Institute of Development Policy

Admission and language requirements

Admission requirements for the Advanced Master in Development Studies

You are eligible to apply if you:

  • hold a Master degree in Development Studies or a related discipline1 with good study results. Applicants with a  4-year Bachelor degree2 are not automatically excluded but need to demonstrate equivalence to a Master degree on the basis of the Bachelor’s curriculum that includes several research-oriented courses (for ex. dissertation); successful attendance of relevant academic courses/trainings and/or highly relevant professional experience3. Holders of a University degree under the European Bologna system must hold a Master degree;
  • have a good command of English, certified by an official language test;
  • show a proven interest in development issues (for ex. relevant professional experience, internship, field research, volunteering experience);
  • submit a complete and timely application: see application procedure below;
  • VLIR-UOS scholarship applicants need to meet additional requirements: see VLIR-UOS scholarship below.

1 Acceptable fields of study are for ex. Economics, Economic Planning, Political Sciences, Administrative Sciences, International Relations, Public Administration, Sociology, Business Economics, Geography, Anthropology and Demography. 

Applicants with a background in Law, History, Community Development, Communication Sciences, Languages, Civil or Agricultural Engineering, Statistics preferably need additional training in methodological subjects and relevant professional experience (professional experience not required for young graduates). 

Fields of study that are not accepted are for example: dentistry, pharmacy, Germanic languages, chemistry, nursing, theology, botany, librarian, philosophy, exact mathematics.

Applicants with only a Bachelor degree of three years of study will not be admitted to the Advanced Master programmes. Several Bachelor degrees of three years are not equivalent to a Master degree. Certificates from continuing education courses (for example Postgraduate diploma) are not equivalent to a Master degree.

3 An overview of relevant professional experience can be found here: Advanced Master of Globalisation and Development / Advanced Master of Development Evaluation and Management / Advanced Master of Governance and Development.

Language requirements

Applicants need to be proficient in English, the language of instruction for all our programmes:

  • If English is not your language of instruction at university level, a language proficiency certificate is required.
  • If English is your language of instruction at university level, a language proficiency certificate is not required, except when you obtained your university degree in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, the French-speaking part of Cameroon or in an Asian country (except India and the Philippines). In those cases, a language proficiency certificate is required. 

Accepted language proficiency scores:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 79 for the internet-based test. The IOB accepts the TOEFL iBT home edition. The TOEFL ITP is not accepted.
  • IELTS: minimum overall score of 6.5 and a minimum score of 6.0 on each component.
  • Alternative language proficiency certificates may be accepted on a case by case basis.
  • Language proficiency certificates will be checked on their authenticity.