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M.A. (Sustainable Development Practice)

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Meet our faculty

The TERI SAS’s master’s programme in Sustainable Development Practice (MA SDP) seeks to address a critical gap in sustainable development education in South Asia. It aims to develop an international cadre of development professionals, well-equipped to tackle interwoven challenges of poverty, diseases, climate change and ecosystem vulnerability specific to the region.

The course comprises of innovative pedagogy and a multi-disciplinary team of faculty members. It provides field trainings, which are rigorous and structured to help students have a real world experience of dealing with development issues. The MA SDP programme is part of the Global Association of MDP programmes, which consists of 26 MDP programmes, offered in 19 universities across countries. The TERI SAS was one of the few universities selected worldwide by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to receive seed funding to create the new master's degree programme in development practice. The programme provides an interface between the students of 26 MDP programmes and is reviewed by a team of experts from academia, national and international development organizations. For more details please refer to

WHY STUDY Sustainable Development Practice ?

The world is severely in need of trained development professionals, who adopt integrated approach to development planning and programme implementation. Students of the MA (SDP), addressing these gaps, attain cross-disciplinary training of social science, natural science, health science and management. The strong theory-practice links, which is an inherent part of pedagogy, teaches students to deal with real-life sustainable development challenges and develop solutions in a holistic manner. In the span of two years, they develop required capacities for designing development projects, work on their research and management skills, receive opportunities to expand horizons of cross-cultural and intercultural understanding, and build on entrepreneurial, innovative business and marketing skills.


The TERI SAS is one of the foremost universities selected for starting the MA SDP programme. Students of MA SDP get unique opportunity to learn about the latest practices promoting sustainable development from national and international experts (academicians and practitioners), from partner universities, research institutes and development agencies. The programme hones the skills of students in project design and management, development communication, social research, cross-cultural and intercultural adaptation, entrepreneurial and innovative business development.

In the context of complex global challenges like extreme poverty, chronic hunger, stagnating crop yield, abysmal nutritional, educational and health standards, the MA SDP curriculum tries to address the gap of effective cross-disciplinary problem solving. It has a strong practice focus with cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral orientation. Training for integrated solutions that cuts across disciplines is the highlight of MA SDP curriculum.

The pedagogy strongly focuses on problem-based learning, case studies, seminars, and field visits. The group practicums integrate knowledge and skills taught in the course. Field visits allow students to learn and use practical skills to analyze and solve development problems holistically.

Where will the Degree Take You?

The students get myriad opportunities to work with national and international development organizations, research institutes, CSR division of corporate groups, just to name a few. Out of the total sixty-eight alumni, nearly half found research opportunities across government/ autonomous academic/research institutes.

The package of remuneration varies with an average of INR 40,000 per month for fresh post-graduates, without prior work experience.

Many students with strong inclination towards policy and research have found opportunities to pursue other courses/higher studies in India and abroad and are also placed in research institutes. Some, with tremendous passion for development have gone to create their own social-entrepreneurial ventures, testing a hard career option to bring-in real changes.

Student Participation / Achievements

  • MA SDP students regularly take part in various national and international conferences on development related themes.
  • Harsh Jaiswal, student of MA Sustainable Development Programme, TERI SAS secured third position in the Sitaram Rao Livelihoods Asia Case Study Competition 2016.
  • Students actively write and publish in peer reviewed journals and in other popular print media
  • Creative young minds take part in competitions on social innovations trying to realize the alternative approaches to sustainable development.
  • MA SDP postgraduates have bagged many prestigious awards in the past, for example, Lead Earth fellowship, ACARA challenge by the ACARA Institute on Environment, Wipro Earthian award, Young Scholar award etc.
  • Students become members of important sustainable development initiatives for example the Sustainable Social Business Model on Day Lighting, Youth Sustainability Leadership Initiative and many more.

Scholarships Offered

Students Speak

Ms. Denise Fernandes, Research Assistant, IIT- Mumbai
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Mohammad Naser Sidiqee , (Batch 2012-14)
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