Local development - a.y. 2019/20

The Local Development programme trains professionals to be able to help private and public organizations, enterprises, local communities, civil society movements acting in the territory to draft local development policies.


Level: Master

Field of study: LM-81- Development co-operation

Degree awarded: Master of Science in Local Development

Start date: September 2019

Location: Padova (part in Legnaro Campus)

Available places: European candidates or non-European candidates residing in Italy: unlimited; Non-European candidates residing outside Italy: 15.

  Course description

This degree course is held entirely in English, and provides a thorough understanding of specific forms and social, economic, regional and institutional dynamics that characterize the processes of local development in different contexts and at different levels of development, and knowledge aimed at promoting the implementation of a sustainability process (policies, operational practices).
In particular, this degree course objective seeks to provide an in-depth application of the different methodologies used for the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects for local development.

This degree course includes activities dedicated to acquiring advanced knowledge in the fields of political, economic, regional and social organization, statistics for the measurement of local and sustainable development, intercultural learnings, design and development of group dynamics.
The course includes an on-site traineeship, in Italy or abroad, in conjunction with relevant authorities and NGOs, to conduct the case study that will provide the starting point for the Master's degree course final exam.

  Course structure

All selected applicants must attend the Kick-off Seminar (KOS), which provides a preliminary overview of the course. The KOS will take place from 23rd to 27th September 2019 at the Geography Division (Via del Santo, 26) of the Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World. Participation in the KOS is compulsory.

  • Geographical space: theoretical and empirical approaches
  • GIS for Local Development
  • Territorial practices for Local Development
  • Governance of Local Development
  • Essentials of project planning and evaluation
  • Environmental and social responsibility in Local Development process
  • Economic processes in Local Development
  • Topics in political economy: regions and cities
  • Economic policy and Local Development
  • Social dynamics in Local Development
  • Group dynamics and transformative learning
  • Knowledge, communication and communities in motion
  • How to measure Local Development
  • How to measure the impact of Local Development programmes
  • Internship and thesis

Detailed information on course units

  Career opportunities

This degree course prepares students for professions in local development and more generally in development cooperation in different social and regional contexts, with non-governmental organizations, government at various levels, international organizations and agencies, professional and neighborhood associations. Potential employment opportunities lie in the broad field of development cooperation - especially decentralized - and the promotion of community development in terms of context analysis and feasibility studies, activities under the project cycle, participation in the elaboration and evaluation of policies and programs of this sector.

  Entry requirements

  1. University Bachelor's degree equivalent to an Italian Laurea triennale of at least 180 credits.
    Students may come from a number of disciplinary fields, including: political science, international relations and diplomacy; international economics, management, cooperation and development; intercultural communication, media and cultural studies; international law; linguistics; political philosophy; geography; psychology; sociology; history.
  2. Linguistic proficiency: certificated B2 level of English (mother tongue candidates are exempted from the obligation to send the certificate).
  3. Academic attainment: a degree classification equivalent to at least 95/110 in the Italian system.

  Language requirements

Certified B2 level of English, unless the applicant is English native speaker or has attended a Bachelor's degree in English.


Candidates with a foreign degree

The first Call for applications 2019/20 expired on 28th February 2019.

The second Call for applications has the following timeline:

  • 15th April - 31st May: non-European candidates residing outside Italy
  • 15th April - 15th July: European candidates; non-European candidates residing in Italy

All applicants are required to use the new online procedure (apply.unipd.it).

The payment of the application fee (€30,00) is a compulsory step to complete your application. The application fee is non-refundable. If you wish to apply for more than one programme, you need to pay the application fee for each course you are applying to.


Candidates with an Italian Bachelor’s degree

They must follow the instructions of the Call for applications which are published on the University’s website (Italian version)

  Tuition fees

Information on 2019/20 fees is not yet available, but the amounts will be more or less be the same of 2018/19. Please check: www.unipd.it/en/tuition-fees.

The total amount (euro 2507,00 for a.y. 2018/19) can be significantly waived based on your “Equivalent Economic Status Index – ISEE”. For further information on how to obtain your ISEE and other income-based reductions, see Funding and fees - Key Documents.

  Scholarships and fee-waivers

The University of Padova offers different types of scholarships and fee-waivers to international students.

For detailed information: