The programme was first approved in 1995 as a Graduate Diploma and then in 1999 as an MSc in Regional and Local Development. The School Review Panel which visited the School in 2008 approved the name change to the MSc in Community and Local Development. It is now put forward under the proposed title of MSc in Local Development and Innovation.
Globally cities and regions are facing increasing economic competition which impacts greatly on the prosperity of people and places. Responding to the collapse of major industries due to economic crisis and the growth of new industries in the knowledge and creative economy poses an important challenge for communities and policy-makers to build economies that are resilient in the face of change. The programme is designed to balance theory and practice and provide students with an understanding of how local communities operate as well as the skills to play a critical role in developing innovative strategies to facilitate social and economic development at a local level.
The programme explores current debates around local development, innovation and governance. It aims to give students a multi-disciplinary, research and practice-based knowledge of key processes and issues at local and regional level arising from social, economic and political change and to enable them to understand institutional and policy responses to such change.
In the initial phase of the programme students have an intensive and in-depth introduction and review of local development and innovation. This takes place in semester 1 where all modules are core.
In semester 2 the student gains a deeper and more focused knowledge and begins to apply the core competencies and skills while meeting sectoral leaders who are at the forefront of the field. Students choose three optional modules in this semester.
Students undertake a work placement that commences in semester one and runs for 16 weeks, two days a week, through into semester 2. Preparation for the dissertation commences in semester one, with submission in October of the following year.