MA International Development Studies Overview
The Master of Arts in International Development Studies is one of the first in Southeast Asia to offer multidisciplinary training in international development.
The curriculum integrates academic, technical, managerial, and professional training in the social sciences. The M.A. in International Development Studies program (MAIDS) offers excellent preparation for a career in public or private sector development, or further study at the doctorate level. The core and elective courses, taught in English, address a wide range of topics, including development theory and practice; globalization; research methods; politics of public policy; migration; human rights; environmental politics; conflict resolution; project management; and innovation for inclusive development. The thesis project allows each student to pursue their personal interests. See "course description" page for more details.
Chulalongkorn Faculty members are experienced public intellectuals with strong connections at all levels of Thai society, including Southeast Asia and beyond. Students benefit from the unique inside knowledge of active players in local and regional politics, and policy-making circles. Many professors sit as committee members on national bodies in Thailand such as the National Economic and Social Advisory Board, the National Human Rights Commission, and National Security Council, and on the boards of civil society organisations. Chulalongkorn academics pursue a wide range of research interests, and are able to provide expert advice to each student. See the academic staff page for further information.
Chulalongkorn University: Thailand's Most Prestigious Academic Institution
Chulalongkorn University , founded in 1917, is the oldest and the most prestigious university in Thailand . The University is named after H.M. King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, one of the most beloved and revered monarchs in Thai history, who introduced modern education to the Kingdom. “Chula”, as people call the university, is located on a vast tract of land granted by the Royal Family, and now caters to over 27,000 students, studying 344 major subjects within its 18 faculties, employing nearly 2,950 academic staff. Consult the university website for more information. Visit Chulalongkorn University's website here.
Network of Academics and Practitioners
The faculty is supported by a number of prominent guest lecturers, from Thai and overseas academic institutions, United Nations agencies, government, and civil society organizations. The M.A. and Ph.D. programme is a unique opportunity to develop a network of contacts among leading development scholars and practitioners in the region.
The programme and the university also work in partnership with many academic and international institutions, such as Chiang Mai and Mahidol Universities; the Thailand Research Fund; the Office of the Civil Service Commission; the Union for Civil Liberty; University of Vienna, Austria; University of Bonn, Germany; Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic; Waseda University, Japan; Third World Studies Centre, University of the Philippines; and the UN Commission on Human Security.
Visit the guest lecturers' page for a listing and profile of current and past contributors, and the Network page for information on some of the programme's institutional partners.
The M.A. and Ph.D. in International Development Studies takes full advantage of its location in Southeast Asia and the Greater Mekong Sub-region; close to neighboring Burma, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam and China's Yunnan province. Every year students - accompanied by some of their lecturers - go on a minimum of two field visits to discuss current development challenges with villagers, government officials and development experts. Past field visits included destinations such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand, and Lao PDR.
Closely keeping in touch with the events affecting the region, the students also headed down to southern Thailand in early 2005 to witness the devastating impact of the December 2004 Tsunami.
Students traveled to the worst-affected areas of Thailand - including Phuket and Phang-Nga provinces - where they met with local Thai people, Burmese migrant and other aid workers to research the latest efforts of relief and reconstruction.
You can read student reports on their field visits in the first issue of the programme's newsletter.
Bangkok: A Hub for International Development in the Heart of Southeast Asia
Chulalongkorn University is located in the centre of Bangkok, close to the regional seat of numerous United Nations agencies, among them the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). International organizations such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and prominent civil society organizations such as Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia), which also have offices nearby. Development practitioners from these organizations regularly come to Chulalongkorn to share their knowledge and experience with students. These contacts will be crutial for students wishing to work in the region after their studies. These organizations also provide a wealth of resources for the students' research projects, and possible internship and work opportunities.
Bangkok is regarded as a very safe and livable city. Bangkok is a vibrant metropolis, renowned for its endless glittering Buddhist temples, weekend market, sporting and cultural venues, which provide ample opportunities for recreation. “Krungthep”, as Bangkok is known in Thai language, is also one of the world's most affordable cities. In 2005, it ranked 125th in the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Bangkok is cheaper than any European or North American city, and also more affordable than most Asian cities, such as New Delhi, Singapore, Jakarta , and Kuala Lumpur.
Chulalongkorn University is easily accessible by public transport. Most of our students live in comfortable and private apartments only 15 – 20 minutes from campus.
Academic and Financial Resources to Meet Research Needs
The university has modern and fully-equipped libraries and resource centres to support learning and exchange. Some of the research and multidisciplinary institutes include the Energy Research Institute, the Center for Ecological Economics, the Environmental Research Institute, the Social Research Institute, and the Asian Migration Resource Center. Students can also access the resources of other Thai universities and institutions in Bangkok .
The M.A. and Ph.D. programme's tuition fees cover all the required course reading materials. Every student is also entitled to some financial support to conduct their thesis field research, depending on their needs. Visit scholarships & financial support page.
Personalized Student Support
The M.A. programme admits a maximum of 25 students each year, while the Ph.D. accepts around 5 to 10 students a year, and is thus able to offer personalized support to each of them. From the day of admission until the post-graduation period, the staff facilitates the students' experience at the university and in Bangkok. Staff members support students in matters such as obtaining and renewing student visas, finding a place to stay on or off campus, and facilitating connections with Thai government agencies and civil society organizations for research purposes.
Diverse Student Body in an Intimate Class Environment
All M.A. and Ph.D. courses are taught using a seminar format to provide a forum for dialogue and discussion. The M.A. and Ph.D. students, coming from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, have a unique opportunity to share their experience and discover new cultural perspectives. Since its inception, the programme has hosted students from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Cambodia, China (and Taiwan), Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Korea (Republic of), Lao PDR, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestinian State, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Vietnam. Most students have had previous work or volunteer experience in international development, and some even hold graduate degrees.
The student population is, on average, 58% female and 42% male while the mean age is 31.