M.A. Programme


The Department’s unique five-year integrated programme, launched in 2006, leads to Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in two major streams – Development Studies and English Studies. With this programme, IITM is poised to cross a milestone in fulfilling its role in higher education in liberal arts and social sciences.

The M.A. programme reflects the multi-disciplinary nature of the fundamental concepts in humanities and social sciences. During the first two years, the students are introduced to a variety of common subjects related to all the major disciplines. Such a curriculum aims 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 provides an opportunity for our students and faculty to be in close and constant touch with those of the Engineering, Sciences and Management departments.

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).

The students for the integrated Masters program at IIT-M are selected through the Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE) conducted by IIT Madras every year in the month of May. The exam is highly competitive and only about 2 percent of the candidates taking the exam are finally selected for the course. The present intake of the MA program is 45 students per year.

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