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2-year M.A. in Development Studies

The program aims to provide robust training in the theoretical legacies that inform the discipline while locating it in the most urgent and emergent development problems of the contemporary era. Drawing upon a pool of interdisciplinary faculty with diverse and ongoing research projects, the program hopes to attract students seeking training for application and policy-oriented jobs as also those in search of a rigorous education towards specialized academic and research-oriented careers.

The MA program is designed keeping in mind the diverse body of aspirants seeking to enter the field of Development Studies. The first year of the program is dedicated to developing a common vocabulary in the broad social sciences specific to the field, while grounding it in the context of India and the Indian sub-continent. The second year will focus on assisting students in developing their own interests and career possibilities in the discipline through electives across key research and policy avenues broadly encompassing sociology, anthropology, history, and science and technology studies. Students will also have the freedom to enroll in up to two electives offered in any of the departments at IIT Madras to pursue their unique research and career interests as also ground their work in technology-based applications.

The program aims to provide training and support towards two broad career trajectories; higher education and academia, and policy and governance.

Semester 1  
Sl. No.Course TitleCreditsCourse Type
1Foundations of Social and Political Thought10Core
2Development: Theory and Practice10Core
3Gender and Development10Core
4History of Economic Thought10Core
5Indian Social Structure and Development10Core
Total Credits50
Semester 2
Sl. No.Course TitleCreditsCourse Type
1International Relations: Theory and Practice10Core
2Climate Change, Technology and Sustainable Development10Core
3Urbanization and Development10Core
4Development and Ethics10Core
5State-Making, Governance and Development10Core
Total Credits50
Semester 3
Sl. No.Course TitleCreditsCourse Type
1Globalization and Change10Core
2Research Methodology (offered by DS and shared with Economics)9Core
3Elective 19See List of Electives
4Elective 29See List of Electives
5Free Elective 19Any non-DS Elective
6Elective 3/ Free Elective 29See List of Electives/ any non-DS elective
Total Credits55
Semester 4
Sl. No.Course TitleCreditsCourse Type
1Elective 19See List of Electives
2Elective 29See List of Electives
3M.A. Project27Elective
Total Credits45
Grand Total Credits200

Sl. No.Course TitleCreditsCourse TypeExisting Course Code
1Introduction to Cultural Anthropology9ElectiveHS3280
2Food Cultures9ElectiveHS6570
3Culture and Development9ElectiveHS5520
4Development Alternatives9ElectiveHS4290
5Gender in Indian Society9ElectiveHS5554
6Modern World History9ElectiveHS5551
7Historiography9ElectiveHS7400
8The Making of Modern India9ElectiveHS5552
9Law and Society9ElectiveHS5556
10History of Science and the Public9ElectiveHS6017
11China in Contemporary Global Politics9ElectiveHS3420
12Introduction to International Organisations9ElectiveHS5115
Science and Technology in the 20th century9ElectiveHS4006
14Perspectives on Health and Biomedical Ethics9ElectiveHS5553
15War and Peace in West Asia9ElectiveHS5930
16Built Environment and Society10ElectiveHS4012
17Human Rights and Justice10ElectiveHS3013
18Introduction to Contemporary Tibet10ElectiveHS6560
19Indian Constitution - Text and Practice10ElectiveHS2160
20Transitions and Transformations to Sustainability10ElectiveHS5140
21Religion and Modernity12ElectiveHS5013
22Decentralization and Governance12ElectiveHS3180
23Corruption and Development12ElectiveHS5880
24Introduction to Cultural Anthropology9ElectiveHS3280
25Democracy: Theory and Practice12ElectiveHS6070

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