School of Social and Political Science

PgCert Global Development Challenges

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The application deadline for this programme is 8 August 2022.

Global Development Challenges considers the increasing economic, social and political inequalities in many parts of the world, and the need for new ways of thinking about and addressing international development. 

Rapid technological, political, environmental and economic changes are linking the world in ways that are both symptomatic of, and drivers of, emerging global challenges.  

You will examine the implications for institutional decision-making and for society. Themes include: 

  • inequality and poverty 
  • conflict and social vulnerability 
  • globalisation 
  • human rights 
  • national and global governance

The postgraduate 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. 

You will develop your capacity to analyse development issues, taking account of the complex institutional and economic contexts in which governance takes place. 

You will also develop your capacity to critically assess the social and political effects of aid and the way aid policy is made and executed. 


The Postgraduate Certificate is delivered part-time, through online learning.  

The programme can be taken as a standalone 60-credit postgraduate certificate, or as one of the three certificates that make up the MSc in Global Challenges.  

How will I learn? 

You will learn through a mix of online methods that draw upon expertise from across the University. These include: 

  • video lectures 
  • study guides 
  • self-directed and guided reading 
  • a range of interactive online reflection 
  • discussion activities 

On this programme, you will benefit from a variety of innovative online learning approaches, discussion forums and interaction opportunities. 

Career opportunities

Graduates from this programme will be uniquely equipped to advise and guide on the implementation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

The goals emphasise the need for a coherent connection across many challenges and this programme will give you the language, and knowledge, to understand the complexity of the challenges and to look at innovative solutions and approaches. 

Graduates of this programme have previously found careers in: 

  • consultancy 
  • NGOs and charities 
  • international development 
  • corporate managerial positions in environmental and social governance 
  • Ministry of Health policy, strategy and managerial positions 
How to apply
Award Title Duration Study mode  
PgCert (ICL)   Up to 2 Years Part-time Intermittent Study Tuition fees
PgCert   1 Year Part-time Tuition fees


Undergraduate contact

The School of Social and Political Science sits within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  All enquiries and applications relating to undergraduate admissions to the School are handled by our College. Please contact:

CAHSS Undergraduate Admissions
University of Edinburgh
57 George Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9JX

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565