Admission requirements - MSc International Development Studies

Interested in the master's programme International Development Studies? Find out whether your knowledge and skills match the entry level of the programme.

This page specifically describes the previous knowledge and skills required for admission to the International Development Studies programme. For the additional general admission requirements of Wageningen University & Research, application deadlines and the application procedure, visit How to apply for a master's programme?

Are you interested in the programme, but not sure whether your background matches the stated requirements? Feel free to contact us.

Admission requirements

Required knowledge and skills

Purpose and reason for the admission requirements

The admission requirements for the master’s programme International Development Studies are defined in such a way that the students should be able to successfully complete the program nominally in two years. In order to comply, the student needs to have sufficient knowledge on social sciences and/or economics in order to be able to successfully follow the different specializations within the international development studies programme.

The criterion used for admission is

a WUR BSc degree in International Development Studies, Tourism, Health and Society, Economics and Governance, Management and Consumer Studies, Communication and Life Sciences, or equivalent.

The norm for this equivalence is

≥60 ECTS in either:

  • Social sciences (for example: sociology, anthropology, communication sciences, human and cultural geography) and/or Political sciences (policy development, governance)
  • Economics (micro- and/or macroeconomics, business economics, behavioural economics, development economics).


  • Research methodology (socio-economic research methods, basics in statistics)

Method of assessment whether this norm is met

  • Transcript of records displaying the content of previous course subjects and project work;

  • Curriculum vitae displaying relevant work, internship and/or project experience on an academic level in a relevant field if applicable.

Scores attributed by the Admission Board

Admitted / not admitted / admitted under condition obtaining the BSc or MSc degree / not admitted with offer of pre-master

Compensation of knowledge gaps

The Admission Board may allow and/or suggest compensation of knowledge gaps by:

  • a GPA≥7.0* for the previous education for small discrepancies as new knowledge is sufficiently easily acquired;
  • a GPA≥7.0* and an individual pre-master's programme for larger discrepancies that can be compensated in ≤30 ECTS and one year of study.

*Check the general admissions page for the International credentials evaluation guide for international equivalencies to a Dutch GPA>7.0. This guide includes compensating factors for a slightly lower GPA the Admission Board may include in their judgement.

Contact us through the contact button above to discuss the possibilities of a pre-master or how to mitigate knowledge gaps if you are still in the process of obtaining your degree.

Find out more about enrolment and fees of a pre-master's programme.

Additional context for admission

Admissible study programmes

Do you have a relevant degree (B.A. or BSc) in the social sciences or economics from a university in the Netherlands or abroad? Graduates from these following programmes may meet the knowledge requirements:

  • Social Sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology and Development
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • European Studies
  • International Relations and International Organizations
  • Environmental Social Studies
  • Political Science
  • Human Geography
  • Sociology

If you have a relevant University of Applied Sciences (NL: hbo) degree in the Netherlands related to the social sciences, economics, or development studies, you may meet (part of) the admission requirements making you admissible or admissible after completion of a pre-master. For example: International Tourism Management and Consultancy, and Global Project and Change Management. You can apply for admission indicating which relevant courses you have done.

Inadmissible study programmes

Study programmes whose graduates rarely meet the knowledge and skills requirements are for example: Psychology, Languages and Educational Sciences (NL: Pedagogische Wetenschappen).

Did you do a bachelor’s in technical sciences, life sciences or (relevant) management sciences?

Chances are high that you are not admissible to the MSc International Development Studies (MID). However, WUR also offers the MSc Development and Rural Innovation (MDR). MID and MDR are sister programmes, designed for different target groups. MDR is specifically designed for students who haven’t done a Bachelor’s in social sciences or economics, but would like to do a social sciences master’s with an emphasis on international development. Please check the admission criteria for both study programmes to see what applies to you.

Please note this is a two year programme, but registered with DUO as a one year programme. This may affect the duration of your DUO student loan and/or travel product. For more information, see Extra Studiefinanciering WU and DUO.