Degree Requirements

Pisac, Inca Sacred Valley, Peru (2013)

Pisac, Inca Sacred Valley, Peru (2013)


The Program is offered on a full-time and part-time basis, with a recommended completion time of 20 months. The Program offers both Thesis and Major Research Paper (MRP) options. Degree requirements for each option are as follows:

Degree OptionCompletion TimeYear/TermsRequirements
Thesis Option20 months5 terms of enrolment

Year 1: fall, winter & summer terms; Year 2: fall & winter terms
Three full course equivalents

4 three-credit core courses
2 three-credit electives
Field work
Thesis
Major Research Paper (MRP)20 months5 terms of enrolment


Year 1: fall, winter & summer terms; Year 2: fall & winter terms
Three and one-half (3½) full course equivalents

4 three-credit core coursese
3 three-credit electives
Field work
Major research paper

Option 1 - MA Degree by Thesis

MA Degree by Thesis

The thesis option requires students to complete twenty-seven credits within a twenty-month (5 term) timeframe.

Courses and Credits

Students are required to take 18 graduate-level course credits (4 three-credit core courses and 2 three-credit electives).

Four required core courses:

  • DVST 5100 3.0:  Conceptual Foundations of Development  - 3 credits
  • DVST 5101 3.0:  Historical and Institutional Foundations of Development - 3 credits
  • DVST 5120 3.0:  Research Methods for Development - 3 credits
  • DVST 5122 3.0:  Critical Reflections on Field Work and Writing - 3 credits

Two elective courses* from among:

  • DVST 5110 3.0:  Development, Political Economy & Policy - 3 credits
  • DVST 5111 3.0:  Civil Society in Development Discourse and Practice - 3 credits
  • DVST 5112 3.0:  Cultural Politics of Development - 3 credits
  • DVST 5121 3.0:  Tools and Policy Analysis for Development - 3 credits

Fieldwork and Research Credits

Students are required to complete 9 credits worth of Field Work and Research requirements.

  • Fieldwork - 3 credits
  • Thesis - 6 credits

Total

  • 27 credits

*One three-credit elective course may be selected from other programs with permission of program director. See list of out-of-program electives.

Thesis

Master’s theses should demonstrate that the student is familiar with and has an acceptable understanding of the literature in the subject of the thesis; that appropriate research methods have been used; and that appropriate levels of critical analysis have been applied. The research embodied in the thesis should make some original contribution to knowledge in the field.

The research and results should demonstrate the Candidate's independence, originality, and understanding of the area of investigation at an advanced level. A candidate pursuing the thesis option is expected to produce a methodologically rigorous, theoretically informed, and comprehensive analysis of a chosen topic through original, independent research. It should engage with the state of knowledge in the field and synthesize secondary data and fieldwork based primary data. A thesis must draw upon the student’s own data gathered through fieldwork.

There are no precise requirements for length, but a reasonable guideline would be 85 to 100 double-spaced typewritten pages excluding bibliography and footnotes/endnotes. Students must comply with the requirements for the preparation, submission and distribution of theses as described in the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Guide for the Preparation and Examination of Theses and Dissertations. Aside from requirements established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the thesis should follow normal scholarly standards in form.

Master’s theses shall be on a topic approved by the student’s supervisor and supervisory committee and requires the submission of a thesis proposal, including appropriate ethics review, for approval in accordance with Faculty and program requirements and procedures. The thesis is written under the supervision of a Thesis Supervisory Committee consisting of three faculty members, including one from outside the program. The thesis supervisor should be chosen from the program’s list of faculty.  All students are strongly encouraged to finalize their supervisory committee by October of their first year. It is extremely important that students involve the three members of the committee in the research/writing processes from the beginning of the study. Upon completion, the thesis must be defended in an oral examination before a Thesis Examining Committee, made up of two faculty members from the program and one from another program.

Option 2: MA Degree by Major Research Paper (MRP)

MA Degree by Major Research Paper (MRP)

The major research paper option requires students to complete twenty-seven credits within a twenty-month (5 term) timeframe.

Courses and Credits

Students are required to take 21 graduate-level course credits (4 three-credit core courses and 3 three-credit electives).

Four required core courses:

  • DVST 5100 3.0:  Conceptual Foundations of Development  - 3 credits
  • DVST 5101 3.0:  Historical and Institutional Foundations of Development - 3 credits
  • DVST 5120 3.0:  Research Methods for Development - 3 credits
  • DVST 5122 3.0:  Critical Reflections on Field Work and Writing - 3 credits

Three elective courses* from among:

  • DVST 5110 3.0:  Development, Political Economy & Policy - 3 credits
  • DVST 5111 3.0:  Civil Society in Development Discourse and Practice - 3 credits
  • DVST 5112 3.0:  Cultural Politics of Development - 3 credits
  • DVST 5121 3.0:  Tools and Policy Analysis for Development - 3 credits

Fieldwork and Research Credits

Students are required to complete 6 credits worth of Field Work and Research requirements.

  • Fieldwork - 3 credits
  • MRP - 3 credits

Total

  • 27 credits

*One three-credit elective course may be selected from other programs with permission of program director. See list of out-of-program electives.

Major Research Paper (MRP)

The MRP constitutes the sustained exploration of a theoretical or empirical question to provide an in-depth analysis of a topic by preferably weaving together theoretical debates and empirical evidence. As a research project the MRP is generally narrower in scope, less complex in methodology and/or less ambitious in data gathering and analysis than a thesis. The MRP should normally be related to the student’s fieldwork but it may not necessarily contain original primary data. The MRP may take the form of a review of literature in a field, the exploration or synthesis of various points of view in a subject area, or a pilot study for a larger project.

Major Review Papers shall be on a topic approved by the student’s supervisor and supervisory committee and requires the submission of an MRP proposal, including appropriate ethics review, for approval in accordance with Faculty and program requirements and procedures. The MRP is written under the supervision of an MRP Supervisory Committee consisting of two faculty members, a Supervisor and a Second Reader. The MRP supervisor should be chosen from the program’s list of faculty. All students are strongly encouraged to finalize their supervisory committee by October of their first year. Even though students will be working primarily under the guidance of their supervisor, it is extremely important that they involve both members of the committee in the research/writing processes from the beginning of the study. Upon completion of the complete final draft, the Second Reader will assess the MRP and provide feedback and suggestions for changes. The student will be required to defend the revised version orally before both readers. Master’s MRPs are normally graded on a Pass/Fail basis. The final draft of the MRP has to be formatted based on the program’s guidelines. Major Research Papers should be between 40 and 50 double-spaced pages in length.