IIT Madras – Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Humanities & Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

M.A. Programme

M.A. Programme (Starting from 2023)

The Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras is proud to announce its new Master’s Programme across the three streams of Development Studies, Economics and English Studies beginning July 2023. Promising the same quality of rigour and robustness that has characterised our five-year Integrated programme, we have taken heed of changing demands and market conditions to conceptualise our new offering.

Each stream seeks to provide both an excellent theoretical base as well as market-readiness for careers across academia, publishing, policy, governance and corporate consultancy. Our interdisciplinary faculty have drawn upon their considerable experience and research to design a programme that will continue to uphold the standards set over the last many decades by IIT Madras. We look forward to your continued faith and engagement in making the department a desired destination for scores of aspirants from India and abroad.

Only GATE qualified candidates will be eligible for admission to this 2-year program. The students are required to complete a minimum of 200 credits to be eligible for the M.A. degree. Each stream will have 25 seats for Indian students; seats for foreign students will be supernumerary. The students of each stream will have the option of upgrading to PhD program as per the Institute guidelines.

Admissions to each stream for the academic year 2023 are via valid GATE 2023 scores in the following XH paper sections.

Sl NoStream Name GATE 2023 Paper Name (Code)
1Development StudiesEconomics (XH C1), Philosophy (XH C4), Psychology (XH C5), Sociology (XH C6)
2EconomicsEconomics (XH C1)
3English StudiesEnglish (XH C2), Linguistics (XH C3)

M.A. Programme (2006 – 2022)

The Department’s unique five-year integrated programme, offered between 2006 and 2022, led to Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in two major streams – Development Studies and English Studies.

The integrated M.A. programme reflected the multi-disciplinary nature of the fundamental concepts in humanities and social sciences. During the first two years, the students were introduced to a variety of common subjects related to all the major disciplines. Such a curriculum aimed to produce masters in Humanities and Social Sciences to cater to the growing demands of academia, government, public and private sector enterprises, NGOs, and other organisations. The programme also provided an opportunity for our students and faculty to be in close and constant touch with those of the Engineering, Sciences and Management departments.

With the changing needs of the contemporary times, the M.A program was restructured that involved replacing 5 year integrated M.A. programme with 2 year M.A. programme in Development Studies, Economics and English Studies. The new programme will be offered from 2023.


Development Studies

This stream addresses questions of “order and change” in a globalizing world and aims to explore available approaches to fostering development, understood broadly as the goal of providing people with the freedom to make their lives better. This will entail studying the web of relationships humans have with each other and the physical world, which can serve both as a constraint and a source of enormous creativity and ingenuity for achieving sustainable development.

Analyzing and addressing these issues, therefore, requires knowledge and skills from across the social sciences, which is what the inter-disciplinary area of Development Studies seeks to do. It covers such topics as economic development, the role of the state and markets, globalization, inequality, poverty, gender relations, environment, conflict, new social movements, politics and institutions, urban studies, area studies and international relations, to name a few. Courses include those in economics, urbanization, gender studies and science and technology studies as well as advanced topics in political philosophy and social theory. Students in this stream will be expected to acquire and develop quantitative skills in introductory calculus and statistics in the course of the programme. Graduates have career opportunities in government, academia, research organizations and industry.

Follow this link https://hss.iitm.ac.in/development-studies/ to the list of core courses offered by the department for the M.A. (Development Studies).

English Studies

The English Studies stream has been designed for students with sensitivity to literary and linguistic analyses. It provides an understanding of literatures in English from around the world with special emphasis on current debates in literary theory, lesser-known literatures and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. It aims to introduce students to the language, literary and cultural studies, with an emphasis on critical reading skills that would stand a student in good stead whatever he/she may eventually do in life. Starting with introductory courses in the basics of language and literature, the stream covers the masters of English literary tradition, as well as major writers from other traditions – Asian, African, Latin American and Continental. A range of genre-based, author-based and period-based courses are offered so that students appreciate different kinds of literature in English in different periods of its history.

Courses in linguistics and the structure and function of natural languages as a system of cognition and communication are parts of this stream. Students are exposed to other streams such as Economics, Sociology, History, and Philosophy so that they can have a range of career options from academics and editing to journalism and language training.

Follow this link https://hss.iitm.ac.in/english-studies/ to the list of core courses offered by the department for the M.A. (English Studies).