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Our master's programmes put theory into practice, enabling you to work in a variety of organisations where impact matters, such as charities, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and research bodies.

Sharing lessons from decades of development practice, and innovations in research and technology, our courses provide the skills to understand and tackle the global challenges of the twenty-first century.


Research excellence

Our research is driven by key global challenges and aligns closely with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  • The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development is the 3rd highest placed UK University (QS World Ranking by Subject, 2024 - Agriculture and Forestry) for teaching and research. Ranked 27th in the world. 
  • 100% of our research in international development is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions in Anthropology and Development Studies).
  • 91% of our research in international development was rated as internationally excellent (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions in Anthropology and Development Studies).

Interdisciplinary study

At the Graduate Institute for International Development, Agriculture and Economics (GIIDAE), we cover natural and social sciences related to agriculture and the rural environment, the food chain, applied economics and marketing, climate change and international development.

Our programmes are designed around this interdisciplinary environment, which allows us to reflect the real-life complexity of challenges that global communities and businesses face when aspiring to a sustainable future.

I came to Reading at a time when I was looking for direction in my professional life. Further studies at Reading helped me to put everything into perspective and provided invaluable experiences learning from development practitioners, as well as other students from across the world.
Shari-Ann Palmer, MSc Applied International Development graduate

International community

We are home to a large international community, attracting students and researchers from more than 40 countries in Africa, South and East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

You'll join a diverse community with a range of learners, from young graduates to experienced mid-career professionals, helping to create a unique and globalised learning experience. We value the diversity of our students and encourage peer-to-peer learning.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in many formal and informal social activities in our vibrant GIIDAE community.

Outstanding facilities

We provide a range of specialist facilities in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, from arable and dairy farms to analytical laboratories. These facilities are widely used in our research, and to enhance our teaching and learning.

Find out more about our extensive facilities

Tackle global challenges

We live in an interconnected world where food, human rights, environmental change, economic development, and social development are increasingly complicated.

Our programmes are designed to equip you with the relevant analytical and practice-based skills to help combat global challenges such as:

  • the pressure placed on finite natural resources from human and environmental change
  • the complex nature of poverty
  • influencing consumer behaviour
  • the challenges of sustainable economic development and finance.


You'll benefit from internationally recognised teaching and research expertise within the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, empowering you to find solutions to these challenges and assist in the move towards an equitable, sustainable future.

Studying Applied International Development at GIIDAE has given me ample opportunity to gain the expertise that will enable me to explore long term solutions to some of the biggest challenges in global development. GIIDAE offers a collaborative learning environment, with students from across the globe, as well as offering support from lecturers that have helped shape my career goals.

Dumebi Okwuosah, MSc Applied International Development, 2018


We are keen to make our postgraduate programmes accessible to all, so offer a diverse range of scholarships to help fund your studies. Some scholarships are country specific, while others are subject related.

Learn more about GIIDAE Scholarships


Our courses

We offer six postgraduate programmes, covering a diverse range of topics in international development.

How you'll study

Develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical study and practical experience. You'll learn in an interdisciplinary environment that prepares you for the challenges faced by global communities and businesses.


Life in the Department

Join a diverse, supportive community in the Graduate Institute of International Development, Agriculture and Economics.