MA International Relations and Development Policy (IfP)
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The Master’s degree program in International Relations and Development Policy has been established in 2006. The general language of instruction is German but a considerable number of courses is offered in English. The program schedule runs over four semesters (24 months). On average, 30 students are admitted every year, selected from a considerably larger number of applicants. Admission is based on a two-stage application procedure. For further details on application please visit the programme's website

Programme Overview / Aim

MA students in the International Relations and Development Policy program acquire the analytical skills relevant for the professional practice of international organizations, public authorities, and NGOs in the field of international economic cooperation and development. To this end, the program combines International Relations as an academic core discipline with Area Studies and Development Studies – the latter from both academic as well as applied perspectives. In the field of Area Studies students focus on two of three global regions (East Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa, and Europe) in order to build area-specific expertise on development and international relations issues. In effect, students receive sound academic training combined with a deep insight in applying development policies under the particular conditions in different global areas.

Practical Relevance

Academic qualification is essential for skilled work in the field of development cooperation. In addition, the MA International Relations and Development Policies offers several possibilities to get in touch with the everyday practice of international economic and development cooperation. The program has secured the continuous cooperation of a number of practitioners in the field who contribute to the curriculum on a regular basis. Furthermore, students are obliged to spend 8 to 12 weeks abroad for an internship with either practical or scientific orientation. Practical relevance is also supported by integrating students of the MA Development and Governance – bringing young professionals from developing countries into the program’s courses.

Partner Institutions

The University of Duisburg-Essen offers a unique environment for development studies in Germany. The University is home to the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) which is among the best established research institutions in the field. The INEF not only edits a number of publication series that add to the general research on development but also on a regular basis acquires third-party funding from public authorities and civil society organisation for applied research on particular development issues. INEF and the IPS are closely associated by a number of institutional ties. The UDE is also home to the Institute for East Asian Studies (INEAST) that builds on capabilities from the faculties of Social Sciences, Business Administration, and the Humanities in order to pool research and education on contemporary East Asia. The INEAST has attracted a considerable amount of third-party founding for research projects, hosts a DFG Research Training Group (Ph.D. program), and offers a BA and two MA programs in Contemporary East Asian Studies.


In the fist year, the Master in International Relations and Development Policy offers a number of Basic Modules that introduce students to relevant core concepts of International Relations theory (Basic Module 1), peace and conflict studies in a North-South context (Basic Module 2), theoretical concepts and practical applications of development studies (Basic Module 3), and methodological and theoretical issues of development studies and comparative politics.

Starting from the second term, students may select from a number of Regional Modules that in each case offer specialisation in a specific global region form an area studies perspective: either in Europe, East Asia, or Sub-Sahara Africa. The regional Modules stretch into the third term which also includes the obligatory internship abroad. A more detailed account of the study program can be found here

The fourth and last term is set aside for writing up the master thesis which aims to prove the student’s ability to approach a problem from the field of political science independently with scientific methods.



Jürgen Bäumer

Telephone: +49 203 / 379 - 1664

IBEP Programme Structure

IBEP Website



Institute of Development Research and Development Policy Institute of Political Science Institute for Development and Peace