MA International Development

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MA 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 MA International Development is a 90-credit programme. Full time students must take three 10-credit modules in the autumn trimester, and three 10-credit modules in the spring trimester. Students must also submit a thesis worth 30-credits or pursue an Internship instead.

    Core and Option Modules for MA International Development

    These are the current modules for 2022/23 but are subject to change. Each of the following modules carries 10 credits unless otherwise specified. 

    Core Modules

    • POL41860 Governance, Pol, Dev (Autumn)
    • POL42330 Research Design (Autumn)
    • POL40100 Politics of Development (Spring)

    Option Modules


    • GS40100 Gender, Harm and Justice
    • LAW40760 NGO Law
    • POL40050 Theories of Internat.Relations
    • POL40140 Global Issues in Pol Theory
    • POL40950 Introduction to Statistics
    • POL40970 Politics European Governance
    • POL41020 Politics of Human Rights
    • POL41510 Middle East & North Africa
    • POL41650 Global Political Econ of Europe
    • POL41800 Theories of Int'l Rels Stream2
    • POL42040 Gender & the Political System
    • POL42440 Political Economy of Security


    • POL40160 Comparative Public Policy
    • POL40370 International Political Econom
    • POL40540 Comparative European Politics
    • POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
    • POL41640 Qual Research Methods for Pol
    • POL41720 Gender, Peace, and Security
    • POL41780 The Politics of Inequality
    • POL41870 Pol Economy & Comparative Dev
    • POL41930 Psychology of Conflict in MENA
    • POL41980 Peace & Conflict Studies
    • POL42000 Political Theory and the EU
    • POL42050 Quantitative Text Analysis
    • POL42060 International Security
    • POL42340 Programming for Soc Scientists
    • POL42430 Social Theory & IR

    Please note, to be enrolled on POL42430 in Spring, students must have taken and passed either of the following two modules: POL41800 or POL40050.

    Summer Trimester Core Module

    • POL42300 SPIRe Internship (30 credits) or
    • POL42310 Thesis (30 credits)

    MA International Development (W301) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 9310
    nonEU    fee per year - € 21520

    MA International Development (W302) Part Time
    EU          fee per year - € 6110
    nonEU    fee per year - € 10760

    ***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.

    SPIRe operates a Graduate Scholarship programme, which opens on May 1st. To access details, see SPIRe Graduate Scholarship Scheme. Please note that not all programmes are eligible for this Scholarship, please check the T&C's carefully when they become available.

    A primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) 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. 2H1 is equivalent to 60 per cent, B minus or 3.08 GPA - in American system: B or 3.00 GPA.

    • Your application will be considered on its individual merits and relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.
    • English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 6.5, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C). Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement. Click here for further info.
    • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 
    • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

    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:

    MA International Development FT (W301)
    1 Years
    Full Time
    MA International Development PT (W302)
    2 Years
    Part Time

    * Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

    A comphrensive FAQ can be found here