Birkbeck, University of London
International Development PgCert
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts


Salary of Graduates in CAH19

Important: Salary data below is not course specific, but contains data of all students of languages and area studies at the university. Due to data collection methodology, salary data is mainly based on data related to undergraduate students.

  15 months after graduation 3 years after graduation 5 years after graduation
Median salary £33500 £18000 £27500
25-75 percentile range £24500 - £45000 £9500 - £27500 £11500 - £43000

Salary of all UK Graduates of CAH19

  15 months after graduation 3 years after graduation 5 years after graduation
Median salary £25625 £23693 £27744
25-75 percentile range £22269 - £29904 £17937 - £29563 £21216 - £36573

Course Description

Our course offers a transformative approach to international development rooted in social justice. It examines the structures, institutions and theories which have shaped international development, the unequal global relationships which underpin it, and the social and political movements which challenge and redefine development in an era of rising global inequalities and climate crisis. It is ideal if you are planning a career in international development or with international organisations and NGOs.

The compulsory modules for this interdisciplinary course introduce you to key debates that have shaped thinking about international development and social justice, and about research in development and how it is conducted. You will also choose from a range of thematic option modules, allowing you to tailor the course according to your personal or career interests. You will develop transferable skills including research skills, team-working, written and oral communication, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis.

You will be taught by academics who draw on their own research to explore themes including:

  • Childhood and International Development
  • Cities in the Global South
  • Climate Justice
  • Development as Colonialism
  • Gender, Sexualities and Development
  • Global Health
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Racism and International Development
  • Revolutions.

We offer this course as a Master’s, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate. For the Diploma and Certificate you study fewer modules and do not complete a dissertation.


  • We can offer you multiple approaches to the study of societies and cultures, human geography, and sustainability, poverty and development, as well as community and citizenship, at local, regional and global levels.
  • One of the unique strengths of our department is the breadth of research interests of our staff. Subsequently, we offer a very wide range of courses that reflect the disciplinary breadth of development and globalisation, while also allowing you to engage with other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology.
  • Ours is a vibrant research culture, powered by a shared passion for learning and intellectual engagement among our academics and students. We have a strong commitment to social justice, which informs and shapes much of our cutting-edge research.
  • We have strong links with the London International Development Centre, which can enhance your employability.
  • If you are taking this course part time, you may be eligible for a Bonnart Trust Master’s Studentship which will cover the cost of your tuition fees.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue career paths in development agencies and other international organisations, policy research, journalism, or the non-governmental sector. Possible professions include:

  • policy researcher
  • journalist
  • development practitioner
  • communications officer.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Jobs & Career Perspectives

15 months after graduation, graduates of this course were asked about what they do and, if they are working, about their current job and their perspectives.

Current jobs

Required skill level of job after 15 months

Jobs of graduates of this course (15 months after graduation)

Example below based on all graduates of International Development PgCert at Birkbeck, University of London

20% Process, plant and machine operatives
10% Engineering professionals
10% Elementary occupations
10% Engineering professionals
5% Managers, directors and senior officials
5% Science, engineering and technology associate professionals
5% Skilled trades occupations
5% Process, plant and machine operatives
5% Managers, directors and senior officials
5% Elementary occupations

Coursework, including essays, critical surveys of relevant literature and a reflective journal.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.5, with not less than 7.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study International Development, PgCert, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.

**A second-class honours degree (2:**2) or above in social sciences or humanities. Other applicants will also be considered. Previous experience or study of development issues may be an advantage. **Two references:** preferably both academic references, but employer references may be considered. **An entrance task may be required** Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


Tuition Fees International Development PgCert

England UK £5400 year 1
Northern Ireland £5400 year 1
Scotland £5400 year 1
Wales £5400 year 1
International £9915 year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their course. Tuition fees for students continuing on their course in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

Year 2:

**Home students: £1,800 per year**

**International students: £3,305 per year**

Average student cost of living in London

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

Rankings of Birkbeck, University of London in related subject specific rankings.

Social Studies & Humanities

    • #30 
    • #176 
    Social Sciences
    THE World University Rankings by Subject
    [Published 26 October, 2022]

See all 17 university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

About Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.

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Where is this programme taught

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