About us

International development draws on economics, politics, sociology, cultural studies and history to produce a holistic picture of the issues faced by the global South.

It addresses questions of poverty, inequalities (based on gender, ethnicity and power), conflict, migration and globalisation. Increasingly it focuses on the interconnections between the global South and North in responding to these challenges, especially the alleviation of poverty and response to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.

This new course provides graduates with the research skills and expertise needed to respond to a wide range of employment opportunities in diverse sectors - from helping local and national governments seeking to understand the impact of policy decisions and NGOs looking to inform the public about neglected aspects of society to corporations trying to market their products effectively.

Why choose us?

    UEL is the only university that offers an undergraduate course in International Development with NGO Management. It's been running for ten years and the wealth of experience and contacts we've built up is exceptional.

    90% overall satisfaction ratings for the Politics courses by our students, which ranks us at  4th place in London (National Student Survey 2018).

    Our students have secured jobs at sector-leading organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, The British Red Cross, The Refugee Council and the World Health Organisation after graduating.

    Our facilities

    Our libraries and learning services are at the very heart of the University. We have a superb range of resources and facilities to help you with your studies and we're committed to offering you a first-class student experience.

    Our libraries

    Our Stratford library, opened at a cost of £14 million, is a state-of-the-art building which provides an inspirational environment for study and research. Overlooking the Royal Docks, our modern Docklands library is another fantastic space for learning, offering a wide range of resources as well as group and silent study facilities. It's also home to the UEL Skillzone, where you can get extra help with your academic writing.

    Open 24/7

    Both our libraries are open 24/7 during term time, giving you maximum flexibility about when you choose to study. As well as visiting our libraries in person, you can also take advantage of our growing collection of electronic resources, including e-books, e-journals and databases.

    Student Support hubs

    To ensure our students get the best possible support, we've opened brand-new Student Support hubs at our Docklands and Stratford campuses - at a cost of £3.1 million. These contain centralised helpdesks as well as comfortable areas to relax and socialise.


    The helpdesks provide a 'one-stop shop' for every possible need, from course-related enquiries to personal issues such as health and money matters. They're designed to be your first port of call if you have an enquiry or problem. 

    It’s a fantastic university. You have so many opportunities and your lecturers really help you to get into the career you want to. When I joined Childreach International, we were based on the second floor of Knowledge Dock at UEL. Now we’re a £3.7 million charity with over 700,000 beneficiaries to date. It’s been an incredible journey.

    Rachel Neiman

    BA (Hons) International Development with NGO Management

    What we're researching

    We're involved in wide range of research through numerous research centres and groups – united by a desire to improve social justice and individual wellbeing. We have embedded our learning and research practice in the rapid changes and complex relations of this urban laboratory.

    Our staff

    Find out more about our staff by visiting our School of Education and Communities.

    Visit the School of Education and Communities


    Graduates with social science Master's degrees are in high demand. Recent data shows that social science graduates are more likely to be in paid employment than arts or science graduates, and more likely to secure managerial roles. 

    Increased focus on people, relationships and communication skills means that our Sociology  and  Sociology with Criminology students have gone into fields as diverse as teaching, human resources, the police and journalism.

    With a degree in Politics, International Development,  Sociology and Sociology with Criminology  or NGO Management, you will have excellent opportunities to work in exciting and engaging organisations around the world and in your local community. We equip you with the skills and qualities that are attractive to NGOs, government bodies, local councils, charities, and government advisory companies, as well as many more employers. A dedicated career path after university could lead to working at international organisations such as the European Union, the OECD, the World Bank, the United Nations, and many more.

    Our students have gone on to work in roles that give ultimate job satisfaction – working for positive change in the world – setting up their own NGOs to work in Peru, India, Tanzania, the Congo; working on the logistics of delivering humanitarian aid; doing policy work for the UK's Department for International Development or World Health Organisation, and fundraising for charitable foundations.

    At UEL, you'll have access to:

    • Employability skills training such as interview techniques and CV writing.
    • Career Assessment, giving you the opportunity to learn about yourself and Career Coach will help you to discover career suggestions based on your interests.
    • UEL Skills Academy, where external professionals deliver sessions on the competencies most prized by graduate employers.
    • Internships, placements and volunteering opportunities from our work placements team.
    • Professional mentoring scheme, matching students with staff from major companies.
    • Networking opportunities and annual careers fair.
    • Support with setting up your own business.

    Our location


    Our location in one of Europe's largest regeneration areas and our extensive links to local employers will also give you access to fantastic internships and placements. From heavy industry to high-tech, health and social care to the arts, there are so many opportunities right on our doorstep.

    Career Coach

    Our online Career Coach shows you the different career paths that your chosen subject area can lead you to. It gives you information on specific careers, job roles, potential wages and available jobs in the sector. You can also take a quick quiz to find a career to match your personality type!

    Explore Career Coach

    Recent publications

    Undergraduate courses

    BA (Hons) International Development with NGO Management

    Research and analyse complex problems, such as globalisation and climate change, develop your own ideas, find a career in International Development.

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    BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

    Our innovative Politics and International Relations course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to play an active role in the world of global politics.

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    BA (Hons) Sociology

    Your first two years on the degree will prepare you to conduct your own research project on a subject of your own choice supervised by one of your lecturers and you will also gain valuable work experience by doing a work placement in your final year.

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    BA (Hons) Sociology with Criminology

    On this course, you'll study these issues in the vibrant, multicultural setting of east London. You'll graduate with a degree that has vocational relevance, while putting no limit on your career options.

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    Postgraduate courses

    MA Conflict, Displacement and Human Security

    The course approaches development as an important security strategy and considers displacement a measure of human security. We will encourage you to adopt an independent critical approach to contemporary theories of conflict, human rights and human security.

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    MSc International Relations

    The course will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the forces shaping global politics and state and inter-state relations. It will also give you an appreciation of the context of international relations in terms of global inequalities, power and environmental risks.

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    MSc NGO and Development Management

    This course examines the central issues facing developing countries in today's globalised world, giving you the skills for a job in development and the wider sectors.  Our aim is to make you an informed and critical development practitioner.

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    MA Refugee Studies

    Our internationally recognised course will give you a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of global refugee movements, the processes which lie behind the search for protection and asylum and the diverse local, national and international responses to forced displacement.

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