Study programme & Mobility

Figure showing the structure of the Masters in Education Policies for Global Development


“Global education policies” (5 ECTS) provides a solid theoretical foundation that helps participants make sense of the multi-dimensional relationship between global governance and education policy, looking at how globalization has altered the way we think about and study education policy. More specifically, this study unit focuses on theories of globalization, global governance and education policy, and the analysis of specific global education policies and programmes.

“Actors in education and development” (5 ECTS) sets out to understand how international organisations work, how they are governed, and by whom, thus introducing students to key agencies and actors involved in education internationally, through a critical review of their policies and practices. This leads to a deeper understanding of how global education policy agendas are constituted, and by whom, and how they are transposed and reconceptualised in multiple contexts. The role of supra-national actors in a global governance scenario and education for development in the international aid regime are particularly important concerns in this study unit.

“Theories of social justice in education” (5 ECTS) puts social justice at the heart of educational policy making, thus departing from mainstream approaches that restrict their understanding of development to economic returns. Different conceptualisations of social justice are examined, focusing in particular on the most relevant debates concerning the intersections between social policies and inequalities in contemporary societies.

Educational development, poverty and global inequalities” (5 ECTS) focuses on the relationship between education, poverty and inequalities in the global context.  The course explores current debates on globalization, poverty and inequality and the place and role education plays within these debates. Students will get familiar with the main policies and programmes that focus on education as a means to fight poverty and/or inequalities.

“Basic methods of research techniques” (5 ECTS) introduces students to the fundamentals of educational research, building on their prior knowledge and experience in order to consider the ways in which a range of research strategies, drawing from a variety of traditions, can be deployed in educational studies generally, and in education for development more specifically.

“Doing research on education and development” (5 ECTS) moves away from seeing methods as an instance of technical prowess, to exploring the ways a broad repertoire of quantitative and qualitative research strategies can be deployed in challenging mainstream views of education and development. Issues of methods are therefore seen as inextricable from considerations of epistemology and ontologies of being. Professionals with direct experience in the field will actively participate as guest lecturers in this course, sharing their expertise with students and GLOBED lecturers.

The first semester, comprising core study units worth 30 ECTS in all, brings all GLOBED registered participants together at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), where they will have the opportunity to constitute themselves as a group and to meet the consortium partners. The first semester also includes a zero-credit induction period, which ensures that students are familiar with the different aspects of the Masters, and have an opportunity to articulate specific needs and interests that can be integrated in the course programme.


The second semester starts with a compulsory online course of advanced research techniques, a course that will help students to identify key qualitative or quantitative methods that can be applied to their future masters thesis. Thus,

“Advanced methods of research techniques” (5 ECTS) will be offered on-line during the second semester. This study unit facilitates a deepening specialisation in research methodologies, in response to the specific needs of students and in relation to their thesis choices.

Over and above the core study units, the GLOBED Joint Masters also offers a number of electives during the second semester of the course. These electives provide a deepening and contextualisation of the broad knowledge base offered during the first semester, and reflect the substantive interests and expertise of the consortium partner universities, together with their specialist knowledge of specific regions in the Global South. Students can thus choose those electives and those institutions that correspond to their academic and professional interests. The following electives (with the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and University of Oslo (UiO) each offering study units worth 20 ECTS in all) have been planned for the first run of the Masters:

“The politics of education, conflict and international development” (10 ECTS—offered at the UvA) focuses on the role of education in immediate humanitarian relief operations in emergencies, as well as its longer-term impact on (post) conflict societies. In critically assessing contemporary global governance of education processes and the dominant policy repertoires, the study unit will seek to unravel not only the limitations of contemporary education policy but also the possibilities that education can offer as part of a broader process of development with social justice and peace.

“Critical debates on children and education in a comparative perspective” (10 ECTS—offered at the UvA) examines key contemporary debates relating to children and their education in the Global South from a comparative perspective. It reviews education reforms intended to improve teaching and learning (including child-centred pedagogies, language in education policies, teachers and teacher education, gender, and educational access and differentiation), and also addresses the issue of children’s rights, including children’s participation, sexual and reproductive health and rights, child labour, and the transition to work. Gender issues represent a strong, cross-cutting theme throughout this study unit.


“Policies and practice of Educational reform” (5 ECTS—offered by the UiO) introduces students to considerations of the interactions between processes of formulating and planning policies at the global and national levels and their implementation in specific country contexts in different parts of the world. It thus contributes to a deeper understanding of key issues in the governance, management, provision and delivery of education from a reform perspective, understood from a multi-level, multi-actor perspective.

“Critical issues in educational reform” (10 ECTS—offered by the UiO) considers the central issue of access as an underlying determining factor for sustainable and equitable global development. It examines a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives to understand how equity, quality and relevance are expressed in education policy reform processes, focusing in particular on developing a critical understanding of the potential as well as the limits of strategic efforts in specific contexts in the Global South.

“Higher education and the Europe of knowledge” (5 ECTS—offered by the UiO) introduces students to changing dynamics in higher education related to the growing interest of political and socio-economic actors and agencies in knowledge as a core aspect of modern economies and societies. The focus will be primarily on the Europe of Knowledge, as a unique example of a multi-level knowledge society that in many respects is regarded as a relevant frame of reference for other regions in the world. Supranational, national and institutional level policies and strategies and their importance for understanding the notion of the knowledge society, both in a specific European as well as more global context, are examined.


“GLOBED Summer School” (5 ECTS—offered at the UoM) brings the students and consortium lecturing team together, with keynote addresses on a range of issues related to education for development being given by invited noted scholars from the Global South. In addition, the Summer School serves to prepare students for the internship, fieldwork, and thesis that are the focus of the third and fourth semester. Scholars from the Global South and professionals working in associate partner institutions will participate as guest lecturers.


In advance of the start of the second year, students will formally enrol in the UiO for the third semester, and they will also be required in the fourth semester to enrol in one of the 3 full partner universities awarding the JMD, i.e. the Universities of Autònoma de Barcelona, Oslo and Malta.

During the third semester students are placed in internships (15 ECTS), where they have the opportunity to make stronger and more meaningful links between the theoretical literature they have been reading and the realities of education for development work in the field. They will be expected to keep reflective journals, which are constantly and regularly monitored by the consortium lecturers, who, together with regular staff in the internship placements, will provide academic and professional mentoring and support as needed.

The internships will also help students prepare for the fieldwork (15 ECTS) that they wish to carry out for their thesis, and in some cases may actually overlap, with the internship site also becoming the place for data collection. The internship and fieldwork experiences are each worth 15 ECTS, with students returning to the University they enrolled in at the beginning of the fourth semester, where they share and reflect on their experiences in the field.

The fourth and final semester is dedicated to the writing of the thesis, under the supervision of one or two consortia staff. Given the overall goals of the GLOBED Masters, which aspires to provide an academic and professional apprenticeship for those wanting to work in the field of education for development, students will be required to produce an academic article or policy report as an additional outcome of their thesis. The work done for both aspects of the fourth semester is credited with 30 ECTS, and here too students will be provided with a guidebook to ensure that expectations and standards in regard to academic, professional and ethical conduct are as transparent as possible.

Summer School 2016
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