FAQ - TCD-UCD Masters in Development Practice
What is the Dublin MDP?
1. What is a Master’s in Development Practice degree?
The Masters in Development Practice (MDP) is a two-year graduate degree providing graduate-level students with the skills and knowledge required to better identify and address the global challenges of sustainable development, such as poverty, population, health, conservation, climate change, and human rights.
2. What makes Dublin MDP different?
Currently the bulk of development leaders are trained in narrow fields, usually in the social sciences, such as economics. By broadening their training and providing them with a knowledge base including health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, and management, and by taking an integrated, holistic approach to finding solutions to development challenges, they will be able to more effectively understand and address the root causes of extreme poverty and the challenges of sustainable development.
Further the Dublin MDP provides students with a unique practical-learning experience through the four professional work-based placements that students undertake over the two years of the programme. From your time of arrival, you can expect to be engaged in practical projects and engagements with both national and international development organisations and key actors.
Who are Dublin MDP students?
3. What type of student pursues this degree?
As a multidisciplinary programme, a wide range of background profiles (engineering, international relations, computer sciences, natural sciences, law and political sciences) are part of the programme. Recent graduates, as well as early and mid-career development professionals are pursuing the degree, including national and international students.
B) What are the special characteristics (requirements) of successful Dublin MDP candidates?
The minimum graduate admission requirements are: (1) a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution; (2) a satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.5 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and (3) readiness to take on graduate training in your chosen field. International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency.
4. I am an undergraduate student with little practical/work experience, is this Dublin MDP for me?
Yes. We strive to attain a diverse environment in the MDP program to enhance peer-learning opportunities. We welcome people from a wide variety of backgrounds and find that undergraduates with little work experience have knowledge that contributes to the MDP experience. Approximately one third of the students in any given year are straight out of undergrad and are properly prepared to engage in this program.
5. Are applicants required to have worked professionally for a minimum period of time?
No. However, strong knowledge of International Development, volunteer experience, and any other relevant information will strengthen your application.
6. I am a professional with many years of working experience looking to further education, is the Dublin MDP for me?
Yes. The MDP program strives to bring together academia and practical professional experience. The knowledge and skills obtained in the workplace can easily be applied to the issue of sustainable development. We welcome those who can share their experiences and knowledge with their classmates and strongly believe that this enriches the learning environment.
7. Is there a specific academic background required to the programme?
No. All of our students come from a wide-range of academic backgrounds. Some of backgrounds include economics, international relations, environmental science, engineering, physics, earth science, management, commerce, geography, philosophy, languages, film, biology, and sociology.
8. How many students are accepted each year?
We accept between 20 and 30 new students every year.
9. I am an international student. Will that affect my chances of being admitted?
No. International students are strongly encouraged to apply. Approximately half of our students every year come from outside of the European Union area. Our current student body includes people from every continent on the planet. MDP candidates are chosen based on their background, qualifications, and match with the program.
Where can I go with a Dublin MDP?
10.What professional opportunities will I have with this degree?
The Dublin MDP enables students to pursue their interests in a wide number of disciplines. With the broad-range of topics addressed, practical experience obtained, and research and analytical skills acquired, graduates are prepared for the challenges presented by sustainable development and its related fields. Graduates have gone on to work in Non-Governmental Organisations, International Intergovernmental Organisations, Government agencies, and the Private Sector.
11. What skills will I acquire?
Within the 18 course modules of the Dublin MDP, students will acquire skills related to research methods, statistical analysis via STATA and SPSS, economic models and impact evaluation, policy frameworks and analysis, project creation and management, in addition to the exposure to current research and work in sustainable development.
12. A. Where will fieldwork placements be?
The two field placements are throughout the world with various organizational and academic partners of the Dublin MDP. Past placements have included: the National University of Rwanda, the Rwanda Development Board, Repoa-Tanzania, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Trocaire (Rwanda), UNESCO (Senegal), OECD, UN Women (Regional Office- India), WHO, FAO, BRAC (Bangladesh), UN OCHA, and UN Headquarters (New York, USA).
B. Can I choose the location of my summer field placements?
For the 1st field placement, a list of available opportunities will be made available from which students and faculty will decide the placement best suited for the student’s interests. For the 2nd field placement, students will be primarily responsible for finding their own placements in line with their pursuits and career goals.
13. What non-academic opportunities will also be available?
In addition to the modules and fieldwork placements, students are encouraged to engage in the College Community through regular seminars and conferences run by Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI), The Sustainable Development Solutions Lab, and other collaborating bodies. With two leading research universities, students will have full exposure to current research by students, faculty and visiting scholars, in addition to seminars given by development professionals. Further, students will have ongoing opportunities with our practice-based organizational partners as need arises. For example, in 2014 up to five students will have opportunities to take on extracurricular activities with Dochas, the Irish association of Non-Governmental Development organisations. The programme coordinators engage in a wide range of outreach activities, including hosting cultural events and exhibitions, guest practitioner experts, all aimed at linking students into the vibrant international development community in Dublin.
14. Is there a dissertation/thesis requirement?
Yes, there is an independent research project, providing novel insight into a selected research area and written up as a dissertation.
15. Are scholarships available?
Please, check the funding opportunities section.
16. Can I defer my offer of admission?
With permission of the Programme Coordinator (Dr Susan Murphy), places can be deferred for up to one year upon payment of an initial deposit of €500.