Master of Arts in Livelihoods: Rural Development | Admissions, TISS


Tata Institute of Social Sciences

PG Programmes

Programme Details

Master of Arts in Livelihoods: Rural Development

Location: Hyderabad

School: School of Gender and Livelihoods

Intake: 25


The Master of Arts in Livelihood: Rural Development, a 2-year programme is anchored in the School of Gender and Livelihoods, Hyderabad. The programme is offered from the academic year 2024-26.

The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the concepts, ethics, theories and discourses on livelihood promotion and rural development. The course work enables the students to design and implement projects to address the developmental deficit in rural areas. The students would get a hands on experience with field work and internships across semesters to engage in the development sector.

The programme is rooted in the premise that livelihood security is the goal and development initiatives as a means to create positive social, economic and environmental impacts especially for the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged sections. It envisages for the development processes to include a wide range of issues in planning, implementing monitoring the projects/programmes that are consciously and cautiously dealt for being ecologically sound. Livelihoods across the globe especially of the poor and those of the informal economy are consistently failing to give enough returns for the households to be self-sufficient.

Today livelihood is a major challenge in India, as millions of new livelihood opportunities need to be created and supported to keep pace with a large number of people joining the workforce, modernizing technologies replacing labour, globalizing market and limited resource base. Thus, there is a definite need for interventions such as Livelihood education to build human resources required for the initiatives of Government and Civil Society for them to succeed in a country which is so diverse in terms of its geography, climate, resources, and culture. The programme therefore aims to build a cadre of build human resources with a holistic understanding of the concept of development from the lens of securing livelihoods and entitlements and of the role of state in propelling livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable.



The programme enables students:

  1. To develop a comprehensive understanding of the concepts, ethics, theories and discourses in rural development
  2. To understand the concepts, theories, frameworks and strategies of rural livelihoods
  3. To develop a thorough understanding on the modes of natural resources utilization and management for sustainable development
  4. To acquire knowledge on various institutions and governance structures and their implications on the livelihoods of the vulnerable and marginalized sections
  5. To be able to apply qualitative and quantitative techniques for critical analysis of data and gain hands on experience in some key decision support systems
  6. To get exposed to different rural settings, institutions and initiatives for critically analyzing and evaluating the interventions and their results and planning


Learning outcomes of the Programme

The 2-year M.A in Livelihoods: Rural Development programme expects to impart the following overall learnings for the students:


Curriculum Foci


Curriculum Foci

The courses in the Programme presents an expansive understanding on the following:

  • Perspectives: Global South ideas of gender, livelihoods and development
  • Core Domains: Understanding of intersecting concerns of Livelihoods, Ruralities, Social Justice, Development Practice, Gender, Ecology and more
  • Skills: Gaining competencies in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research, and data analysis
  • Research: Conducting research in intersecting areas of Farm and non-Farm Livelihoods and Enterprise Promotion
  • Experiential Learning and Capstone Project: Hands-on experience of working with livelihood promoting organizations, and design and implement rural development projects


Employment Opportunities

Students who graduate with this degree can find their professional career in

  • Governmental agencies and departments; in civil and allied administrative services (Rural Livelihood Missions)
  • Non-governmental/ Civil Society organisations working on Rural Development concerns
  • Academia, pursuing inter-disciplinary research and teaching
  • Corporate sector
  • Research consultancy firms

Distribution of Credit Hours:

Semesterwise Courses:

Course Type

Course Code.

Course Title

SEMESTER I – 22 credits


(4 credits)

FC 1

Foundation Course-I: Idea of India

FC 2

Foundation Course-II: India’s Development Challenges

School Commons

(14 credits)

SC 1

Introduction to Livelihoods

SC 2

Poverty and Inequality: Approaches and Measurement

SC 3

Environment, Ecology and Livelihoods

SC 4

Gender, Identities, and Marginalities

SC 5

Democracy and Development in India

SC 6

Fundamentals of Economics

WS 1

Development Indicators and Datasets

Experiential Learning

(4 credits)

EL 1

Experiential Learning – Understanding Rural Dynamics and Development

SEMESTER II – 24 credits

School Commons

(16 credits)

SC 7

Gender and Development Practice

SC 8

Political Economy of Agriculture, Land and Labour

SC 9

Project Management

SC 10

Women, Work and Livelihoods

SC 11

Gender, Law and Governance

SC 12

Gender, Law and Livelihoods

SC 13

Theories of Development

SC 14

Social Justice and Social Inclusion

Workshop (2 credits)

WS 2

Financial Inclusion

Experiential Learning

(6 credits)

EL 2


SEMESTER III – 22 credits


(10 + 2 credits)


RD 1

Critical Understanding of Rural Development Programme

RD 2

Social Entrepreneurship

RD 3

Inclusive Value Chains: Agri-business Management

RD 4

Rural Product Marketing and Enterprise Promotion

WS 3

Emerging rurality: Alternative livelihoods

WS 4

Management processes: Organizations and Behaviour


School Commons

(10 credits)

SC 15

Quantitative Impact Evaluation

SC 16

Qualitative Impact Evaluation

SC 17

Quantitative Research: Methodologies and Methods

SC 18

Qualitative Research: Methodologies and Methods

R 1

Research Proposal

SEMESTER IV – 12 credits

Research (12 Credits)

R 2

Research Dissertation/ Capstone Project

Note: 1 credit = 15 hours classroom teaching or 30 hours lab/field experience/workshop/self - study.

Fee Structure:

 *Fee under revision

Components Master of Arts in Livelihoods: Rural Development
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 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000
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 53,500 29,500 41,000 29,000
  Yearly Fees 83,000 70,000
  Total Course Fee 1,53,000
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.