School of Law & Government

MA in International Development, Environment and Conflict (Pac Codes: DC635 Full-Time, DC636 Part-Time)


Fact File

Contact: Dr Diarmuid Torney
Fee informationClick Here
Indicative Timetable(Weeks 1-12)

Degree Information:

Dublin City University's graduate programme in international governance has three MA degrees available:

Despite the recent global financial crisis international development remains a growing field, employing people both in Ireland and overseas and with annual budgets in excess of US$ 150 billion. In tandem with these developments, the field has become increasingly professionalised and a multi-faceted approach is now required which moves beyond traditional charity-based approaches to legally embedded rights-based frameworks which both interact with and challenge the international political economic context in which they are embedded.

The DCU MA programme in Development, delivered by leading specialists with research and practical expertise in the fields of development, politics, economics and law meet these requirements by offering world class training and education at graduate level. Courses are offered on both full-time and part-time bases and develop the knowledge, skills and capacities of development practitioners, people seeking a career change and recent graduates who wish to embark on a career in international development.

Aims and Objectives:

  • Linking theory, policy and practice, to offer high quality academic training in international development
  • To give participants a critical understanding of different theories of and frameworks for development
  • To enhance the practical skills of participants in the areas of research, communication, policy analysis, programme and project management and research.

Programme Structure:

MA in Development (Full-time)

On the one year, full-time programme, Semester 1 modules are all core while in Semester 2, students choose three options from a wide range on offer. Dissertations are submitted in early September.

The MA programme also features weekly seminars and presentations by guest speakers with relevant experience and expertise in the field of international development. The intention is to facilitate the exploration of key issues in an informal, interactive environment.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)

Why DCU:

What the programme gives you

1. Knowledge and understanding - a comprehensive understanding of contemporary development challenges. Core courses include:

  • The politics of development
  • The international political economy of development
  • Development policy and practice

Programme participants on the full-time course also choose a selection of additional modules from the widest range of options offered in an Irish university.

2. Skills and capacities - a range of practical skills aimed at enhancing your capacity in the following areas:

  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Communication skills - individually and working with groups
  • Policy analysis Problem solving
  • Programme and project planning, management and evaluation
  • Language skills (Spanish, French and Chinese are offered as options in collaboration with DCU's School of Language and Intercultural Studies)

3. Practical experience - the thesis component, conducted under the guidance and mentorship of a member of staff, provides an opportunity to undertake primary research in the field and to foster strategic relationships with development agencies.

International Students

Students who have successfully completed the Pre-Masters International Foundation Programme (IFP), are guaranteed a place on their target programme in DCU. Visit for further details.

External Speakers Programme

The MA Programme features seminars and presentations by guest speakers with particular experience and expertise, be it as politicians, officials, academics or diplomats, in international development. The intention is to facilitate the exploration of key issues in international relations in an informal, interactive environment. Amongst previous guest speakers in DCU have been:

  • Pat Cox (former President of the European Parliament);
  • Gareth Evans, (member of High Level Panel on UN Reform);
  • Judge Maureen Clark (Judge of the International Criminal Court);
  • Sandy Thurman (CEO International AIDS Trust and President Clinton's National AIDS Policy Director);
  • John Bruton (former Taoiseach and now EU ambassador to the USA),
  • Dr. Thandika Mkandawire (Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development);
  • Peter Sutherland (former Director General of the WTO);
  • Justin Kilcullen (Director, Trócaire);
  • Conor Lenihan TD (Minister of State for Development cooperation);
  • Tom Arnold (CEO Concern World wide);
  • Lt. Gen. David Stapleton (Chief of Staff, Defence Forces)

Career Prospects:

Our graduates work as researchers, policy-analysts, managers, facilitators and educators in a wide range of agencies and institutions across the development spectrum. Employers of graduates in the past include the Department of Foreign Affairs, the European Union, the United Nations Volunteer Programme, Trócaire, Goal, Amnesty, Concern, Oxfam, together with a wide range of small local NGOs overseas as well as community development and development education organisations in Ireland.

What our past students have to say

Mary McCarthy Education Officer WorldWise

"Having worked in the areas of development and development education both in Ireland and overseas, the MDev in DCU was an opportunity for me to build on the practical experience I had to date, and to investigate some of the questions I had about the complexities of development in an unequal world. I found the course content and approach to be very engaging, particularly as we were encouraged to interrogate all theories and perspectives on development - which led to lively discussions both in class and in the online forum. The structure of the course was also very flexible, the part-time option allowing me to combine work and study over two years. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to challenge themselves and gain a deeper understanding of the theory and practice of development."

Anne Garvey, Facilitator Community Café

"The DCU part-time masters in Development gave me a deeper understanding of the history, politics and economics of development. The methods of engagement with students were learner centred and flexible allowing me to fit study in with my work and family life. The lecturers on the course were both stimulating and supportive, creating a learning environment for critical engagement on current development issues. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of global development issues and the impact of underlying power structures on current development trends."

Mirjam Sutrop

"The busy year studying at DCU Masters in Development programme gave me a better insight and understanding of the politics of international development and the disciplines directly linked to it such as political economy of development and international human rights. The year at DCU equipped me with better research skills and allowed time to put them to practice. The MA in Development programme had enough flexibility that I could concentrate on the topics most important to me. Coming out of the year I felt more confident in understanding international politics and development. Working for European Movement Ireland well as Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation and gaining in field development work experience in Thailand has been a desired outcome for me during the year after completing the course."

Further Information

For further information on these programmes see the website of the School of Law and Government:

Entry Requirements:

Full Time -

Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent, but applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also, on the basis of the relevant University regulations and procedures, be offered places.

Part-Time -

Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent, but applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and/or experience may also, on the basis of the relevant University regulations and procedures, be offered places.

Dates for Submission of Applications 2016

Apply online from October 2015 through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( as follows:

EU Applicants:

Full - Time Please apply by 30th August 2016.

Part - Time 31st July 2016.

Non EU Applicants:

Applications are accepted from non-EU applicants but for visa reasons applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible and no later than 10th July 2016.

If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student you are NOT eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Queries on completed applications should be emailed to

Fee information

Indicative Timetable
(Weeks 1-12)