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The award
PG Dip

How long you will study
12 months

Domestic course fees
GBP 9690 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
find out

All study options

About NGO Management at City, University of London


Who is it for?

If your career aim is to secure or develop a leading position in an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), this course is ideally suited to your needs.

Academically rigorous and practically applied, the course is designed to help you develop a senior management career in international development, become a board member of an international NGO board, or work in a foundation funding work internationally.


You will focus on the rapidly evolving context of international development. You will explore the implication for NGOs of the trends shaping the sector. How is the role of civil society changing? What will be the impact of altering aid flows, increased funding for humanitarian and security work and shifting North-South relations? How are new digital technologies affecting the way NGOs work? What are the implications of the moves to greater collaboration and the increasing influence of the private sector in the development process?

The aim of the course is to enable you to develop your management, analytical and leadership skills so that you develop a rounded set of competencies that will enable you to flourish at the highest levels in global NGOs.

For further enquiries please contact: Professor Paul Palmer ,The Charities Programme Office or 020 7040 5114.


The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years (18 months for those eligible to enrol on the April Intake).

Students initially enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma with the specialist area of their choice, and confirm their intention to complete the MSc at the end of the first year.

As a student you will:

  • Develop your understanding of the strategic issues and organisational challenges facing charity organisations and their managers within the finance function
  • Build relevant management and leadership skills, and analytical capabilities.
  • Acquire insights into the different strategies and approaches commonly adopted by charities.
  • Deepen your appreciation of the issues of managing change in the finance function.
  • Gain access to a strong network and connections within the charity sector.
  • Build your confidence as you pursue your career in the sector.

Module outlines

  • Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector (10 credits)

    This module represents the starting point for you and the opportunity to learn about the process of learning and establishing plans for learning on the programme. The vital 'Learning Contract' is developed on this module, and forms the basis of the learning throughout the Masters programme. It also offers a perspective on leading public/voluntary sector debates within an historical context, alongside a more enduring understanding of scholarly approaches to the understanding of developments and changes in the relationship between government and the voluntary sector.

  • Resource Management (30 credits)

    This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the principles of resource management within the specialist context of charities.

  • Marketing and Fundraising (10 credits)

    This module aims to provide you with the concepts, underpinning knowledge, skills and techniques to plan and develop marketing and operations systems and enable students to analyse marketing needs, evaluate marketing plans, in the context of applying marketing concepts to their own organisation.

  • Strategy, Diversity and Governance (20 credits)

    This module aims to enable you to develop a broad knowledge and conceptual base in the field of strategy development, diversity and governance.

  • Shadowing (20 credits)

    In this you will have the opportunity to spend 4-5 days shadowing a senior NGO manager or undertake a relevant fieldwork consultancy exercise with members of an NGO's senior management team.

  • NGO Management (15 credits)

    This module aims to enables you to nderstand the key strategic issues facing the NGO Sector and analyse the organisational challenges facing international NGOs.

  • Managing NGOs: People and Practices (15 credits)

    This module aims to enables you to critically appreciate the issues NGO managers face and develop the skills and competencies to work effectively with different people and the processes and practices involved.

Assessment methodsTerm datesAssessment methods

Assessment methods

The aim of the NGO Management course is to enable students to develop key management competencies and analytical capabilities needed by those in leadership and management positions in international NGOs.

The course has been developed in partnership with leading INGOs and BOND (the UK-NGO network). It is one of the five postgraduate courses offered by Cass's Business School's Centre for Charity Effectiveness. This is one of the only centres of excellence in Europe offering a full range of latest research, education, training and consultancy geared to the needs of voluntary sector managers and leaders.

The course is taught on a part-time basis and is taught over a period of twelve months. The Postgraduate Diploma consists of four core modules that all students take and are common to all the Centre's postgraduate courses.  These core modules provide the essential underpinning of management skills for the specialist courses. Upon successful completion of the diploma you can continue to the MSc Programme.

The MSc requires completion of the Research Methods for Managers module. This is followed by either:  a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000-word research-based dissertation. Or alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other Charities programmes.

Term dates

Term dates

October 2018 intake


05 October 2018

Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector

05 - 06 October 2018

Strategy, Diversity and Governance

09 - 10 November 2018; 07 - 08 December 2018

Marketing and Fundraising

11 - 12 January 2019

Resource Management

08 - 09 February 2019; 08 - 09 March 2019; 05 - 06 April 2019 Exam* 03 May 2019

NGO Management: The Strategic Issues

17 - 18 May 2019; 21 June 2019

Managing NGOs: People and Practices

22 June 2019; 26 - 27 July 2019

Shadowing Process to be completed by early August 2019

Course Review Day

06 September 2019

MSc conversion

Upon successful completion of the diploma, you will be given the option to continue to the MSc. This requires completion of the Research Methods for Managers module.

This can be followed by a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000-word dissertation.

Alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other Charities programmes.

For students progressing from the Postgraduate Diploma Intake in 2018

Research Methods for Managers January 2019 (for April 2018 intake) January 2020 (for October 2018 intake)

Dissertation or Taught Masters Option completion by mid-September 2019 (for April 2018 Intake) completion by mid-September 2020 (for October 2018 intake)


How to apply

We are now accepting applications for the start of the PgDip/MSc in NGO Management for October 2018.

Entry requirementsEnglish language requirementsEntry requirements

Entry requirements

All students will be highly motivated graduate-level people who bring a wide range of professional competencies, skills and experience from a wide range of backgrounds.

In general we ask for a good first degree, normally an upper second-class honours degree from a British University or a relevant professional qualification: e.g: ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW, ICAS; and three or more year's relevant experience at a senior level.

In exceptional cases we will also accept those without a degree but with significant work experience. Provided you have more than three years relevant experience, two professional references are acceptable.

This course is aimed at those currently working in the sector, but also at people exploring a career shift into the international development sector and consultants looking to develop their expertise in the NGO sector.

English language requirements

English language requirements

Overseas students are welcome to apply to these courses, but need to be aware that they cannot be sponsored for Tier 4 visas due to the part-time modular delivery of the course. In order to participate fully in the collaborative learning process all students who have not previously studied in English must sit an IELTS exam.

Career pathways

Experience of past students is that by completing the course increases their employability in the sector, and gives them greater flexibility as to career options. Past students have come from NGOs of all sizes, as well as foundations, business and the public sector. Their feedback has been very positive:

'I found the MSc in NGO Management to be extremely practical and valuable. The course gave an excellent overview of the issues facing charities that are working internationally … the quality of the teaching was high and the assignments relevant and stimulating.  I highly recommend it'

Matt Parker, Vice President, Kids Alive International, Chicago, USA

'Studying NGO Management at Cass, and especially combining it with Finance, enabled me to make the step into a leadership role. The course provides the perfect combination of academic rigour, practical knowledge, and teachers and classmates with experience from across the sector.'

Meryl Davies, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Great Britain

'I cannot recommend more nor speak more highly of the Masters in NGO Management at Cass. The quality, pace and depth of the teaching, learning and challenge was genuinely excellent. I was promoted within a few weeks of completing the course and 100% believe this would not have happened so quickly without the added value the Masters brought to me. The Masters itself, the professors and my fellow students gave me huge confidence and knowledge. Reflecting on it 12 months later, I feel that the main thing the course has given me is access – access to critical information, best practise approaches and most importantly individuals that will continue to help shape my learning and challenge my thinking throughout my career.'

Jennifer Coffey, Deputy Head of Partnership Development, Save the Children UK Global Programmes

'The course gave me the confidence to strengthen my role in the senior management team, which ultimately lead to my appointment as Deputy Director'

Gillian Garcia, Deputy Director, CDD, Mexico City

'It was like ten years of NGO management experience analysed thoroughly, distilled into a single course and personalised for me.  In the course you will have a chance to survey our field broadly, to think critically about what you bring to it, and to focus on what you can do to become a better international NGO leaders and manager'

Ted Nierras, Global Coordinator of Alliance Centres, HIV/AIDS Alliance

'I have used the models and approaches which I learned on the course in my day to day work.  The breadth of the course gave me the confidence that I know the key issues across the range of functions within NGOs'

Alison Marshall, Senior Advocacy Adviser, International Planned Parenthood Federation

'The NGO Management course provides a fascinating insight into the key challenges and trends that are shaping international development today. The course combines academic rigour with a practical focus, and is delivered by lecturers and practitioners who are able to illustrate issues with first-hand experience and recent case studies. Sitting in class, I'd often feel I was getting a 'behind the scenes' look into how NGOs operate'

Adam Groves. Senior Programme Manager, Radar

Study options for this course

Notes about fees for this course


£9,690 (2018/19) Tuition fees are subject to annual change

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

The course fees for all five courses in the Charities Programme are payable at the start of the academic year. The fee for the Postgraduate Diploma is £6,000 (£6,120 2018/19). A deposit of £400 is payable on acceptance of a place. For self-paying students, the balance is payable in two instalments, the first during the registration process in September and the second at the end of January. For those converting the Diploma to MSc a further £3,500 (£3,570 2018/19) is payable in one instalment at the beginning of the second year.

Students who are sponsored by their employer will need to complete a sponsorship form as part of the application process. An invoice for the full fees will be sent to the employer in October. If the employer is a charity, they can request payment in two instalments by contacting the person named on the invoice. This arrangement allows the charity to spread the fees across two financial years.

Entry requirements

Contact City, University of London to find course entry requirements.

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