
  • foreign diplomat
  • human rights advisor
  • policy analyst.

Overseas students  (from countries such as  Brazil, Timor Leste, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Laos, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Philippines, Kenya and Tanzania) are typically junior to mid-career government employees or from NGOs, who are funded by NZAID and other scholarships.

Postgraduate education will give you the skills you need for a satisfying and rewarding career.

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • five years after leaving study, most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings
  • young master’s graduates earn 86 per cent more than the national median
  • good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives.

What our students say

“That’s the key message in development studies – rejecting this idea that west is best”
Hayley Morrison

Master of International Development

“As part of my research I was looking at how there needed to be a space for religion within peace-building efforts.”
Anna Baldwin

Master of International Development

“I have had life-changing learnings and experiences in my Master of International Development.”
Geeta Reddy

Master of International Development.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Development Studies

Massey is ranked 30th in the world for development studies in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

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