GradDip International Development

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

The Grad Dip  in International Development is designed to provide you with an interdisciplinary understanding of the process of development by bringing together expertise in politics, economics, agriculture, political economy and other areas.

  • Oldest and largest school of its kind in Ireland with over 150 years of experience in political studies
  • World-renowned staff drawn from many countries.

Careers & Employability

Graduates of the programme have found employment with the official Irish aid programme, in Irish and international non-governmental organisations such as Trocaire, Goal, Action Aid and Oxfam, and with agencies of the European Union and the United Nations as well as in journalism, education, local community development, and many other areas such as:
  • Public administration
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Civil society organisations
  • Voluntary sector
  • Academic institutions

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Each application is considered on its individual merits. The applicants should have earned an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject  such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law/international law etc.

This programme aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in international development - either as a practictioner or as an academic/policy specialiist.  Learning is designed to be participatory and a critical, but constructive, approach to interdisciplinary development issues (ecconomic, politival and other) is encouraged.

  • acquaint students with cutting edge development issues
  • allow students to comment critically on development interventions
  • develop oral presentation skills
  • enhance group work skills
  • enhance students' abilities to assess development practice on the ground
  • equip students with the skills to work in the field of international development

View All Modules Here

The Graduate Diploma in International Development is a 60-credit programme.

Full time students must take three 10-credit modules in the first trimester and three 10-credit modules in the second trimester.

Depending on their performance, aspirations and selection of modules, students may be able to transfer from the graduate diploma into the MA International Development after the first trimester.

Current Core and Option Modules for Graduate Diploma in International Development (credits in parentheses)

Please note this is subject to change



Autumn Trimester

Spring Trimester

Core Modules

POL40100 Politics of Development (10)

POL41860 Governance, Pol, Dev (10)


Option Modules

POL40050 Theories of Internat.Relations (10)

POL40140 International Political Theory (10)

POL40950 Introduction to Statistics (10)

POL40970 Politics European Governance (10)

POL41020 Politics of Human Rights (10)

POL41650 Global Political Econ ofEurope (10)

POL41800 Theories of Int'l Rels Stream2 (10)

POL41910 Political Violence (10)

POL41930 Psychology of Conflict in MENA (10)

POL42040 Gender & the Political System (10)

POL42340 Programming for Soc Scientists (10)

GS40100 Gender, Harm and Justice (10)

POL40160 Comparative Public Policy (10)

POL40370 International Political Econom (10)

POL40540 Comparative European Politics (10)

POL40610 EU Foreign and Security Policy (10)

POL41030 Theory of Human Rights (10)

POL41640 Qual Research Methods for Pol (10)

POL41720 Gender, Peace, and Security (10)

POL41780 The Politics of Inequality (10)

POL41870 Econ & Policy Analysis 1 10cr (10)

POL41980 Peace & Conflict Studies (10)

POL42000 Political Theory and the EU (10)

POL42050 Quantitative Text Analysis (10)

POL42060 International Security (10)

POL42070 Politics of (mis-)information (10)

GradDip International Development (W299) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 6815
nonEU    fee per year - € 13270

GradDip International Development (W300) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4510
nonEU    fee per year - € 6635

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

This programme is intended for applicants at least a lower or upper second class honours (2.2) or international equivalent in their primary degree in a relevant subject such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law.
•    Professional experience may also be taken into account
•   Applicants whose first language is not English should have met the English language requirements as listed on the following link. Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement.
English Language Requirements

Graduate Profile
Ayesha Azeem, Pakistan,

Senior Project Officer, Church World Service – Pakistan/Afghanistan
With the knowledge I learned during my masters in UCD, I am confident that I can fulfil my role with the utmost professionalism and confidence as Senior Project Officer in Capacity Institutionalisation Project (CIP) in Church World Service – Pakistan/Afghanistan, a donor-funded project which deals with initiatives on capacity building of local NGO’s and CSO’s. Living abroad for a year on my own enhanced my ability to interact and communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and collaborate effectively within a team and manage varied projects. That one year in UCD and Dublin taught me much more about life beyond a masters degree!

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Dip International Development FT (W299)
1 Years
Full Time
Grad Dip International Development PT (W300)
2 Years
Part Time

Q1.  As a full-time student, how many lectures am I supposed to attend each week?

A1. The structure of full time and part-time programmes is the same, the timetable also. Both FT and PT programmes are 60 credits. Modules normally run from Monday to Friday between(09:00 – 18:00).

Your timetable would depend on your module choices.

Full-time programmes:

Autumn Trimester – 3 full 10 credit modules = 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.

Spring Trimester – 3 full 10 credit modules = 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.

Part-time programmes:

Part-time students take a total of 60 credits also but over the two-year duration of the part-time course. Module choice is more flexible for part-time students.

Q2.  How is a module run?

A2.  Our modules are delivered in two-hour lecture sessions every week for 12 weeks. The majority of lectures take place between 09:00 and 18:00, Monday-Friday.

One or two modules (trimester I and II) may be run from 18:00 - 20:00 depending on the current academic year timetable.

Q3.  How is the part-time course run?

A3.  A part-time student will spread the workload over two years. See Q1.

Q4.  Are there any modules offered in the evenings or at weekends?

A4.  We have no plans to offer modules on weekends, however, we may offer a few modules from 18:00 - 20:00 every semester. We do not currently run any weekend or evening masters programmes.

Q5.  Can a Graduate Diploma be studied online?

A5. Currently, you cannot study any of our Master’s or Grad Dip degrees online and must be present in-person in Dublin to attend class. The exception to this is the MSc Sustainable Development, which is online only.

Q6. How Can I Transfer from the Grad Dip to the MA?

A6. Students enrolled in SPIRe’s three Graduate Diploma programmes may apply for mid-year transfer into certain of the school’s master’s programmes.

  • Students in the Graduate Diploma in Politics and International Relations may apply for transfer into the MA Politics, MA International Relations, MA Peace and Conflict, MA Political Theory, MA International Political Economy, MA European Politics and Policy, MA Middle East Politics, MA Gender, Politics and International Relations, Politics and International Relations (part time students only), MSc Human Rights or MEconSc European Public Affairs and Law.

  • Students in the Graduate Diploma in International Development may apply for transfer only into the MA International Development.

  • Students in the Graduate Diploma in Politics and Data Science may apply for transfer only to the MA International Development

Due to the structure of their core curricula, the school’s other master’s programmes are generally not available for mid-year transfer. In special cases, exceptions may be made for students who have earned final marks of B or higher in design/methods modules that these programmes require in the autumn trimester.

In order to be eligible for transfer into one of the master’s programmes listed above, full-time Grad Dip students must pass (minimum D-) all marked modules taken in the autumn trimester and earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 (B-). A single IX in term 1 will not disqualify a student from applying for transfer; students with multiple IXs who wish to transfer will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee on a case-by-case basis.

Students who wish to transfer are therefore responsible for registering on the autumn trimester core modules of the relevant programme, which can be found in the Graduate Handbook. (For part-time students, see point 6 below.)

In order to apply for transfer, students must submit the following in a single e-mail to the school’s Postgraduate Administrator no later than the last day of exams in the autumn trimester (term dates are available on SISWeb).

  • A formal letter indicating the student’s name, UCD student number, which Grad Dip s/he is enrolled in and which master’s programme s/he wishes to transfer onto.

  • A brief statement (250-350 words) regarding the topic of the thesis s/he wishes to write if admitted to a master’s programme.

It is solely the student’s responsibility to ensure that this application is submitted by the deadline. Applications will not be considered if they are submitted in hard copy or after the deadline. Any Grad Dip student considering applying for transfer should arrange at the start of the autumn trimester to complete the Research Design workshop. In addition, all such students are strongly advised to discuss their plans with the relevant Grad Dip coordinator at the autumn trimester. Once applications are submitted, the school’s Postgraduate Administrator will confirm each applicant’s eligibility for transfer and then forward all eligible applications to the Graduate Studies Committee for review and decision. Decisions shall be communicated to the student within the first week of classes in the spring trimester.

Part-time GradDip students are covered by this same policy, but all requirements related to autumn trimester and spring trimester apply instead to Year 1 and Year 2.

Students approved for transfer will be required to pay the difference in fees that will apply. Students whose transfer applications are not approved will remain enrolled in their original Grad Dip programme.

Q7.  Is the timetable available?

A7.  Yes, please see here for the current timetables for all MA/MSc/MEconSc and Grad Dip programmes.

Q8.  Is there any further information for International Students?

A9. There is a lot of information available for international students on the UCD Global site:

If you are an international student and are seeking further information, you should get in touch with your Global Centre.  The Global Centre is determined by the origin of the student.

If you have already applied, please quote your Application Number when you do. Here is a list of our UCD Global Centres and their contact information:

Asia Pacific: 

Middle East & North Africa: 


Latin America: 

North America: 

South Asia:

ROW & Africa: can also be used for more general queries related to registration, accommodation etc.

Q9.  Do I have to pay the application fee?

A9.  Yes. The application fee must be paid before the UCD Application System will allow us to review it.

Q10.  What is an academic reference?

A10.  Your reference should come from a lecturer of your undergraduate degree at your previous/current university. It should include a history of academic grades and why you should be recommended for the programme. It should be signed and on headed paper. You need to upload this to your application, SPIRe does not contact your references directly.

Q11.  Do I need two references?

A11.  No. We only require one reference. 

Q12.  My referee doesn’t want me to view the reference, but the UCD online application system asks me to upload a copy. What can I do?

A12.  You may ask them to send the reference by email to The email must be sent from a professional email account (e.g.,, and not from a personal email account.

Q13.  I finished my undergraduate degree a long time ago and it is difficult to contact my lecturer. What can I do?

A13.  We primarily require an academic reference. However, we may accept a reference from your current/recent employer as an exception provided the programme coordinator is willing to accept this.

Q14.  Can I upload a personal statement, a letter of motivation or my CV (resume) as an additional document?

A14.  Yes, you can. As part of the admission process, most emphasis is placed on applicants’ academic transcripts and references. Relevant work/life experiences will also be taken into account.