Programme Overview

The Master’s programme in Development and Governance combines teaching in several political science sub-disciplines (development studies, international relations, peace and conflict studies, administration and policy studies, comparative politics of European Union, Sub-Saharan Africa or East Asia). The main emphasis is on acquiring knowledge of the relevance of different tiers and forms of governance-processes (local, national, international) both within established democracies and developing societies, and on training students’ analytical skills. The programme is thus providing students with both policy- and region-specific expertise.

We will offer additional courses or workshops depending on the availability of practitioners and lecturers and depending on the specific demands of students. The University of Duisburg-Essen is also offering different types of language courses.

For more specific information on the modules of our program, please have a look at our module handbook!


Module 1: Development dedicated to developmental problems from a governance perspective. It comprises two courses: Global Governance and Development discusses basic theories and concepts of global governance, with a special emphasis on developing regions and their participation in global governance processes. Alternatively, students can choose the course Theories and Practices of Development, which focuses on historical and contemporary understandings and applications of the concept „development“. The seminar on Causes and Dynamics of Violent Conflict reflects current debates in peace and conflict studies, based on national, regional and global conflict resolution strategies and will also discuss the interface between development and conflict.

Module 2:

...consists of three courses in which students gain knowledge of governance processes in industrialised and developing countries. An introduction on basic concepts and approaches in Comparative Policy Analysis is complemented by a seminar on management and juridical aspects of administrative processes and reforms (Public Administration). The third course is focused on Democracy and Governance highlighting the applicability of democratisation and governance concepts in the non-OECD world.

Module 3:
Research Practice dedicated to the writing of the Master’s Thesis. Within this module, students start with a course on Research Practice which introduces to the main logic and technical elements of academic paper writing in the German setting, complemented by tutorials in which students do practical exercises in small groups with senior students/mentors. In the second semester students will then start working on their MA thesis. 

Module 4:
Area Studies

...complements the first two modules with an in-depth study of region-specific governance structures. Students select two out of the three courses on African Politics, European Politics and East Asian / Chinese Politics. Students shall learn to critically assess the relevance of general theoretical models and problem solving strategies for governance problems in their home countries.