MA Development Studies Course Colleges, Entrance Exams, Admission, Eligibility, Syllabus, Books, Jobs, Salary, Scope 2021-22

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What is MA Development Studies?

What is MA Development Studies? 

MA Development Studies is a 2-year postgraduate program that comes under the Arts stream. The aim of this course is to equip students with the historical changes in the configuration of the state, social institutions, and civil society and their increasing consequences on developing societies, such as India.

Check Top MA Development Studies Colleges in India.

This course basically deals with the various aspects and challenges of development and public policy. 

MA Development Studies Syllabus includes various subjects such as Economics, Geography, Society and Human Growth. In this course, students get to study project management, behavioural science, foreign languages and perform a lot of fieldwork. 

To be eligible to apply to this course, students must hold a Bachelor’s degree in relevant discipline from a recognized university with an aggregate of at least 50% marks.  

Admission to this course will be done either on the basis of performance of candidates in the entrance exams conducted by the admission authorities or based on candidate’s performance in the Bachelor degree exams. 

Some of the Top MA Development Studies Colleges are as follows: 

NIRF Ranking 2020 Name of the College/ University Admission Process Average Annual Fees Average Annual Salary
7 IIT Guwahati Entrance-Based INR 30,350 INR 7,85,000
8 JNU, New Delhi Entrance-Based INR 1,260 INR 6,55,000
32 NIT Rourkela Merit-Based INR 56,500 INR 5,00,000
63 Amity University, Noida Merit-Based INR 1,06,000 INR 5,25,000
151 Annamalai University, Chidambaram Merit-Based INR 5,885 INR 3,36,000

The tuition fees for enrolling in MA Development Studies courses vary as per universities. The average annual course fees generally vary between INR 5,000 and 1,50,000. 

MA Development Studies job prospects include a large number of jobs in many government and private sectors, consultancies, PSUs, NGOs, and research organizations. Students can work as a Consultant, Administrator, Social Worker, Enterprise Account Manager, Teacher etc.

Alert: The exam dates of JNUEE have been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Also check, JNUEE practice papers here.

The average starting salary can be around INR 2,50,000 to 7,00,000 per annum in top companies like PWC, KPMG etc. 

On completion of this course, students can pursue higher studies and advanced academic exploration along with research through MPhil Development Studies and PhD Development Studies courses. This course essentially provides a solid basis for further studies and related prospects. 

What is the Admission Process for MA Development Studies?

What is the Admission Process for MA Development Studies? 

The MA Development Studies Admission Process can vary as per the university rules and regulations. Some universities grant admission to students in this course based on merit. Some of the top-most Indian universities prefer conducting entrance exams to grant admission to qualified candidates. 

Admission Process

The admission procedures followed in the Indian universities for admission to MA Development Studies course are given below.

Merit-based admission

In merit-based admission, the universities offering MA Development Studies grant admission to students based on their marks obtained in the graduation level.

Entrance-Based Admission

The steps of the entrance-based admission are provided below: 

  • Registration: Candidates have to register themselves using their email id and mobile number. 
  • Filling up of application form: On creation of login id, fill the application form by providing the required information correctly. 
  • Uploading of documents: In this step, candidates have to upload the necessary documents such as photograph, signature, id proof, Class 10 and 12 certificates, Bachelor’s degree etc. 
  • Application Fee: On uploading the requisite documents, students have to pay the requisite amount of application fee online. 
  • Issuing of Admit Card: Based on the details submitted by the students, the admission authority will issue the admit cards to the eligible students.
  • Entrance Examination: After getting the admit card, exam dates will be released by different conducting bodies. Candidates have to sit for the entrance test and qualify the same to get admission. 
  • Declaration of Result: In the final stage, admission authorities will release the results of the entrance test they have appeared for.
  • Enrolment: Successful candidates will then be allotted seats to the respective institutes.  

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Admission to MA Development Studies? 

The minimum eligibility criteria for students seeking admission to MA Development Studies program in Indian universities are given below :

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in relevant discipline from a recognized university. 
  • Must have secured an aggregate of at least 50% marks in the Bachelor’s degree examination. 

Is There Any Entrance Exam for Admission to MA Development Studies course?

A large number of Indian universities conduct entrance exams for MA Development Studies admissions. The entrance exams conducted thus vary according to the respective universities. Some of the most sought-after entrance examinations are:

  • JNUEE: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Entrance Examination is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admission to the university's graduate and post-graduate courses. JNUEE is considered to be one of the toughest entrance examinations in India.

  • TISSNET: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences National Entrance Exam (TISSNET) is conducted every year by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). It is an entrance exam through which candidates are selected for various Master’s degree courses in the university.

The important dates of these exams are given below :

Name of Exam Application Period Exam Date Exam Mode
JNUEE 2020 February 2 - June 6, 2020 To be Announced Online
TISSNET 2021 October 15 - November 30, 2020 January 09, 2021 Online

How to prepare for MA Development Studies entrance exams?

Candidates are advised to follow the below mentioned points to score well in the entrance examination: .

  • As entrance examinations vary from one university to another, it is recommended that students prepare for a list of targeted universities and their relevant admission tests.
  • Knowledge of the relevant entrance examination and their respective patterns and syllabus will enable the candidate to prepare for the entrance exam more solemnly.
  • Aspirants must have a good knowledge and a thorough understanding of the concepts related to Development Studies. 
  • The students must have a clear idea of the concepts and syllabus of the relevant entrance tests.
  • Following the rules and regulations of the relevant examinations is another important point that the candidates have to keep in mind while attempting the entrance tests. 
  • Don’t forget to revise things before appearing for the entrance exam, as this is the most important aspect of one’s preparation.  

How to Get Admission in a Good MA Development Studies College?

  • Students can get admission in a good college if they have an astounding academic record in graduation and also on the basis of your performance in various national or state level entrance tests. The greater the score, the better will be the chances of getting admission in the top colleges across India.
  • To succeed in the tough competition of cracking the entrance exams, students must have a proper understanding of the pattern, syllabus and the concepts related to the concerned discipline. 
  • Many universities across India grant admission to students based on their merit or marks obtained in the graduation level. So the students must have a high aggregate score at the graduation level.
  • Some universities prefer considering both the marks of graduation aggregate and entrance exam score for an ultimate merit list. Hence, it is highly recommended that the students get high marks in both these examinations to gain a top position in these merit lists.
  • Keep track of all the important events pertaining to admission so that you will never miss any deadline. Also, keep a track of eligibility criteria, course cut-off, application procedure, application fee and all the updates in newspapers, official websites etc.
  • Students are advised to practice as many papers and questions as they can in order to enhance your time management skills.
MA Development Studies: What is it about?

MA Development Studies: What is it about?

Read the points given below to know what MA Development Studies is all about: 

  • In MA Development Studies course, students have to study elements from Sociology, Political Science and Economics among other allied disciplines. To develop public policy, it is imperative to remember the unique context of the community which is why the course is multidisciplinary in nature.
  • It helps develop an informed perspective on development practices across communities in various countries, especially India. Students admitted to the course learn about the various issues and challenges which hinder the development of a particular community. 
  • This course is perfect for those who wish to understand the dynamics of development in a developing country like India. 
  • In this course, students get to study about project management, behavioural science, foreign languages and perform a lot of fieldwork.

MA Development Studies Course Highlights

The course highlights of MA Development Studies course is provided in the table given below :

Course Level Postgraduate
Full Form Master of Arts Development Studies
Duration 2 Years
Exam Type Semester/Annual
Eligibility Hold a Bachelor’s degree with an aggregate of at least 50% marks. 
Average Annual Fees INR 5,000 to 1,50,000
Average Annual Salary INR 2,50,000 to 6,00,000
Top Recruiting Sectors Consultancies, NGOs, PSUs, Corporate Organizations etc. 
Job Profiles Consultant, Administrator, Social Worker, Teacher, Lecturer etc.

Why Should You Study MA Development Studies? 

There are many benefits of pursuing a MA Development Studies course. The main benefits of pursuing this program are as follows:

Why Study MA Development Studies?
  • Various Career Options: MA degree holders get plenty of career options to choose from. The options range from pursuing a professional course like CA and CS to opting for higher education options such as M.Phil, PhD etc. 
  • Job Opportunities: After post-graduation students get the opportunity to work in sectors. Students passing this course can work in many government and private sectors, they can work in consultancies, PSUs, NGOs, and research organizations. They can work as a Consultant, Administrator, Social Worker, Enterprise Account Manager, Teacher, etc.
  • Higher Salary: Due to various job profiles and job areas to choose from, you will be able to earn a decent salary package. The average salary will be around INR 2,50,000 to 7,00,000. 
  • Variety of Industries: MA degree holders get a chance to explore various industries like - Banks, Advertising Firms, Corporates, Consultancy, Hotels, Sales and Marketing, Human resources, Foreign Trade, etc. after graduation.
  • Entrepreneurship: After completing the course many choose to be an entrepreneur. This is due to the fact that a MA postgraduate knows about consultant, finance, and insurance which aids them in starting a small scale (MSME) business and work towards achieving their goal of being a successful entrepreneur.

MA Development Studies vs MSc Development Studies

MA Development Studies and MSc Development Studies are both post-graduate degree courses of a comprehensive nature. But there are subtle differences between the academic curriculum of these two-degree courses. 

A comparison between the two courses is given below in a tabulated form for better understanding along with their respective fee and expected salaries :

Parameters MA Development Studies MSc Development Studies
Overview MA Development Studies is essentially a degree course of the humanities stream. The aim of this course is to equip students with the historical changes in the configuration of the state, social institutions, and civil society MSc in Development Studies is essentially a degree course in the Science stream. The course curriculum focuses on three key areas affecting mankind, namely social, economic and political sectors. 
Type of Degree Post-graduate Post-graduate
Duration 2 years 2 years
Eligibility Bachelor’s degree in relevant discipline from a recognized university Bachelor’s degree in relevant discipline from a recognized university
Exam Type Semester Semester
Admission Process Entrance/ Merit-Based Entrance Exam
Average Fees INR 6,100 to 1,50,000 INR 20,000 to  1,00,000
Average Salary INR 2,50,000 to 7,00,000 INR 2,00,000 to 7,00,000
Job Profiles Consultant, Administrator, Social Worker, Teacher, Lecturer etc.  School Counsellors, Marriage, Family Therapists, Certified Family Life Educators among others.
Top Recruiters Consultancies, NGOs, PSUs, Corporate Organizations etc.  Counselling, Therapy and Social Services etc. 
Average Annual Fees

Source: College Websites

Annual Salary

Source: College Websites

Which are the Top Colleges for Studying MA Development Studies?

Which are the Top Colleges for Studying MA Development Studies?

A large number of universities across India offer MA Development Studies course. Some of the top universities among them are given below in a tabulated form along with their respective location, average annual fee, and NIRF ranking :

NIRF Ranking 2020 Name of the College/ University Admission Process Average Annual Fees Average Annual Salary
7 IIT Guwahati Entrance-Based INR 30,350 INR 7,85,000
8 JNU, New Delhi Entrance-Based INR 12,600 INR 6,55,000
32 NIT Rourkela Merit-Based INR 56,500 INR 5,00,000
63 Amity University, Noida Merit-Based INR 1,06,000 INR 5,25,000
151 Annamalai University, Chidambaram Merit-Based INR 5,885 INR 3,36,000
151 Central University of South Bihar, Patna Merit-Based INR 14,218 INR 4,75,000
__ University of Kota, Kota Merit-Based INR 6,000 INR 3,55,000
__ Azim PremJi University, Bangalore Merit-Based INR 22,500 INR 3,20,000
__ TISS, Hyderabad Entrance-Based INR 64,500 INR 6,36,000

Source: College Websites

College Comparison for MA Development Studies

The comparison of the top three Indian universities offering MA Development Studies is given below in a tabular form along with their average annual fees, and average placement package offered:

Parameters IIT Guwahati JNU, New Delhi NIT Rourkela
Overview IIT Guwahati is considered a prestigious institute across the country. It offers a large number of programs at the UG, PG and the Research level.  JNU was established in 1969. It is the leading public university in India for studying Liberal Arts and Applied Sciences. It is a university of NAAC ‘A++’ grade that offers quality education and academic research opportunities in a variety of streams and disciplines. NIT Rourkela has been ranked 32nd in NIRF 2020 overall rankings. The Institute offers 2 undergraduate, 3 postgraduate courses in the field management and technology. It also provides doctoral programs in multiple disciplines.
NIRF Ranking 2020 7 8 32
Eligibility Criteria Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies or equivalent from a recognized university.  Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies or equivalent from a recognized university.  Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies or equivalent from a recognized university. 
Admission Process Entrance-Based Entrance-Based Merit-Based
Average Fees INR 30,350 INR 12,600 INR 56,500
Average Annual Salary INR 7,85,000 INR 6,55,000 INR 5,00,000
Top Recruiting Areas Consultancy Services, Government PSUs, NGOs, Corporate Organizations, Research Organizations etc.  Consultancy Services, Government PSUs, NGOs, Corporate Organizations, Research Organizations etc.  Consultancy Services, Government PSUs, NGOs, Corporate Organizations, Research Organizations etc. 

Average Annual Salary

Source: College Websites

MA Development Studies Distance Learning

Students who are unable to get admission to the MA Development Studies course in regular mode can also pursue the same through Distance Learning mode. Before taking admission, Students must check for the validity of the course and the college in distance or correspondence mode.

  • In order to be eligible for this course through correspondence mode students must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies or equivalent from a recognized university.
  • The minimum duration required to complete this course from distance mode is 2 year and the maximum duration of the same is 5 years.
  • Admission to MA Development Studies course through correspondence mode will be done based on the candidate's merit in the Bachelor’s degree examination. 
  • The average fee for the course ranges from INR 10,000 to INR 35,000 annually.

Given below are some colleges which offer this course through distance mode.

College/ University Name Admission Process Average course Fee
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi Merit-Based INR 10,800
What are the Subjects Covered in MA Development Studies Syllabus?

What are the Subjects Covered in MA Development Studies Syllabus?

The MA Development Studies syllabus includes a comprehensive and integrative curriculum of both theoretical and practical study spread over the four semesters in two years. A semester-wise breakup of the general syllabus for MA Development Studies is given below in a tabulated form: 

Semester 1 Semester 2
Fundamentals of Economics Human Development
Fundamentals of Geography Project Management
Introduction to Development Studies Social Work Research
Communication skills & Behavioural Science Programming Techniques
Semester 3 Semester 4
Micro Finance Disaster Management
Gender & Development Environment Management
Rural & Urban Development Civil Society
Development of Administration & Planning Block Placement

What are the Career Options and Job Profiles Available After Completing MA Development Studies?

  • The areas of employment for students who have completed an MA Development Studies program include opportunities in academic and research fields. Both public and private sector undertakings employ the post-graduates for advanced research and exploration. 
  • MA Development Studies degree holders will be able to find jobs in numerous sectors including Consultancy Services, Government PSUs, NGOs, Corporate Organizations, Research Organizations etc. 
  • Students will be able to find jobs as a Social Worker, Teacher, Researcher, Public Policy Consultant etc. 

Some of the popular professional jobs available to MA Development Studies degree holders along with the corresponding salaries are provided in the table given below: 

Job Profile Job Description Average Annual Salary
Public Policy Consultant A Public Policy Consultant usually acts as a liaison between the public, elected officials, volunteers, community partners, advocates and their organization.  INR 7,44,000
Social Worker A Social Worker is responsible for addressing the issues faced by the unprivileged community.  INR 3,64,000
Lecturer/ Professor A Lecturer/ Professor is responsible for teaching students at the undergraduate level in an institute.  INR 6,63,000
Admission Officer An Admission Officer is responsible for organizing, operating and carrying out various admission procedures in a particular educational institute.  INR 5,63,000
Researcher A Researcher is responsible for carrying out various research activities in the field of Development.  INR 8,46,000

Salary vs Job Profiles

Source: College Websites

What is the Future Scope After Completing a MA Development Studies Course?

What is the Future Scope After Completing a MA Development Studies Course? 

Students who have completed the MA Development Studies program have numerous career options. The future scopes for students of MA Development Studies are given below :

Higher and advanced education: Students can opt for higher advanced education and research opportunities after completing their MA Development Studies postgraduate course. The higher education options they can pursue are :

  • B.Ed.: For those who want to pursue a career as a school teacher in either public schools or private schools can consider enrolling in a B.Ed degree course. This course can provide them with the necessary insights required for teaching at different school levels.
  • M.Phil.: Post-graduate students can opt for pursuing an MPhil Development Studies. This will present them with a scope to gain more thorough and intense knowledge over the subject and will provide them with opportunities for academic research.
  • PhD: Students can also enrol in PhD in Development Studies course. Along with in-depth research and studies on the subject, this provides massive scope for further employment with higher pay-scales.
  • Competitive Exams:Students, after completing their post-graduation in Development Studies, can appear in different competitive examinations for government jobs, including UPSC CSE, IFS, and PSC of different states.
  • Junior Research Fellowship:Students can also appear for NTA-UGC NET-JRF that will grant them eligibility for employment as Assistant Professor in Indian colleges and universities, and also open up research avenues in top universities.

So, after completing MA Development Studies course students will be able to choose a career as per their skills and area of interest. You can go for higher education or you can also opt for a decent job. It all depends on you whether you want to do the job after completing this course or you wish to do research for the betterment of the world. 

MA Development Studies FAQs

MA Development Studies FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to MA Development Studies program are given below: 

Ques. Is MA Development Studies a good course?

Ans. Yes, it is a good course for those who want to learn the historical changes in the configuration of the state, markets, social institutions, and civil society and their increasing consequences on developing societies, such as India.

Ques. Is the MA Development course difficult?

Ans. It totally depends on the student if the student is interested in the course then it will be easy for them to pursue it, but if they are not interested, then it is difficult for that student to do the course.

Ques. Are there delays in the MA examination admission process due to COVID-19?

Ans. Yes, there are some changes in the dates of examination for admission. Students can check it on the website of the college for further details.

Ques. Is there any difference between the MBA and MA course?

Ans. Yes, there is a huge difference between these courses as an MBA is done for management and commerce whereas MA is done for arts and humanities and it consists of development studies.

Ques. Which course is better: MBA or MA?

Ans. It cannot be determined but most students prefer MBA as it has more scope in the future as compared to MA.

Ques. I have done BSc Physics (Hons) from Delhi University. Can I apply to an MA Development Studies course?

Ans. Yes. Students of any stream can take admission to this course be it Commerce, Arts, Humanities or Science.

Ques. Are there any good colleges in Delhi to pursue an MA Development Studies course?

Ans. Yes, there are a number of good colleges for MA Development Studies in Delhi such as JNU, IGNOU etc. 

Ques. Can I pursue another degree course with this course in full time?

Ans. No, it is not acceptable. A student can take admission in one course at a time for a full-time course and it is not allowed also. 

Ques. I have done an MA from Distance Learning. Am I still eligible for government jobs?

Ans. Yes, after completing an MA, you can apply for a government job and can also apply for PhD or MPhil in Development Studies.

Master of Arts [MA] (Development Studies) Fee Structure in India


2.62 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES1.80 L  (Maximum Fee)
64.53 K (Average Fee)
2.60 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES2.12 L (Maximum Fee)
65.90 K (Average Fee)

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