Graduate Studies

Masters of Arts in International Development Studies

The MA in IDS program offers students an opportunity to complete an interdisciplinary, research degree investigating questions of poverty, social inequity and environmental degradation.

Students in the MA in IDS program study theory, research methods and design, development practice and write a thesis. The final step is an oral defense in which they must satisfy a three-faculty committee, which can include members from outside the department or the university. 

We only offer September admission into the MA program programme.   The MA in IDS is offered on a full-time or part-time basis.  Students typically complete the program in 24 months, though it is not uncommon for students without fieldwork to finish earlier. 

Degree Requirements

A MA in International Development Studies involves five full credits and a thesis.  A typical course of study includes:

  • a thesis (worth 2.5 credits)
  • a half-credit in theory (INTD 5006)
  • a half-credit in methods/research design (INTD 5002)
  • three half credits of elective courses

Financial Assistance

MA students tend to receive financial assistance from three different arenas:

1.  At the national level, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarship

2.  At the provincial level, both domestic and international students can apply for the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship

3.  At the departmental level, applicants to the MA in IDS program may be considered for Graduate Fellowships and/or Teaching Assistantships.  Students are automatically considered for this form of assistance by the Graduate Admissions Committee.  No separate application is necessary. Funding is limited and not available to all students.

Research Assistantship funding can also be made available in cases where faculty members have research grants and funds allocated to research assistance. Consult with the graduate coordinator for information.

For other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies webpage.

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Admission Committee for IDS accepts students who have a minimum of a A- (GPA 3.7) average or higher over their last two years of full-time study in a relevant degree program, preferably an honours degree.

Approximately 6-8 students are accepted to the program each year.

To learn more about the admission process and deadlines, please check the IDS Graduate Program Handbook [PDF - 393KB]

Application Procedure

Online applications are processed through Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

In addition to the FGS application, transcripts and reference letters, the IDS department itself requires a statement of research intent (roughly 2 pages), a writing sample (maximum 10 pages) and a cv.  

The official deadline to apply is January 31 of each year, but students interested in applying for national or provincial scholarships must have their applications submitted by December 1. 

For Further Information

Questions regarding the MA in IDS program should be addressed to the Acting Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Robert Huish - or the Graduate Secretary, Nicole Drysdale - .