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Masters in Development Practice

“an interdisciplinary academic and practical program to better identify and address the challenges of sustainable development”

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MDP Handbook 2023-24

Established in 2009 following recommendations from the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, the Global Masters in Development Practice (MDP) is a world-leading and uniquely innovative interdisciplinary graduate degree programme that blends health, natural, social, and management sciences--combined with cross-sectoral professional field training and placements to better understand  international development problems and apply best practices.

The Dublin MDP is a member of the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice, headquartered at the UN SDSN with offices in Columbia University, New York, linking with over 30 universities and thousands of partner organisations worldwide.

Is this course for me?

The one year Masters in Development Practice encompasses an integrated theoretical and practical approach with multidisciplinary training in four “pillars”- health, natural, social, and management sciences. Thirteen core academic modules provide rigorous training across the core pillars, complemented by masters level training in research design, methodology, and methods including training in leading edge quantitative, qualitative, and digital tools and techniques. The programme includes a work-based or research placement which provide hands-on practical experience for students, often in International Development NGOs and International Intergovernmental Organisations. This programme trains a new generation of development practitioners with the skills to implement and manage comprehensive approaches to sustainable international development.

The Dublin MDP degree led by the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Natural Science and delivered by staff from all faculties across the university, in collaboration with leading scientific researchers, and national and international organisations with specialist skills. 

Recent graduates from the Trinity Masters in Development Practice have secured positions in organizations such as United Nations Development Programme, International Organization for Migration-UN Migration, GOAL Global, Positive Carbon, Diversity Institute, UN Climate Change, KPMG, Trócaire, Verdant Capital, United Nations Global Impact, Social Enterprise Exchange, Tumaini la Maisha, Tanzania, Oxfam, Women's Earth Alliance, Irish Government Economics & Evaluation Service, GIZ, IMPACT Initiatives, Congo, US Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Environment, Climate and Biodiversity, Luxemburg, The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Office of the National Social and Economic Development Board, Thailand, TechnoServe.

See more details on the main courses website


Scholarships available

Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme

Each year, the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme funds a small number of suitably qualified candidates to undertake postgraduate study in Ireland with the aim of supporting and enhancing the contribution recipients can make to development effort in their own countries. Details on strands and eligibility are available here 

Application forms for the Fellowship Training Programme are available at Irish Embassies in partner countries.  The application deadline for the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme is 31 December prior to year of study.  You must make an application for both the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme and for the MSc in development practice programme, as these are separate application processes. 

Further information about the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme is available from the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) website and the Irish Aid Fellowship Progamme.


Course Structure

Course Modules

The goal of the Dublin MDP is to produce rounded development practitioners with a deep understanding of scientific methods and techniques to reduce global poverty, in addition to extensive on-the-ground training in developing country contexts, and in international organizations. The course modules are categorized according to each of the Global MDP Program’s four pillars—health, natural, social, and management sciences. Some are categorized as cross-disciplinary, although the program as a whole emphasizes the interconnectedness between development issues in these four fields. The MDP is rooted in evidence that effective public policy must be based science-based. Course offerings include a blend of traditional class-room based modules and field training placements.

MDP Candidates develop specialist skills in


  • Globalisation and African Development
  • Smart and Sustainable Eco-Cities
  • Impact Measurement
  • Gender and Development
  • Climate Change: Science, Development and Justice
  • Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development
  • Development Economics
  • Global Health
  • Sustainable Agriculture And Land Use
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Theories of Development
  • Dissertation (including fieldwork preparation)
  • Global Classroom: Foundations for Sustainable Development Practice (Option)



Field Training and Dissertation Modules:

Between April and August, MDP students will have the opportunity to do a clinical field training or research placement in partnership with Non-Governmental Organizations, government entities, and multi-lateral donor partners.  This training programme includes opportunities to study, design, implement or evaluate diverse operational interventions that address critical development issues. The MDP is constantly expanding its lists of partners, to more universities, NGOs and governmental agencies around the world. In past years, the MDP Dublin has been able to send students to several countries of Africa, South America, and Asia, and is perpetually forging connections to create more choice for our students. This offers students the opportunity to develop their professional and career networks for potential employment in the future.

Examples of organisation who have hosted MDP students include:

  • AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
  • Akagera National Park
  • APA/CVM – Tanzania
  • Camara – Jamaica
  • Care International
  • Catholic Relief Service
  • Centre for Conflict Management (NUR)
  • Centre for National Health Development, Ethiopia
  • Chemonics International Inc.
  • CNRS, Paris & Kathmandu
  • Community Development Research Network (CDRN)- Uganda
  • Concern, Uganda
  • CSO Rwanda
  • DUCE – Tanzania
  • Environmental Protection Agency and CIESIN- Sierra Leone
  • EWSA
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro- Brasil
  • Gender Monitoring Office (GMO)
  • GOAL – Ethiopia
  • Gorta – Kenya
  • Great Ape Trust if Iowa/Gishwati Area Conservation Program
  • Health Poverty Action
  • IFAD, Washington
  • International Justice Mission (IJM)
  • Karisoke Research Centre
  • Language Development Centre, Nepal
  • Malawi Clinic
  • Millennium Development Centre, Nairobi
  • Millennium Village Project (MVP)
  • Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)
  • OCHA, South Africa
  • OECD DAC, Paris
  • R&D Branch, Degrowth Movement, Barcelona
  • REPOA- Tanzania
  • Search for Common Ground
  • TechnoServe
  • The Rwanda National Land Centre
  • The Volunteer Project- Tanzania
  • Trócaire
  • Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe – Beekeeper Union
  • UN DESA, New York
  • UNDP, Geneva
  • UNDP, Tokyo
  • UN ESCAP, Bangkok
  • UNESC, New Delhi
  • UN ECASRO-EA, Rwanda
  • UNEP, Nairobi
  • UNESCO- Dakar, Senegal
  • UNESCO – IHP, Paris
  • UN ESCWA, Lebanon
  • UN Headquarters New York, Department of Peacekeeping
  • UN OCHA, Geneva
  • UNODC, South Africa
  • UN Office on Drugs & Crime, Vienna
  • UN, Research & Development, New York
  • UN SIDS, New York
  • Vi-Agroforestry
  • Volcano National Park (VNP)
  • Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
  • Wells for Zoe – Malawi


Class of 2013

MDP Students - Rwanda 2013

The 2010/11 MDP class on field training in Rwanda - June 2011

    MDP Students - Rwanda 2011

MDP Faculty & Contributors

Prof. Padraig Carmody (MDP Director/Chair)

Padraig Carmody is a Professor in Geography at TCD, from which he holds both a B.A. in Geography and History and M.Sc in Geography. He completed his Ph.D in Geography from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Subsequently he taught at the University of Vermont, Dublin City University, and St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. He also worked as a policy and research analyst for the Combat Poverty Agency in 2002-2003. His research centres on the political economy of globalization in Africa. His teaching interests are in development and economic geography. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes on Africa, third world development and globalization, in additional to human environment relations and regional development.

Prof. Carmody coordinates the module Globalisation & African Development, and is Director for the MDP.

Dr. Susan Murphy (Assistant Professor in Development Practice)

Susan is a Lecturer in Development Practice in the School of Natural Sciences (Geography), Trinity College Dublin. Susan's research interests are in sustainable development ethics and issues in social and global justice; and she lectures on Gender, Climate Justice, and Development Research and Practice. She has published in national and international peer-review and scientific journals on matters related to ethics, practice and global development. In 2016 Susan published her first monograph with Springer Studies in Global Justice - Responsibility in an Interconnected World. She is Chair of Oxfam Ireland, and a member of Oxfam International Board of Supervisors. She is also the co-convenor of the British International Studies Association (BISA) Working Group on Ethics and World Politics; and scientific committee member of the UN SDSN International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), hosted annually by the Earth Institute, Columbia University.

Susan completed her Ph.D. at University College Dublin (2012) where she was a School of Politics and International Relations Scholar on the subject of international development and humanitarian ethics. Following completion of her masters’ in politics and international relations (1996), she worked in Industry as a manager with Accenture for a decade before returning to academic research and teaching in 2008. As part of her work, she has managed the design and delivery of 200+ international research projects in countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and over 150+ research projects with International Development NGOs in Ireland. Susan is a College Tutor for STEM UG Students and she sits on the School's Research Ethics Committee. Susan has served on the School Athena Swan Gender Equality SAT; PG Teaching and Learning Committee; and as the FEMS faculty representative as a member of University Council and the College International Committee.

Dr. Murphy lectures on Gender & Development; Climate Change: Science Development & Justice; and development research and practice.

Dr. Matthew Saunders

Matthew Saunders is an Assistant Professor in Plant Sciences within the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Plant Ecophysiology (2005) and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science (2001) from Trinity College Dublin and has worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in University College Dublin (2006-2012) and the James Hutton Institute, UK (2012-2015). His research interests include the response of plants to changes in their physical, chemical and biological environments and how this information can be used to assess the resilience and adaptive capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to global environmental change. This work utilises an integrated experimental and model-based approach to assess the physiological and environmental processes that regulate plant productivity, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas dynamics, plant-water relations and energy budgets at the leaf, whole plant and ecosystem scale. Recent projects have focussed on the impacts of land use change, habitat restoration and extreme climatic events on carbon, water and nutrient dynamics in natural and agricultural ecosystems in both temperate and tropical climates. This work has directly contributed to the development of policy relevant, sustainable land management tools that are centred on the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the mitigation of, and adaptation to climate change. He has published in international peer-reviewed journals on matters relating to plant science and environmental change including Global Change Biology, Biogeosciences, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology and Ecology Letters.

Dr Saunders lectures on Sustainable Agriculture & Land Use.

Dr. Federico Cugurullo

Federico Cugurullo is Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism at Trinity College Dublin. His research is positioned at the intersection of urban geography, political philosophy and experimental urbanism, and explores how ideas of sustainability are cultivated and implemented across geographical spaces, with a focus on projects for eco-cities and smart cities.
Federico has done extensive empirical research in the Middle East and Southeast Asia where he has investigated the sustainability performance of supposedly experimental cities such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. His work has been used by the United Nations and the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to foresee future urban challenges and develop preventive policies.
Building upon empirical grounds, Federico’s main theoretical aspiration (also the subject of his forthcoming book) is the development of urban equations for a sustainable urbanism. Other theoretical contributions include the concept of urban eco-modernisation, and the theory of de-composed urbanism and Frankenstein cities.
Before joining Trinity College Dublin, Federico held positions at the University of Manchester, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr. Conor Buggy

Dr Conor Buggy is an Environmental Scientist and Engineer working as Assistant Professor in Occupational and Environmental Studies in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science. Conor is the Programme Director for the Masters in Occupational Safety and Health and Professional Certificate in Environmental Management programmes. His main research focus is currently on the impact education and training can have in organisational settings to change behaviour in particular cohorts. One study in collaboration with Dr. Seamus Kelly (UCD) focuses on the occupational health management of professional athletes and how occupational health awareness training can lead to better decision making for athletes’ long-term wellbeing. A further study in collaboration with Dr. Susan Murphy (TCD) is focused on the flexibility and impact of adult educational methods and frameworks for professionals working in the healthcare sector.
Another research project is linked his teaching on the TCD Masters in Development Practice. The project, in collaboration with Dr. Gayle McGlynn (TCD), involves a staged evaluation of climate change awareness in the education system of a developing nation, and is run in partnership with DUCE (Dar Es Salaam University College of Education) in Tanzania. The ultimate aim of this project is to prepare an educational package to ensure secondary school teachers of all disciplines can understand climate change and introduce to secondary school students effectively. Conor has been working with the UCD Centre for Safety and Health since 2010. Read Conor’s full research profile here.

Dr. Philip Lawton

Philip Lawton joined Trinity College Dublin as Assistant Professor in Geography in Setember, 2017. His research interests are focused on the intersection between urban economic change, urban policy making and social life in cities. Outputs from his research have included the analysis of residential preferences of creative-knowledge workers (Cities, 2013), the ideal of the 'European city' in Dublin policy making (International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2014), and the connections between uneven development and suburban transformation in Adamstown, Dublin (European Journal of Urban and Regional Studies, 2018). Prior to joining Trinity College, Philip held positions in Maynooth University, NUI Galway, and Maastricht University. Through these experiences, Philip has sought to develop an approach to teaching that is centred on student discussion and interaction. 

Dr. Lawton is the coordinator for Theories of Development

Dr. John McDonagh

Dr. McDonagh holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin. He has taught a variety of undergraduate and post-graduate courses, including microeconomics and mathematical and statistical methods. His research interests include historical economic development, particularly in Ireland and Britain, and applied econometrics. He also has experience of working as a professional economist outside of academia on a range of micro and macroeconomic policy issues. 

Dr McDonagh lectures on Development Economics.

Prof. Laurence Gill

Laurence Gill is a Professor in Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. His research interests involve studying the fate and transport of both air and water-borne pollutants in the natural and built environment, as well as the development of passive treatment processes. Much of the work involves extensive field studies which are then used to develop mathematical models to gain further insight into the processes. Prior to joining at Trinity College in 1999, he spent several years working in the UK water industry on the design of water and wastewater treatment processes for urban populations.

Prof Gill is the coordinator for Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development.

Dr. Tara Bedi

Tara Bedi is a Marie Curie (CAROLINE) Irish Research Council Post Doctoral Fellow in the Economics Department in Trinity College Dublin, where she is also received her PhD in Development Economics from. Prior to this, she worked with Trócaire, an Irish NGO, leading on policy research, including Leading Edge 2020. Before moving to Ireland, she worked in the Poverty Reduction Group at the World Bank, where she carried out research on impact evaluations, poverty maps and poverty monitoring systems. She received a master’s degree in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Bedi lectures on Impact Measurement.

Dr. Jean Wilson

Dr Jean Wilson is a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow in the School of Natural Sciences. Jean’s research interests centre on environmental applications of remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis, specifically in the context of water resources monitoring and management. Her work has been funded since 2009 under the EPA STRIVE initiative. She has developed novel methodologies in the application of thermal remote sensing and geochemical tracing techniques for localising and assessing groundwater discharge to lakes and coastal waters nationally.

Dr. Wilson is the coordinator for Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


Entry Requirements

Entry to the program will be based on competitive selection. Applications for admission are accepted from

  • holders of first or upper-second class honors degrees (grade point average 3.5 equivalent) awarded by recognised universities and institutions, and recognised degree awarding bodies (e.g. NCEA, CNAA);
  • holders of other degrees from recognised universities or degree granting institutions who have experienced at least three years of appropriate employment;
  • holders of recognised professional qualifications obtained through examinations who have spent at least four years in study and who, in addition, have been employed for at least two years in the work of their profession;

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English in a test administered by an institution independent of their own university (e.g. the British Council).

Applications must be made online. For further information on applying to taught courses in Trinity College, see Trinity Graduate Studies.

Applications are now open for 2024/25 (September 2024 intake) at TCD Postgraduate webpage at TCD Postgraduate webpage. Final Closing date is 31st July 2024. The Admissions Committee strongly recommend early applications, especially from international students, as we are reviewing applications on a regular basis. We aim to turn around all completed applications within 20 working days from date of submission (of all documents).

Further information on eligibility and application to the Masters in Development Practice is available from the Graduate Studies Office.

Further Information

Contact Us

Applications are now open for 2024/25 (September 2024 intake). Further details on the admissions process can be found at here

Trinity College Dublin

Elaine Elders
Administrative Officer
TCD MSc in Development Practice
Rm 1.12 Museum Building
Trinity College Dublin

Tel: +353 (0)1 896 2414


Practical Information for Students

  • Fees

Please click here for MSc in Development Practice Fees information

  • Accommodation

Students enrolled on this postgraduate programme will be eligible to apply for accommodation at both Trinity College Dublin.

For accommodation at Trinity College Dublin

  • Assistance for International Students

International Students Office at Trinity College Dublin

  • Visas

For information on obtaining an Irish visa please see the website of the Irish Department for Foreign Affairs  

Useful Links

  • TCD Masters in Development Practice – Partners


NU of Rwanda

University of Rwanda

Global Masters in Development Practice Network

The TCD Masters in Development Practice is part of the Global Master’s in Development Practice Network. The secretariat for this network is based at the University of Colombia in New York. For further information and details of the other MDP programmes in the network please see and University of Colombia in New York.

Irish Aid

Irish Aid is the Government of Ireland’s programme of assistance to developing countries.


Students Testimonials

Ahmad Shafie Raouf (MDP Graduate 2023)

The program empowered me with the knowledge and skills necessary to address critical issues like hunger, poverty, inequality, and climate change - all of which are among the main concerns for development policy and practice. The academic atmosphere was inspiring, thanks to the outstanding faculty and my enthusiastic classmates from different parts of the world who enriched my learning experience. My studies, which were made possible by the Government of Ireland-International Education Scholarship (GOV-IES), enabled me to develop vital skills such as critical writing, analytical thinking, impact evaluation, and research proficiency throughout the program. 

Kevin Dowling (MDP Graduate 2022)

For me, the beauty of the MDP was that it offered a broad exploration of the development system overall, while also allowing considerable opportunity for students to focus on more niche areas of interest, and to individualize assignments accordingly. In this way, I felt as though I graduated with a specialty, while maintaining the benefits of a more generalist viewpoint.  From the wide breadth of modules covered, to the faculty’s expertise and dedication, the programme set me up well for securing employment soon after, despite this representing a relatively big career shift for me. I’m really grateful for that. 

Ben Davison (MDP Graduate 2022)

My experiences as a volunteer at a local city-based foodbank highlighted to me the reality of the inequality that exists, not only in a generic, untouchable, global sense, but right on my doorstep in the city that I was living. These experiences led to me considering the idea of devoting my career to development (development in what sense? – I did not yet know!). As I explored different masters options or other potential avenues, the Masters in Development Practice (MDP) at Trinity College Dublin stood out to me due to the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, and its practical approach.

I did not regret my decision to enrol in the MDP programme as I enjoyed the range of topics we studied from Development Economics to Gender and Development to Sustainable Agriculture and Land Use. This range of disciplines gave us a wealth of insight on the potential approaches that exist to pursue development and reduce inequalities throughout the world today, and the relationships between these different approaches. The nature of the programme also allowed me to consider where I felt I could offer a real contribution in the realm of development. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to work with an Irish NGO on my thesis which offered me the chance to learn practically and to produce a piece of work useful to a real life organisation operating within the humanitarian sector.

Having graduated from the programme, I now feel better equipped - with more insight, capabilities and confidence – to pursue my career within the field of development.

Esther Breffka (MDP Graduate 2021)

I was particularly interested in pursuing the MDP at TCD for its holistic and critical approach towards the subject and process of study. Given the practice-oriented structure (three mandatory practical components), the two-years full-time MDP provided the opportunity to explore issues and challenges of development practice in theory and practice from a multi-faceted perspective.

One of the classes I enjoyed most was taught by Prof Murphy who as a practitioner and academic herself, shared her passion about climate and gender justice in a truly engaging and thought-provoking manner. She encouraged us to think critically - challenge existing norms, systems and approaches – and consider how we could apply our learnings in specific contexts with concrete impact.

A truly rewarding experience to me was the collaborative approach of learning from and with this new generation of passionate and critical thinkers. Throughout the entire programme, I felt inspired by the MDP family - a small cohort of fellows from diverse contexts striving towards extending their knowledge, thinking critically and being extremely aware of their social positionality. Together, we built a community of practice and care, for which I am deeply grateful.

Given its global nature, the MDP allows to study sustainable development from a context-sensitive and global systems perspective. Certain courses and workshops are hold at a global level and taken together with the global MDP fellows which opens horizons through discussing issues and challenges of sustainable development across geo-spatial boundaries, and building a global community of practitioners.

Andrew Neill (MDP Graduate 2019)

The MDP program was a fantastic pathway for me to explore the topics I am really passionate about, while also broadening my awareness and understanding of other development problems. Studying with classmates and lecturers with a range of lived experiences and expertise is an asset to the course for all involved. For me, the international placements were the highlight of the program and helped inform the decisions I would make upon graduating. I would recommend to any student to make the most of those opportunities as they build valuable research and professional skills that have been useful long after finishing the MDP.

Grace Duffy (MDP Graduate 2013)

I started the MDP course in Dublin after volunteering in East Africa over the course of two summers, and wanting to learn more about ‘how the world works’. What really attracted me to this particular course was the opportunity to partner the academic learning with field/work placements. My research placement was in Kigali, Rwanda, where I researched legislation on gender-based violence, I also secured a place with UN Women in New York, working with the Donor Relations & Reporting Team. I’ve found that having this element of practical experience to complement the academic experience has definitely helped me moving forward into the work place.  

Before I started the MDP, I wasn’t sure how I could apply my undergraduate degree in engineering to the course. I soon learned that the course draws on the widely varied knowledge, skills and experiences, both of the students and module coordinators. From research and statistics to project management; from economics to conflict, and so on. In this way, we could not only employ our different strengths, but also learn from others in areas that we might feel weaker.
I enjoyed the course, and would recommend anyone seeking a course in development to consider undertaking the MDP.  

Emmanuel Hakizimfura (MDP graduate 2013)

The combination of the theory and practice has made me feel and live the uniqueness of the Masters in Development Practice, an interdisciplinary program.
Interactive sessions with development practitioners, worldwide high profile pundits of Sustainable Development from different angles through live seminars, lectures and simulation-fashioned exercises have altogether enriched my understanding of the world, particularly development problems & prospects and international development cooperation, in addition to enlightening and enhancing my critical thinking, problem solving skills and even expanding the network for my career, just to name a few.

Furthermore, the hands-on experience on development bottlenecks, through field placement (in a development organization), has shed more light on the multi-faceted and complex nature of development issues. From that, I grasped more about the relevance and usefulness of the interdisciplinary approach of this program.  Moreover, the professionalism coupled with a devoted service of the TCD MDP coordination team has been highly contributing in creating an enabling environment for my learning. To sum up, I honestly don`t think I would have got that experience and great opportunity from any other program, if not the Masters in Development Practice I have been pursuing at TCD.

Safarani Seushi ( MDP graduate 2016)

It took me five years to find a Masters course that was perfect to what I had in mind for my career development. The classroom experience was one of a kind, from the lecture delivery to the weekly challenges that provide a platform for skill building and knowledge sharing. The lecturers are experienced and have worked in different parts of the world, so it’s always interesting when they share their knowledge (and stories) with us! Overall this course is well coordinated and I am appreciative of how it has the perfect balance between theoretical and practical learning content. I highly recommend it for those who have a passion in pursuing a career in international development!

FAQ - 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 one-year graduate degree providing 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 which includes health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, and management, and by taking an integrated, holistic approach to finding solutions to development challenges, graduates are 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 field placements.

Who are Dublin MDP students?

3. What type of student pursues this degree?

As a multidisciplinary programme, our students have a wide range of background profiles (engineering, international relations, computer sciences, natural sciences, law and political sciences). Recent graduates, as well as early and mid-career development professionals are pursuing the degree and are drawn from around the world

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 my education, Is the Dublin MDP for me?

Yes. The MDP programme brings together academic 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 greatly 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 their 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 career interests in a wide array of areas in international development. 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 course modules of the Dublin MDP, students acquire skills related to research methods, statistical analysis via STATA, economic models and impact evaluation, geographic information systems, policy frameworks and analysis, project creation and management, in addition to the exposure to current research and work in sustainable development.

12. Where will fieldwork placements be?

The 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).

13. What non-academic opportunities will also be available?

In addition to the modules and fieldwork placements, students are encouraged to engage in the regular seminars and conferences run by the Development Studies Association of Ireland, and other collaborating bodies. 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 students will have opportunities to take on extracurricular activities with Dochas, the Irish association of Non-Governmental Development organisations.


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 Director (Prof Padraig Carmody), places can be deferred for up to one year upon payment of an initial deposit of €500.

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