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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Global Development Challenges

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The application deadline for this programme is 13 August 2020.

Welcome from the Programme Director

In many parts of the world, increasing economic, social and political inequalities are highlighting the need for new ways of thinking about and addressing international development. This Postgraduate Certificate enhances knowledge and skills for analysing the complex social, political and economic processes and contexts that shape contemporary global patterns of inequity and development. The programme addresses some of the most pressing global challenges of our time and corresponding policies.

The courses in the programme offer innovative opportunities for thinking globally and locally while examining institutional debates that highlight complexities of policy, governance and social interaction at multiple levels of society, in both wealthier and poorer countries.

The programme can be taken as a standalone Postgraduate Certificate or as part of the MSc in Global Challenges.  The programme can be taken on a part-time basis.

Global governance, social marginalisation, human rights, regional conflict and security, livelihoods, health and human migration, national economic reform, donor aid strategy, international project evaluation, public-private sector partnerships for development and sustainable development policies are examples of some of the major themes explored in this Postgraduate Certificate, situating global development challenges in a range of contexts.


The PG Certificate is delivered part time via distance learning through a mix of online modes, including video lectures that draw upon expertise from across the University, study guides, self directed and guided reading, and a range of interactive online reflection and discussion activities.

Assessments include written essays, reports, case study activities and presentations. The PG Certificate adopts an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on expertise from across and beyond the University. It offers a flexible approach to personal and professional development and can be studied around your other commitments, including full time work, from anywhere in the world with internet access.

Students on the programme benefit from a variety of innovative online learning approaches, discussion forums and interaction opportunities.

Fees and Scholarships

  • Full fees information, including part time fees, is available here.
  • Information on how to pay is available here.
  • Information on funding and scholarships is here.


Edinburgh4Learning offers an intuitive and easy to use funding information tool which allows students to search using a series of handy drop-down lists. Students can access the Edinburgh4Learning portal direct from the Scholarships and Student Funding Services website. Registration requires a valid university of Edinburgh e-mail address and in a matter of moments students can access numerous funding opportunities to help them during their studies.

Photo of mining in Mozambique