Institute for International
Cooperation and Development Studies

Development and International Cooperation
Official title

Development and International Cooperation

Aimed at: People interested in professional training in the field of international development cooperation.

The Official Master's Degree in Development and International Cooperation is aimed at professional training in international cooperation and underpinned by the principles of equity, fighting poverty, human development and sustainability.

The Official Master's Degree in Development and International Cooperation is aimed at professional training in international cooperation and underpinned by the principles of equity, fighting poverty, human development and sustainability.

The Official Master's Degree in Development and International Cooperation is part of the range of official qualifications of the University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), and is coordinated by the Hegoa Institute and the Department of Applied Economics at the UPV/EHU.

The master's degree is mainly aimed at the professional training and academic eduction of students in the field of international development cooperation and which is underpinned by the principles of equity, fighting poverty, human development and sustainability. From this perspective, students receive first-rate and multidisciplinary professional training, aimed at better employment and personal insertion in the field of development cooperation.

Therefore, the master's degree is focused on studying the complex variety of phenomena that impact development processes and condition international cooperation. The course is taught by academic staff with extensive experience and a proven track record in the different areas, from the university and from cooperation organisations and institutions.  The academic programme also includes compulsory internships in cooperation development projects in different countries.

Entrance requirements

  • Any undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification (short-cycle degree, long-cycle degree, engineering, architecture).

  • The academic record, professional or voluntary experience, particularly as an aid worker in a southern hemisphere country or in a DNGO, supporting letter and knowledge of languages  will be assessed when selecting the students. Other admission requirements, along with holding the necessary qualification, are providing a curriculum vitae and accrediting the merits cited.

  • Foreign students must be able to express themselves correctly in written and spoken Spanish.


Compulsory subjects

  • Introduction to the global economy: classifications, indicators and premises.
  • Globalisation: concept, actors and tendencies.
  • International commercial relations and the World Trade Organisation.
  • International finances, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • The social effects of globalisation.
  • Eduardo Bidaurratzaga Aurre
  • Juan Barredo Zurriarain
  • Efren Areskurrinaga Mirandona
  • Patxi Zabalo Arena

  • Institutional bases of the international system.
    • Order and institutions in the international system.
    • Actors of the international system.
    • The structure and dynamic of the international system.
  • A short approximation to the discipline of International Relations.
    • Four big debates.
    • Most imporant theories (and their variants): realism, liberalism, international society school, critical theory, social constructivism, feminism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism.
  • Applied analysis of International Relations Theory.
    • Critical analysis of the current international peacebuilding regime (liberal peace model).
    • Peace analysis and international security from the feminist theory of International Relations.


  • Itziar Mujika Chao
  • iker zirion landaluze
  • Caterina García Segura
  • Itziar Ruiz-Giménez Arrieta

  • Social processes and tendencies in global society.
  • Transformations in the social, economic and political structure of societies.
  • Theories on the cultural transformations of globalisation.
  • The transformations of the fundamental social institutions in current society.
  • Social complexity, diversity and cultural hibridity. 
  • The new era of migrations.
  • New processes of integration.
  • Conflict and social mobilisation in the global space.
  • Oihane García Santiago
  • Zésar Martínez García
  • Gorka Moreno Márquez
  • Benjamín Tejerina Montaña
  • Amaia Inza Bartolomé

  • Introduction to development debates. Development Studies from an historical perspective. Subjects and areas of development. Development, an evolving concept. The links between development, capitalism and socialism. The debates on development indicators.
  • Development, growth and wellbeing. The role of trade and growth: Protectionist and pro-free trade strategies. Growth and the question of underdevelopment. Growth and macroeconomic adjustment: adjustment as strategy. Growth in cities and its effects on the rural medium.
  • Development and structural transformation. The structural dimensions of development. The conception of underdevelopment as structural situation. Dualism at an international scale and the centre-periphery system. Industrialisation and structural change. Structuralism and dependency theory. World systems. Indicators related to structural change.
  • Development from a gender perspective. Patriarchy, capitalism and development. Relations of masculine domination and the development strategies. Social reproduction, the sustainability of life and caring. Feminisms and development. Development indicators referred to gender relations.
  • Human development, human poverty and inequalities. The debate on the objectives and the means of development. Development and the satisfaction of necessities: different approximations. The relations between growth, inequality and poverty in the debates on development. The characterisation of poverty and inequality: main approaches. Poverty and inequality indicators.
  • Development and sustainability. Sustainability in economic thought. Debates on the limits if natural resources and growth. From the Meadows Report to the Brundtland Report. Approximations and interpretations on sustainability. Indicators related to sustainability.
  • Critical visions and alternatives to development: The Good Living paradigm. Postmaterialist critique to the conventional notion of development. Alternative developments or alternatives to development? The Good Living proposal, its genealogy and different waves. Good Living objectives. Latin American experiences: transitions and (neo) extractivism.
  • Yolanda Jubeto Díaz
  • Iker Etxano Gandariasbeitia
  • Unai Villalba Eguiluz

  • Introduction to research: methodologies and strategies.
  • Quantitative analysis in social research: gathering and analysing data.
  • Qualitative techniques in the social sciences: gathering and analysing data.
  • Introduction to Excel and to descriptive analysis.
  • Frequency distribution: univariate and bivariate.
  • Statistical measures. Regression and correlation.
  • María Belén Castro Íñigo
  • Amaia De Sarachu Campos
  • Ana Irene Del Valle Loroño
  • María Antonia Ispizua Uribarri
  • Luis María Zupiria Gorostidi

  • The international development cooperation system: characteristics and evolution.
  • Basic concepts, modalities and instruments of cooperation.
  • Development funding.
  • International cooperation in the face of a context of global change.
  • International development agenda and its implications for cooperation.
  • International development cooperation in the face of future challenges.

  • Jorge Gutiérrez Goiria
  • Ignacio Martínez Martínez

  • What should be the concerns of development when adding a “gender perspective”?
  • What (theoretical, practical and emotional) limitations are we faced with when conducting our work from this perspective?
  • Analysis frameworks in the study of sex-gender relations in development.
  • Women in the different development currents.
  • Yolanda Jubeto Ruiz
  • Roxana Volio Monge

  • EU development cooperation politics.
  • Cooperation policies in Spain: centralised and decentralised.
  • Development cooperation, the environment and the ecological crisis.
  • Development cooperation and social movements.
  • Development cooperation, transnational corporations and human rights.
  • Jokin Alberdi Bidaguren
  • Maria Iratxe Amiano Bonaechea
  • Júlia Martí Comas
  • Irati Labaien Egiguren
  • Sofia Marroquin Guerrero
  • Noemí de la Fuente Pereda

  • Identifying the problems that normally show up in identification and planning processes. Learning about different methodologies to face them and acquiring the capacity to identify and plan a project following the Logical Framework Approach.
  • Situating the role of formulation in the project cycle. Focusing on the most common problems in formulation. Acquiring the capacity to formulate a project and learning about valuation procedures.
  • Focusing on the most common problems in projects follow up and comprehending the role of evaluation as a learning tool. Highlighting the most common problems in the evaluation of projects.
  • María Viadero Acha
  • Carlos Puig Lizarraga
  • Miguel Ángel Sabalza Boj

The Master’s dissertation consists in the elaboration of an original project, report or study under the supervision of one or more supervisors, where the contents, capabilities, competencies and abilities acquired during the master’s course, are integrated and developed. The work will be defended in front of a tribunal that will evaluate each student’s capacity of applying the acquired knowledge from each subjects’ theoretical and practical part.

The practicum consists in an internship during a period of at least three months and a maximum of six, in a development cooperation Project in Africa, Asia, Latin America or Europe during which the knowledge acquired during the course will have to be applied.

Optional subjects

  • Armed conflicts, post-war rehabilitation and peace building.
    • Conflicts, violence, peace: conceptual approximations.
    • The impacts and debates on the causes of armed conflicts.
    • Post-war rehabilitation and peace building.
  • Humanitarian action.
  • Terminological distinction.
  • Origins, objectives and characteristics.
  • Humanitarian principles.
  • Juridical and institutional framework.
  • Irantzu Mendia Azkue
  • iker zirion landaluze

  • Development Education and Global Citizenship Education. Origins and evolution.
  • The crisis of educational modernity. Keys to comprehend Education for an emancipatory transition.
  • Networks, social movements and the political role of the mass media.
  • Gema Celorio Díaz
  • Juanjo Celorio Díaz
  • Queli Fueyo Gutiérrez

  • Basic definitions and evolution of human rights.
  • National, regional and international protection systems in relation to human rights.
  • Human rights in emergency situations.
  • Human rights from a development perspective.
  • Impunity and violence: how does it affect projects?
  • Felipe Gómez Isa
  • Esteban Beltrán Verdés
  • Arantza Chacón Ormazabal

  • Introduction: Sustainability, Development and Cooperation.
    • Diagnosis: unsustainability in the global development model.
    • Ecological crisis and economic crisis.
    • From economic and development indicators to (un)sustainability biophysical indicators.
    • Sustainability in international cooperation: evolution, agenda and challenges.
  • Human development and sustainability.
    • 2030 Agenda and SDGs.
    • The debate on sustainability in human development.
    • Capabilities approach, welfare and sustainability.
    • Case study analysis and methodological evaluation proposal.
    • Challenges for development cooperation.
  •  Ecological debt and environmental justice.
    1. Ecological debt: concept and measurement.
    2. Social metabolism and North-South inequalities.
    3. Environmental justice: concept, approximations and implications.
    4. Socio-ecological conflicts and global resistance movements.
    5. Challenges for development cooperation.
  • Sustainability and cooperation.
    1. Introduction: concepts and evolution.
    2. General framework for action.
    3. North-South and South-South cooperation.
    4. Sectoral policies.
    5. Transversal policies.
    6. Resources and funding.
  • Integrating sustainability in cooperation policies.
    1. The case study method.
    2. The project cycle.
    3. Case study: sustainability in development cooperation projects.
    4. Analysis and reflection: Towards an ecological transformation of development cooperation?
    • Iker Etxano Gandariasbeitia
    • Izaro Basurco Pérez de Arenaz


The master’s degree is made up of face-to-face classes, seminars and supervised assignments. Face-to-face classes are theoretical and practical in nature, always aiming for the maximum participation by the students. The subjects related to work with development indicators are carried out in IT rooms so that the students can get familiarised with the programmes more commonly utilised in statistical calculations and the construction of indicators. The seminars are organised around monographs and are oriented towards the treatment and the analysis of specific topics related to the subjects seen throughout the master’s degree. The topics are treated by specialists and are generally organised jointly with students from the master’s degree in Globalisation and Development and the master’s degree in Development and International Cooperation. Each student needs to write a final report after completing the internship.


Although each subject might have different evaluation procedures depending on the characteristics of the subjects and the methodology of the work predominantly used by the teachers, the mechanisms used to evaluate the knowledge of the students is the following:

  • Shown interest and participation in class.
  • Fulfilment of individual or group work.
  • Presentations in class.
  • Fulfilment of practical exercises.
  • Group tests proposed by the teachers.

If you wish to learn more about the master's degree and the syllabus, visit its web page on the UPV/EHU site.