Master of Arts in Rural Development and Governance | Admissions, TISS


Tata Institute of Social Sciences

PG Programmes

Programme Details

Master of Arts in Rural Development and Governance

Location: Hyderabad

School: School of Livelihoods and Development

Intake: 34


Admission Brochure

Description of Programme

The Master of Arts (Rural Development and Governance) covers recent thinking on decentralisation, local governance, participatory and inclusive rural development and introduces the most up-to-date methodologies and approaches for the facilitation of multi stakeholder processes, social learning and change. This programme will explore new paths of engagement with citizens in governance that is transparent and accountable, and explore new ways of positive engagement with the system, to bring about change together.

The aim of this programme is to build capacities to strengthen development and rural development work through a strong cadre of young professionals who will have a comprehensive grip on theoretical understanding, along with analytical skills and experiential learning over the two years of the academic programme.

Specific Objectives

  • To build perspectives on rights frameworks and en-culture development ethics
  • To equip with comprehensive understanding and critical analysis on paradigmatic shifts in rural development
  • To impart knowledge on various governance structures comprising state, market, civil society and community and their implications on the livelihoods, especially of the poor
  • To build the capability through various skills and tools to engage in participatory and primary research for a thorough and critical analysis of development and governance scenarios
  • To expose students while engaging in experiential learning to internalise rural environs, institutions and initiatives 

Employment Opportunities

In pursuance of the 73rd Amendment and the strengthening of Panchayat raj institutions there is a huge demand in the planning and implementation of rural development programmes. These programmes include centrally sponsored schemes implemented by different departments. The opportunities with the Government sector seem to be ample. Another area that can be tapped into is the banking sector (both public and private) which is hiring rural development officers for their agribusinesses, rural entrepreneurship, microfinance and rural infrastructure support programmes.

Apart from employment in the Government and the NGO sector, several students would have high preparedness to appear for Union and State services examinations as well as to pursue MPhil and PhD. Whichever the path the students may choose to take, the course would have contributed to building critical perspectives in the minds of these students.

All the students of the previous batches have all been placed during campus placement.

Curriculum Framework

The Rural Development and Governance programme will be covered over 4 semesters with 71 credits. The course work for the programme is governed with the following goals to impart:

  • Strong values through a set of foundational courses that provide the basis for understanding policy, programmes and field-based issues;
  • Theoretical and conceptual understanding to develop the ability to engage with abstractions and empirical realities with equal ease;
  • Analytical and problem solving, planning and project management skills to facilitate the comprehension of large data sets, unpack policy perspectives, generate sensitive qualitative data and implement programmes;
  • Strong field-based learning to comprehend micro, meso and macro issues and
  • Build cadres of individuals with sound knowledge, ability to handle challenges and have the commitment to make a difference to the field of rural development.

The curriculum framework has therefore been envisioned to help build all the above objectives across the four semesters with a fair mix of each of the program requirements.


This programme is anchored by the School of Livelihoods & Development Studies. For more details on the Curriculum Framework and Faculty who teach the programme visit

The programme is open for young graduates who have a Bachelors's degree with a pass class cleared in one sitting. This is a programme that is suitable for you if you want to work for bringing about changes in rural India. The programme is also open for development practitioners, policymakers, government line ministry staff and programme managers, to engage in complex local governance processes. It is suitable for government officials of different levels, project and programme managers, policy makers, consultants, NGO staff, staff from federations of community organisations or private sector organisations.


Distribution of Credit Hours:


Year Types of Courses Credits
First Compulsory Courses 32
  Experiential Learning 8
Second Compulsory Courses 18
  Electives 4
  Field Based Internship / Research Dissertation 8
Total Credits 68

Note: 1 Credit = 15 Hours Classroom teaching or 30 hours lab / field experience / workshop / self study

Semesterwise Courses:

Semester Course Code Course Title Credits

FC 1 Understanding Society 2
FC 2 Understanding Economy 2
FC 3 Understanding Politics 2
CoM 1 Philosophy and Methods of Social Research - 1 2
CoM 2 Understanding Nature, Eco-system and Natural Resources 2
RDG 1 Introduction to Livelihoods 4
WS Conflict over Natural Resources 0
EL 1 Understanding Rural Society 4
II CoM 3 Contemporary Indian Economy 2
CoM 4 Philosophy an Methods of Social Research - 2 2
CoM 5 Theores of Development 2
CoM 6 Social Justice and Social Exclusion 2
CoM 7 Natural Resource Based Livelihoods 2
RDG 3 Political Economy of Agriculture, Land and Labour 2
RDG 4 Public Policy and Local Governance 2
RDG 5 Working With Rural Communities 2
WS Analysis of Development Data 2
EL 2 Internship 4
        III RDG 6  Law, State and Institutions 2
RDG 7 Poverty : Approaches and Measurement 2
RDG 8 Gender and Development Practice 2
RDG 9 Project Management 2
RDG 10 National Rural Development Programmes 2
  Courses from other Academic Programmes 4
WS  Financial Inclusion 2
  Understanding Budget 0
IV RDG - 11 Institutional Analysis and Design 2
RDG - 12 Social Entrepreneurship 2
  Research Dissertation 6
WS Financial Management 0
EL-3 Field-based Learning 2

Note: The Total number of credits, list of CBCS courses and semester - wise listing of courses is provisional, and may undergo some changes. Due to current pandemic situation courses may be shifted or taught acorss semesters.

Fee Structure:


Components M.A. In Rural Development and Governance (RDG)
Fees Sem I Sem II
Sem III Sem IV
FEE Tuition Fee 16,000 16,000 16,000 16,000
Examination Fee 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000

Field Education / Internship / Experiential Learning Charges 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
IT Charges 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Library Charges 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500
Other Charges( ID Card, Convocation & Misc.) * 2,500 0 0 0
FUNDS Students' Competency Fund 4,000 4,000 4,000 4,000
Lab / Studio Fund 0 0 0 0
Development Fund 10,000 0 10,000 0
Students' Union Fund * 500 500 500 500
Alumni Fund * 0 500 0 0
Health Care Fund* 2,000 0 2,000 0
DEPOSITS Caution Deposits (Refundable at the time of exit from programme on submission of No Dues Certificate) 10,000 0    
  Semester wise Course Fee 51,500 27,500 39,000 27,000
  Yearly Fees 79,000 66,000
  Total Course Fee 1,45,000
Institute reserves the right to revise the Fee Structure of programmes if necessary.
Expenses related to Practicum / Study tour / Rural field work / Urban field work/Winter Institute, if any, will have to be met by the students themselves at the time of the activity.
No fee concession is available for self-finanaced programmes.