About the Program

The Master’s Program in International Development Studies taught in English is the first of its kind in the Czech Republic and in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and is open to students worldwide.

It is a two-year, full-time program designed not only for bachelor students with development studies background, but also for students from related fields who are interested in international development.

The program provides students with key knowledge and skills for a deeper understanding of problems affecting developing countries and the policies of international development including the skills for qualitative and quantitative research. The study program is based on three main pillars:

  • Theoretical background – seven compulsory courses and three seminars
  • Methodological background – a choice between quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Regional orientation – two courses applying theoretical knowledge to regional opportunities of development. Students can choose from four regions: Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Middle East and Central Asia.

Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded the title of “Magister”, abbreviated as “Mgr.” which is equivalent to Master of Science (M.Sc.). Graduates are equipped to work in the field of international development in the public sector, private industry as well as in governmental and non-governmental organizations at both the national and international levels. Graduates can also find the opportunity to work as experts in projects run in low-income countries especially in the organizing and administering of projects both in the donor and target country, in diplomatic service, or in the academic sector.

Students are obliged to take courses in the following structure:

Compulsory courses (students take all 7 courses)

Sustainable Development

The main aim of the course is to introduce students to historical development, present situation and future perspectives of mutual political and economic relations as well as cooperation between the EU and developing countries. 

The course analysis basic principles of sustainable development. Main topics included are the following: history, definition and principles of sustainable development, human values compatible with sustainable development, economic instruments of sustainable development, technologies for sustainable development, political and instritutional aspects of sustainable development, sectoral aspects of sustainable development, indicators of sustainable development, strategies for sustainable development, and actors of sustainable development.

 

Development Assistance

The aim of the course is to provide facilitate an advanced and critical understanding of contemporary issues in international development cooperation. 

The course analyzes basic concepts in development cooperation with a major focus on current debates. Second part analyzes the development assistance of selected bilateral donors from the recipient perspective, and focuses on issues such as donor harmonization, coordination and complementarity. Furthermore, the course provides an in depth analysis of development assistance of the re-emerging donors of the Visegrad Group. The complexity of multilateral development assistance is illustrated on case of the European Union. The course also analyzes problems of aid effectiveness and discusses new approaches and institutions designed to improve aid. The last part critically assesses the role of NGOs and civil society in development cooperation. 

Development Theories

The aim of the course is to critically discuss and analyze various development discourses. 

The course aims to critically analyze various development theories. These include: classical and neoliberal theories, structuralism, neomarxism and socialist theories. Part of the course is dedicated to the influence of colonialism on contemporary word. Furthermore the course focuses on social and cultural dimensions of development as well as new development concepts such as grassroot development and gender. 

Development Economics

The aim of the course is to analyse the major economic issues faced by developing countries. 
This course will analyse issues faced by developing countries especially from the microeconomic perspective at the graduate level. Following an introduction to the subject the course will focus on the economic growth, new growth theories and contemporary models of development and underdevelopment. Other topics considered will include: poverty, inequality, population growth, the issues of human capital (education and health), urbanization and rural-urban interaction, land reform, labor markets and credits and insurance issues, roles of markets and states and strategies of economic development. 

Development Geography and Globalization

The main aim of the course is to introduce students to the geographical concepts of development and impacts of globalization in the less developed countries.

Developement Geography and Globalisation is a comprehensive introductory course for student in the interdisciplinary field of development studies. The course analyses main economic, social and political trends and aspects of development processes in the South. First part of the course is focused on the role and legacy of colonialism (including geographic imaginations that inform development thinking) and geographical impact of globalization. In second part emphasis is given on selected components of development (e.g. population and poverty, resources, institutions of development) and spaces of development (movements and flows, urban and rural spaces). 

 

Politico-Geographical Processes in the Developing World

 The course shall pay attention to the selected issues related to the internal political processes in developing countries as well as to the relevant current issues in the international politics and security, focusing on contemporary debates on modern states formation, political systems in developing countries, democracy designs and good governance, concepts of failing and de-facto states, international terrorism etc.

Environmental Geography

The main aim of the course is to provide the understanding of the ways environment and society are related and interconnected in the less developed countries. The course Environmental geography is focused on the understanding of interactions between humans and the natural world in the less developed countries, combining parts of human geography and physical geography. The course will provide understandings of the ways environment and society are related and affect each other. The course address various topics, such environmentalism and sustainable development; drylands and desertification; tropical deforestation; biodiversity conservation, sustainability and development; sustainability and river control; industrial and human hazards; environmental conflicts; food and agriculture in the globalizing world. 

 Methodological courses (students take at least 1 course)

Quantitative Methods in Development

The aim of the course is to introduce the use of quantitative tools for the analysis of development issues for students in the field of development studies. 

This course will focus on the use of quantitative tools for the analysis of development issues for graduate students in the field of development studies. The course will help students develop technical skills for undertaking their own analytical and quantitative research activities. Students will learn to use statistical software to be able to work with various datasets to analyze key development issues. 

 

Qualitative Methods in Development

The aim of the course is to introduce students to basic qualitative research methods.

The course is an introduction to qualitative methods for students of International Development Studies. It provides students with basic theoretical framework for qualitative research, introduces main data collection methods, coding, analysis and interpretation. The aim of the course is to provide students with essential theoretical knowledge necessary for conducting development research and enable them to continue on postgraduate level. Part of the course is also devoted to current software tools used for qualitative research.

Regional courses (students take at least 2 courses)

Geography and Development of Latin America

 This course provides broad overview of geography and historical, political, social and economic development of Latin America. The key issues, such as the legacy of history and colonialism for contemporary development, situation of indigenous people within the region, theories and strategies in the process of Latin America´s development, cooperation and integration within Latin America and others will be explored throughout the course.

Geography and Development of Africa

 This course provides broad overview of the economic, political and social development of Africa. The course consists of two separated regional sections – the first one focuses on the African development, from the economic perspective in particular. Certain key development issues such as the role of state, conflicts or economic growth in Africa are explored, on purpose to improve students´ understanding of the possibilities of African development and the existing impediments currently standing on its way.

Geography and Development of South and Southeast Asia

 Lectures are focused on development opportunities in the countries of the studied region of South and Southeast Asia. The aim of the course is to provide a broad overview about this region, with a special focus on development problems in certain countries. In the frame of the course, the following topics are covered: history, natural conditions, sources and its influence on development; environmental situation; economical situation; HIV/AIDS and other diseases; gender; MDG; human rights; development assistance; analysis and evaluation of different projects that have been done in the region. The course is composed of lectures and seminars. The actual situation and selected projects are discussed during the seminars. In the frame of the subject, special guests are invited to share their experience from the region. Actual documentaries and other movies are used to enrich both – seminars and lectures.

Geography and Development of Central Asia and Middle East

 Lectures are focused on development opportunities in the countries of the studied region of Central Asia and Middle East. The aim of the course is to provide a broad overview about these regions, with a special focus on development problems in certain countries. The following topics are covered – history, natural conditions, sources and its influence on development; environmental situation; economical situation; HIV/AIDS and other diseases; gender; MDG; human rights; development assistance; analysis and evaluation of different projects that have been done in the region. The course is composed of lectures and seminars. The actual situation and selected projects are discussed during the seminars. In the frame of the subject, special guests are invited to share their experience from the region. Actual documentaries and other movies are used to enrich both, seminars and lectures. 

Selected specialization courses (students take 4–7 courses)

Global Challenges

The aim of the course is to introduce students into main global challenges in the context of historical development as well as future trends. Content:

1. Introduction – the history of human colonisation of the Earth; 2. Human population trends from the 19th century; 3. Food production and its limits; 4. The Big Regulator – epidemies and humankind; 5. Water – the key determinant of agricultural production; 6. Drought, soil degradation and desertification; 7. Energy; 8. Limits of other sources – metals, uranium etc.; 9. Climate changes; 10. 2030: the Perfect Storm?

Global Environmental Issues

 Global issues – definition. Evolution of the life on the Earth. Basic facts about biosphere. Changes and catastrophes in the history caused by natural factors. Definition of human´s environment during 40 thousand years of cultural evolution. Impact and meaning of agriculture revolution and industrial revolution. Characteristic of chosen global issues: violence, population trends, nutrition problems, health status of inhabitants, poverty. Definitions of environmental crises: endanger of biodiversity, maintenance of forests, soil and water, spread of deserts, pollution of atmosphere and disturbance of climate. Other global issues: energy, resources, waste, human residence, using of oceans, seas and Antarctica, institutional system. International activities leading to change of the current state. Vision of global Marshall plan.

Project Cycle Management

The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the objectives and principles of project cycle management (PCM). 
During the course students will get familiar with each stage of project cycle such as programming, identification, formulation, implementation and evaluation as well as problem analysis, logical framework and project indicators which form an integral part of project cycle management. The course will emphasise a practical use of the PCM and during practical seminars students will be asked to complete a project proposal according to the principles of PCM. 

Geography of the Czech Republic

The aim of the subject is to provide students with the basic knowledge of the physical geographical phenomena of the Czech Republic. Lectures are concerned with following themes: Geographical-political position of the Czech Republic, historical-geographical development of Czech lands, geological development and geological structure of the Czech Massif and the Carpathians; deposits and mining of mineral resources; geomorphologic development and geomorphologic division of CR; basic landform types; basic characteristics of geomorphologic units of provinces Czech Highland, Western Carpathians, Central European lowland and Western Panonian basin; hydrologic conditions; climatic conditions of CR and air pollution; pedogeographic and biogeographic conditions of CR; categories of protected areas; public administration and its development; population and settlement structure; industry and its branch structure.

Evaluation of Development Projects

The main aim of the course is to familiarise students with importance and use of development projects evaluation.

In addition to theoretical introduction into the issue main importance will be given to practical learning of methods and approaches which are essential for high.quality evaluation of development projects and programmes.

International Political Economy of Development

The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge and skills needed to analyze developing countries‘ engagement with the global economy. 

The course focuses on the issues related to developing countries‘ engagement with the global economy. The course analyzes international organisations and rules in the areas of trade, production and finance including foreign aid. Unlike the traditional IPE courses the topics are analyzed mainly from the perspective of developing countries. After describing the international regimes in respective areas we will ask how these regimes and the forces of globalization affect developing countries, and what kind of national and international policies might benefit developing countries. 

 

Negotiation, Facilitation, Mediation

 The course is designed to provide the theoretical and practical grounding for critical exploration and understanding of conflict settings as well as alternative dispute resolution techniques. It shall enable students to explore how the specific tools and techniques could enrich the skills of the development policymaker or practitioner through fostering their capacities in options´ generation, dilemma solving, questions´ formulation, listening and enhancing their analytical skills etc. It also examines the consensual methods to promote understanding and explores the variety of strategies to foster and support the constructive dialogue, both in local and international context.

Community Development and Participation

This course will offer students a set of theoretical concepts in community development including practical tools for engaging in community and social change in different types of communities. 

This course will offer students a set of theoretical concepts in community development including practical tools for engaging in community and social change in different types of communities. With a particular focus on case studies from communities lecturer has visited abroad, we will discuss varying approaches to community change. We will consider important aspects of community change, including building sustainability, community economic development, and gender issues. Linkages will be drawn between local and global context and community principles. Students will practically examine various cases of community development applied both locally and internationally. 

 

Internship

Practice is provided by PPC FF UP which is traditionally responsible for mediation of the students‘ practice to increase their employability via contact with the reality of the field. PPC FF UP has the register of the organizations which co-operate with the institution. The practice can be done in any country of the world, the only limitation is the orientation of the institution. The practice should be done on the academic level. 

Practice is provided by PPC FF UP which is traditionally responsible for mediation of the students‘ practice to increase their employability via contact with the reality of the field. PPC FF UP has the register of the organizations which co-operate with the institution. The practice can be done in any country of the world, the only limitation is the orientation of the institution. The practice should be done on the academic level. 

Wide variety of courses are offered by the Department, the Faculty of Science and Palacky University in Olomouc. List of all courses taught in English at Palacky University can be found at a respective webpage of the university website.

The offer of specialization courses may change in any given year.