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Queen's University

Department of Global Development Studies

Course-Based Stream

All students who enter the MA program in Global Development Studies begin their studies enrolled in the course-based stream. This stream promotes the development of strong conceptual foundations and research tools in development studies through an intensive series of courses and the writing of a Major Research Paper (MRP) based on secondary research. The program is normally completed within 10-12 months.

Course-based stream details

Students take six half-courses.

These includes the core courses DEVS 801* (Political Economy of Development); DEVS 802* (Cultural Politics of Development) and DEVS 850* (Professional Seminar in Global Development Studies), plus three further courses, two of which may be from outside the department.

After completing their coursework, students produce a Major Research Paper that is 50-60 pages long. This work is based around secondary research on a theme within the field of Global Development Studies.

Completion normally takes 10-12 months.

Why do the course-based stream?

This option provides students with an integrated series of courses that build on the core research strengths of the department. It complements these with a professional seminar on undertaking research in development studies and three further courses. The latter can be drawn from departmental offerings (see website for listings), courses offered in other departments that are related to key themes in global development studies, or reading courses with faculty within or outside the department (depending on faculty availability).

Time line

Students generally complete their coursework in the fall and winter terms, following this by writing their MRP over the spring and summer months (summer term). In writing an MRP, students have an opportunity to further engage with an important theme within the field of global development studies. The MRP is generally based upon secondary sources, including academic literature, government documents, development agency reports, etc. The MRP does not require primary research. After submission, the MRP is graded by the supervisor and a second reader.


The course-based stream normally permits completion of the MA within a year. Students taking the course-based stream have gone on to a range of professional careers and further studies, including work within the field of international development.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000