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International Development Management (BSc)

VHL University of Applied Sciences
4 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
Virtual open day
On campus
Contact provider for next start date

Program description

international development management

Study International Development Management

Will you work towards a fair world?

How will you ensure sustainable development where everyone benefits without this resulting in the depletion of the earth? During your studies, you will learn how to use a practical approach to strike a balance between people, the earth and prosperity. During your studies, you will be committed to the rebuilding of society following disasters, to building a better future for the rural population or you will contribute towards fair economic chains from raw materials to consumers. In all cases, you will learn how to bring people together in various cultural and social environments, to defend interests, and to facilitate and supervise developments and innovation. You do not do this from behind a desk, but you seek practical situations and direct contact with people.

We offer three specialisations within International Development Management, namely:

  • Disaster Risk Management
  • Sustainable Value Chains
  • Rural Development and Innovation

Disaster Risk Management

Droughts, heat waves, floods and other disasters are happening more frequently and are increasing in severity. When they happen, they disrupt entire societies. In some regions, these disasters are more frequent than in others. How can you help societies get back on their feet quickly after a disaster, and in such a way that they are more resilient when the next disaster occurs? Decisions taken immediately after a disaster have long-term consequences. If you choose this specialisation, you can help to ensure that the right decisions are made. You will have the knowledge to expertly assist communities to become stronger and more resilient in the face of man-made and natural disasters. You will analyse the causes of disasters and the vulnerability of a region to those disasters. You will gain an understanding of how regions can be built up again following a disaster. You will learn where to find the required expertise and how it can be deployed. Would you like to work on both the technical and the social aspects of reconstruction? Then focusing on disaster risk management is perfect for you.

Sustainable Value Chains

The world seems to be getting smaller by the day, while the differences between people are getting bigger and bigger. Opportunities are unequally distributed and the dominant economic interests damage our natural living conditions and harm our natural resources. Fortunately, people, organisations and companies increasingly see the necessity of change and are acting accordingly. Fair Trade is one of the ways of doing that: chains which truly ensure a better life for the people who produce our coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton, and many other tropical crops. As a chain expert, you will create a better existence for the producers and their organisations, working together with businesses, NGOs and (local) governments. In order to achieve this responsible trade, you will use your knowledge of sustainable food production as well as your people skills and, not least, your economic drive.

Rural Development and Innovation

Despite impressive reductions in poverty globally, progress has been uneven. Inequality is increasing between urban and rural areas and in rural areas in the developed and developing world. Each rural area has its own dynamics, opportunities and problems. In some countries, people are moving to the cities, causing depopulation of the countryside. What will be the effect on the liveability in villages, the effect for the rural youth? For an Eastern European family farm globalization (including EU regulations) may force them to stop farming or diversify their income, e.g. to earn additional income from West-European tourists. Or can an African farming family survive when members are becoming a victim of HIV/AIDS? Students learn to analyse the reasons why inequality is so persistent and learn how to facilitate development that is pro-poor, which may lead to empowerment of vulnerable and marginalised rural communities. This intensive programme provides a practical introduction to the opportunities and threats affecting life in rural areas all over the world - a world that could soon become your own workspace!

Content Programme

You will be following objective specific courses, doing practical periods and preparing an exciting graduation assignment. The programme is competency based: each theoretical subject supports workgroup situations in which students tackle practical problems and explore workable solutions. This means that you will be active from day one, learning to work independently as you collaborate with others. The programme culminates in practical placements and a thesis project conducted in an international setting.


Career opportunities

Potential professions

  • Rural development specialist
  • Responsible sourcing manager tropical food crops
  • Project leader in food security
  • Policy advisor on food and climate change
  • Initiator in Fair Trade market development
  • Advisor on reconstruction following disasters
  • Building bridges between farmers and the Government

The world lies at your feet when you are a graduate student of International Development Management. You can work in the national and international market after your studies.

Admission requirements

HAVO-equivalent secondary school diploma
One of the general admission requirements for all our 4-year Bachelor study programmes is a secondary school diploma, which is equivalent to the Dutch HAVO diploma. Examples of equivalent levels are the International Baccalaureate diploma or A-Levels. Your diploma will be evaluated after VHL has received your complete application. 

It is highly recommended that both Mathematics and Economics are covered until the end of secondary school, but this is not a mandatory admission requirement. This means that if your diploma does not have a final examination in Mathematics and Economics, you can catch up on the missing knowledge with specific modules that are included in the programme. You need to successfully complete these modules in the first year.

English proficiency

All international students must provide proof of their English proficiency by submitting one of the following documents:

  • Academic IELTS-test with overall band score of 6.0 and no sub-scores below 5.0;
  • TOEFL test with a score of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based), 78-80 (internet based);
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English* (CAE): pass at grade C or above;
  • Cambridge First Certificate (FCE)*: pass at grade B/C or above.

Please note that tests results older than two years cannot be accepted.

The following students are exempt from providing proof of their English language proficiency:

  • Native English speakers (USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Canada (English-speaking areas).
  • Applicants with a sufficient Dutch diploma
  • Applicants from Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden who have obtained a specific diploma (see our website for details), including a final examination in English.

For more information on the requirements and the application process, please complete a request form.

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Tuition fees

Bachelor EEA                      € 2.143 / per year*
Bachelor non-EEA              €  9.000 / per year

* The government recently agreed to cut tuition fees in half for first-year students as of the 2020-2021 term. This will apply to students starting a bachelor at Universities of Applied Sciences. For more information, please visit our website.

Scholarships & funding

There are several options for acquiring scholarships and grants that cover some or all of the costs of a study programme at Van Hall Larenstein. In general, candidates should bear in mind that official procedures require several months. It is therefore advisable to make a request for a scholarship as early as possible.

For a general list of sponsoring agents specifically targeting Dutch programmes a web-tool has been developed by Nuffic (the grantfinder).

Master and Certificate Programmes

Most of our Master and Certificate programmes are eligible for an OKP scholarship. For more information, please go to our website or complete a request form.


All study programmes of VHL University of Applied Sciences are accredited by the NVAO, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.

You will receive a Bachelor of International Development Management (BSc).


Van Hall Larenstein, that has locations in both Leeuwarden and Velp, has been rated the most sustainable University of Applied Sciences! Our University is the only institution in the Netherlands that has received three AISHE stars for all of its bachelor programmes (for all thirteen programmes). AISHE (Auditing Instrument for Sustainability in Higher Education) is an assessment tool for sustainable developments in higher education. A positive assessment leads to a qualification for Sustainable Higher Education. Van Hall Larenstein's CSR-audit was rated at 'Approved' level. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a special qualification standard regarding sustainability for Higher Education, based on ISO26000 - the international guideline for social awareness of organizations. Van Hall Larenstein is the first University of Applied Sciences to receive this qualification.

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About this institute

VHL University of Applied Sciences


Innovative, sustainable and meaningful! Do you want to contribute to a more sustainable world and work on your personal development? Study at Van Hall Larenstein, the most sustainable University of Applied Sciences in Holland! We offer a range of unique...

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Contact info

VHL University of Applied Sciences

Larensteinselaan 26a
The Netherlands

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