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Masters in Development Practice

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

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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 field training and professional local and international work-based placements to better understand  international development problems and best practices.

The Dublin MDP is a member of this global network of Master’s in Development Practice, headquartered at Columbia University, New York, linking with over 30 universities and hundreds of partner organisations worldwide.

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Is this course for me?

The two-year Masters in Development Practice encompasses an integrated theoretical and practical approach with multidisciplinary training in four “pillars”- health, natural, social, and management sciences. Eighteen core academic modules (link) 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 four work-based placements (link) which provide hands-on practical experience for students, both in International Development NGOs and International Intergovernmental Organisations. This programme aims to create a new generation of development practitioners with the skills to implement and manage comprehensive approaches to sustainable and efficient 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. 

See more details on the main courses website

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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 three internships including two international field training placements.

MDP Candidates develop specialist skills in

Year 1

Semester 1

MDP Global Classroom: Foundations of Sustainable Development Practice


Global Health


Economics & Policy Analysis I


Research Methods: Statistics & Econometrics


Research Methods: GIS

Semester 2

Irish NGO Placements


Economic & Policy Analysis II


Climate Change: Science, Development & Justice


Globalisation & African Development


Sustainable Agriculture & Land Use

  Qualitative Research Methods

Semester 3

Fieldwork 1


Year 2

Semester 1

Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development


Theories of Development


Politics of Conflict in Development Practice


Gender & Development


Development Economics

Semester 2

Smart Eco-Cities of the Future


Impact Measurement

Semester 3

Fieldwork 2


MDP Dissertation


Field Training Modules:

There are 4 field-based modules comprising international development fieldwork and work-based placements, locally and overseas. They constitute the core of the practical learning of the MDP programme, and will allow students to put into practice the knowledge acquired in coursework.

Year 1 - Irish NGO Placement
       Summer Placement

Year 2 - Summer Placement


Year 1:

  • Irish NGO Placement:

In the first year, students will work with local Non-Governmental Development Organisations (NGDOs). During the placement, students will work on identified issues of research concern to the partner development organisations based in Ireland. With some guidance by the organizations, students will work in groups to produce the desired project outcome.

Organisations with whom the MDP students have worked with in 2015 include:

  • Concern International
  • Development Perspectives
  • Dochas
  • Goal
  • Irish League of Credit Union Foundations
  • Meithal Mara
  • Oxfam
  • Trocaire
Field Work 1:

Between June and August, MDP students will have the opportunity to do a clinical field training 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 and in South America, and is perpetually forging connections to create more choice for our students.

To date, Dublin MDP students have worked with the following organisations in Rwanda:

  • Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)
  • The Rwanda National Land Centre
  • Great Ape Trust if Iowa/Gishwati Area Conservation Program
  • Akagera National Park
  • Karisoke Research Centre
  • Centre for Conflict Management (NUR)
  • Millennium Village Project (MVP)
  • Care International
  • Trócaire
  • International Justice Mission (IJM)
  • Search for Common Ground
  • Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
  • Health Poverty Action
  • Volcano National Park (VNP)
  • Catholic Relief Service
  • Vi-Agroforestry
  • TechnoServe
  • AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
  • Gender Monitoring Office (GMO)
  • EWSA
  • Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe – Beekeeper Union
  • CSO Rwanda

So far, students have worked with the following organizations outside of Rwanda:

  • Environmental Protection Agency and CIESIN- Sierra Leone
  • Community Development Research Network (CDRN)- Uganda
  • The Volunteer Project- Tanzania
  • REPOA- Tanzania
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro- Brasil
  • UNESCO- Dakar, Senegal
  • Wells for Zoe – Malawi
  • Camara – Jamaica
  • APA/CVM – Tanzania
  • DUCE – Tanzania
  • Gorta – Kenya
  • GOAL – Ethiopia


Class of 2013

MDP Students - Rwanda 2013

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

    MDP Students - Rwanda 2011

  • Rwanda 2012 photos
  • MDP students welcomed at National University of Rwanda

Year 2:

  • Field Work 2:

In the second year, MDP Dublin students will undertake their  field programme with development organisations at the international and national levels. The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to:

  • Undertake a short field placement programme with a development organisation working at the global, international or national level.
  • Allow students to work with development practitioners, programme/project officers and desk officers in a shadowing capacity to enable them to acquire direct organisational and programme management skills.
  • Offer students the opportunity to develop their professional and career networks for potential employment in the future. 

To date the MDP students have worked with the following international organisations:

  • UN Headquarters New York, Department of Peacekeeping
  • UNESCO – IHP, Paris
  • OECD DAC, Paris
  • UN Office on Drugs & Crime, Vienna
  • Language Development Centre, Nepal
  • UN OCHA, Geneva
  • UN, Research & Development, New York
  • Centre for National Health Development, Ethiopia
  • Concern, Uganda
  • IFAD, Washington
  • Malawi Clinic
  • Millennium Development Centre, Nairobi
  • R&D Branch, Degrowth Movement, Barcelona
  • Chemonics International Inc.
  • UNEP, Nairobi
  • UNDP, Geneva
  • UN SIDS, New York
  • UN DESA, New York
  • UNODC, South Africa
  • UN ECASRO-EA, Rwanda
  • UN ESCAP, Bangkok
  • UNESC, New Delhi
  • UNDP, Tokyo
  • UN ESCWA, Lebanon
  • CNRS, Paris & Kathmandu
  • OCHA, South Africa


Can I find my own internship for the fieldwork 1?
Yes. If your project is prepared in a timely manner and fits the parameters defined in the course handbook and module outlines. Any student is free to look outside of the list proposed by the programme if their interests are not represented.

Are students helped at all to find the second internship?
Yes. Workshops are organized to help students improve their CVs and cover letters as well as to improve their visibility on social networks and the efficiency of their searches.

Are students financially helped during the internships?
Yes. The MDP provides a limited stipend to assist in the expenses of the field trip, such as the flight, the everyday life, and the research expenses.

MDP Faculty & Contributors

Prof. Padraig Carmody (MDP Director/Chair)

Padraig Carmody is an Associate Professor in Geography, 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.

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

Dr. Susan Murphy (Assistant Professor in Development Practice)

Susan Murphy is the Assistant Professor in Development Practice with the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and Course Coordinator for the Masters in Development Practice (MDP).

Susan's research interests are in international political theory, issues in global justice, human rights and climate change, gender and social inclusion. She was shortlisted for an ERC (European Research Council) Award in 2017 and has published in national and international peer-review and scientific journals on matters related to ethics and global development. In 2016 Susan published a monograph with Springer Studies in Global Justice - Responsibility in an Interconnected World. Susan lectures on Gender, Climate Justice, and Development Research and Practice. As part of her work, she has managed the design and delivery of 150+ international research projects in countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and over 100+ research projects with International Development NGOs in Ireland. Susan is a member of University Council and Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI). She sits on a number of school committees including Research Ethics, Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, Athena SWAN School SAT and is a College Tutor for STEM Students. External roles include Board of Trustees - Oxfam Ireland; committee member of Future Earth Ireland; Board of Advisors, The Humanitarian Innovation Academy; and member of the UN SDSN. Susan has twenty years of management and professional experience, both within the University and also in Industry.

Dr. Gayle McGlynn

Gayle McGlynn is an Assistant Professor in Geography in Trinity College Dublin. She completed both her BA and PhD in Geography in Trinity College Dublin, and also holds an MSc in Quaternary Science from the University of London. Her main research interests relate to the causes, patterns and impacts of climate and environmental change in tropical Africa. Much of her research involves using sediment-based records to reconstruct past environmental change, with a particular focus on the Albertine Rift of eastern Africa. She has extensive field experience in eastern and southern Africa, having been involved in fieldwork in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Following completion of her PhD in 2012, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a project examining the relationship between environmental/climate change and water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa

Dr. McGlynn lectures on Climate Change: Science Development & Justice.

Dr. Ayat Abu-Agla

Dr Ayat Abu-Agla is a Community Medicine consultant, with a MBBS, MPH and a Medical Doctorate. She has over a decade of diverse work experience in LMICs (mainly Sudan) through positions in healthcare, academia and professional associations. Her research are in the areas of Reproductive health, health systems and human resources for health (HRH) in post conflict and LMICS. Among the projects she led was the first mapping of health and medical educational pipeline survey in Sudan, the health labour market study with WHO-HQ/EMRO/AFRO and HRH migration. She is currently a Doctoral researcher based at the Centre for Global Health at Trinity College Dublin. She lectures on Reproductive and Maternal Health and HRH on the MSc in Global Health Programme. She also serves as TDR/WHO Implementation Research temporary adviser since 2013.

Dr. Abu-Agla is the coordinator for Global Health.

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. Cian O'Callaghan

Cian O'Callaghan is an Assistant Professor in Urban Geography with the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. He joined the Geography Department in 2016.

Prior to joining Trinity, he worked at Maynooth University between 2008 and 2016. At Maynooth he held the positions of Lecturer in Geography and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA). Cian holds a PhD from University College Cork (2009).

Cian lectures within the area of Urban Geography, with a particular focus on global urbanisation, urban regeneration, urban cultural geography, and urban theory.

His research projects have included: urban transformation and culture-led development in relation to Cork’s European Capital of Culture year in 2005; the political-economic and cultural role of Ireland’s ‘ghost estates’; and contestations over the reuse of vacant spaces in post-crisis cities.

His research has been published in international journals including Urban Studies, Political Geography, Environment and Planning A, and International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

He is also a regular contributor to the Ireland after NAMA public geographies blog:

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 is the coordinator for Economic & Policy Analysis I & II; Research Methods (Statistics), Global Classroom and Development Economics.

Dr. Anna Davis

Anna directs the Environmental Governance Research Group and is on the steering committee for the Trinity Centre for Future Cities. Anna Chairs the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) Future Earth Ireland expert group, is a member of the RIA Geographical and Geosciences Committee and The Planning and Environment Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society, as well as being the Secretary of the European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production. She is a member of the Development Team for the Future Earth Knowledge Action Network for Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production and is co-Chair of the SSCP KAN working group on social change beyond consumerism. Anna was elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. In addition, Anna advises the Irish Government as a member of the National Climate Change Council and is a member of the Expert Group for the Citizen's Assembly on Climate Change. She was previously (2011-2016) an independent member of the National Economic and Social Council. Anna sits on the management board of the social enterprise The Rediscovery Centre, based in Ballymun, Dublin, a social enterprise dedicated to providing community employment and training via innovative reuse of unwanted or discarded materials. Anna has produced more than 80 peer reviewed books, book chapters and journal articles, including articles in leading international peer-review journals such as Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, the Annals of American Association of Geography and Geoforum. In 2012, she was awarded a prize from the Geography Society of Ireland for her contribution to Society and Community. Anna is currently PI of SHARECITY, an ERC Consolidator Grant funded by the European Union under the Horizon2020 programme. Prior to this Anna was Principal Investigator of CONSENSUS, a large-scale multi-institutional project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, examining consumption, environment and sustainability.

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 is the coordinator for 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 Research Methods (GIS).

Declan Power

Declan Power is an independent security and defence analyst who has worked on projects in Africa with the European Commission involving counter-terrorism (CT) and countering of violent extremism (CVE).
Previously he led the successful joint Irish-Swiss government project, Sustaining Humanitarian Presence Initiative, which provided conflict and crisis-management skills and advice to International NGO’s working under the UN in South Sudan.
A former career soldier, Power served in the three combat arms of the Irish army on a variety of operations both at home and abroad.  He was also a panellist/contributor on the 2015 White Paper on Defence.

In addition to attending the military college, Power is a graduate of Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin and has also completed the UNHCR’s Emergency Management program. He is one of the few people in Ireland to complete the UN’s Inter-Agency Emergency Simulation Instructor’s course. He has studied and instructed on various civil and military crisis management courses, including UNOCHA’s Civil Military Staff Planning Course, NATO’s CCOE School and the UK’s Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies (BCISS), the Irish Defence Force’s Command and Staff course and the UN Training School Ireland.
Power also is the author of a number of articles, papers and books on security affairs, including From the Congo to Mali (Irish Studies in International Affairs 2013) which examined Ireland’s contribution to international peace support operations and Siege at Jadotville (Maverick House 2005), one of the few books dealing with the Irish experience of UN service during the Congo mission. The book was adapted for film in 2015.

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 2020/21 (September 2020 intake) at TCD Postgraduate webpage. Final Closing date is 30th June 2020. 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 2020/21 (September 2020 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

Current course handbook

Current course brochure

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

TCD logo

Trinity College Dublin


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.

Funding Opportunities

The Trinity Masters in Development Practice offers one fully funded scholarship to a student from a developing country. This scholarship will cover tuition fees and a yearly stipend for both years of the programme. To apply, please include a 500 word statement in the section provided on the online course application form.

Irish Aid

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


List of countries whose citizens are eligible for consideration for fellowships

Low-income economies (43)









Sierra Leone 

Burkina Faso 

Korea, Dem Rep. 



Kyrgyz Republic 



Lao PDR 


Central African Republic 









Congo, Dem. Rep 





Yemen, Rep. 




Gambia, The 









Lower-middle-income economies (55)











Iran, Islamic Rep. 

São Tomé and Principe 



Solomon Islands



Sri Lanka 







Cape Verde 


Syrian Arab Republic 




Congo, Rep. 

Marshall Islands 


Côte d'Ivoire 

Micronesia, Fed. Sts. 








Egypt, Arab Rep. 



El Salvador 





West Bank and Gaza 





Papua New Guinea  


Upper-middle-income economies (46)




American Samoa 








Russian Federation 

Bosnia and Herzegovina   








South Africa 


Macedonia, FYR   

St. Kitts and Nevis 



St. Lucia 



St. Vincent and the Grenadines 

Costa Rica 









Dominican Republic   


Venezuela, RB 






Students Testimonials

Alex Bartoloni (MDP Graduate 2013)

The fields of international development and humanitarian response are very competitive, but the Dublin MDP provides a great combination of skills, education and experience to succeed. Currently I am working with International Medical Corps responding to the ongoing Syrian crisis, and I am often able to draw upon my studies in Dublin on global health, statistics, project management, development in post-conflict scenarios and many others. The cross-disciplinary nature of the MDP is particularly valuable as it allows me to coordinate on projects related to topics such as gender-based violence, human rights or monitoring and evaluation. While it required a lot of hard work and dedication, I am very thankful that I chose to go to Dublin for my masters in development practice.

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. For my second year internship I 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 two years of the course, and would recommend anyone seeking a course in development to consider undertaking the MDP.  

Emmanuel Hakizimfura (2nd Year MDP Student 2013/14)

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.

Julia Daly (2nd Year MDP 2013/14)

Being an MDP student has been a tremendous learning experience for me. This program has offered me a multidisciplinary approach to international development and has exposed me to great minds from all over the world. I have particularly enjoyed learning from my fellow students about their unique educational backgrounds and global development experiences. The international selection of students and faculty in this program prepares students for employment in the multicultural world of development practitioners. The Dublin MDP particularly cultivates an atmosphere of invaluable insights and internationalism that are not offered by many similar programs.

Rachel Vannice (2nd Year MDP 2013/14)

While working in a developing country, I realized all the gaps I had in my knowledge base and the skills that I felt I needed to be a more effective development practitioner. The MDP appealed to me because I felt it taught in the most effective way, through doing, through practical experience. I have not been disappointed. The skills acquired in research and analysis will be directly marketable as I transition into my career in development practice. The wide range of topics covered academically, some of which I was more familiar with, others about which I had no prior knowledge, provide a substantial base from which to work. Further, the classmates with whom I’ve worked over the past 2 years have been one of the most valuable and enriching elements of my time. Sharing our experiences and going through the field placements together has given me more diverse perspectives, perspectives which I feel are absolutely essential in this field.

Kriti Malhotra (2nd Year MDP 2013/14)

An opportunity to pursue MSc. Development Practice at Trinity College Dublin has exposed and provided me an opportunity to interact and learn from the finest researchers and practitioners at the apex of the development sector globally.
My cross-disciplinary curriculum in natural sciences, economics & social sciences, management & health sciences has helped me build on my critical reasoning skills in the four major pillars crucial to development studies and evidence based policy making. The internship modules as a part of the course with various International development organisations  has given me an immense breadth of cross-continent exposure in multi-tasked project management skills, policy analysis, communication, programme evaluation, drafting.

The modules apart from honing my research skills has also empower me to deal with convoluted issues through medium of workable pragmatic solutions. It has equipped me with a practical understanding of disparate perspectives by working in different verticals of tasks. It would help me explore multitude approaches in solving a challenge, including data driven and hypothesis driven problem solving. 
The best part is the class environment.  My classmates from diverse backgrounds and various countries have certainly helped me build my interpersonal skills.
I would recommend this course to anybody who is looking for a more pragmatic approach towards engaging with the development sector.

Rachel Brittenham (1st Year MDP 2013/14)

My time with the MDP program thus far has been both enlightening and inspiring. The program is a great combination of sciences, human rights, policy studies, and more. Our faculty are experienced in the field and quite worldly. I have also found myself surrounded with some of the most generous and caring classmates I've ever had. Everyone in this program, in Dublin, and in Ireland as a whole, have been unbelievably helpful, and I look forward to the challenges and excitement in the coming semesters.

Bryan Lee (1st Year MDP 2013/14)

Having just finished my first semester, I can definitively say that choosing the Dublin MDP program was the best decision of my life.  From the first day, you are thrown into a fast-paced and dynamic learning environment with classmates who have diverse backgrounds and bring a wide variety of life experience to the table.  The classes you take are very engaging and there is never a shortage of passionate debate with professors and classmates.  The small class size also allows you to interact closely with your lecturers and classmates.  I have found that it is easy to make friends very quickly in this environment.

Despite the demanding academic environment, there is much more to this program than coursework. This program has a vibrant social life with frequent wine receptions, meet ups at the student pub, and nights out in town. Dublin has a great nightlife and there is a plenty to do and see in Ireland. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities to network and to engage in development projects with the local Irish NGO sector and abroad in the Global South. There are also plenty of travel opportunities as mainland Europe is very accessible and we engage in research projects in central Africa over the summer.

Going to school in Dublin has been nothing short of spectacular.  In addition to the prestigious reputation, this program offers a great learning environment. I have taken full advantage of the opportunities that have been offered to me and am very happy with my experience.

Safarani Seushi (1st Year MDP 2013/14)

It took me five years to find a Masters course that was perfect to what I had in mind for my career development. After my first semester in the MDP programme, it was definitely worth the wait! The classroom experience has been 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! It is an exciting time for us now as we are also preparing for our fieldwork experience in different developing countries. 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!

Rudi Hintermeister (MDP Graduate 2013)

Through excellent internship experiences and a challenging class structure, the MDP experience in Dublin set me up to competently enter a career in the field of international development. As an environmental consultant focusing on the environmental and social impacts of various industries in South East Asia, I find myself incorporating what I learned in the MDP to my professional career on a daily basis. The multifaceted and holistic nature of the course allows for students to gain an understanding of many topics that that all fall under the development umbrella. I would highly recommend the MDP course in Dublin to anyone who wants to enter 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 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 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. 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.  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.