The MA Degree in Development Studies is designed to prepare participants for work in development in a community, local government, youth/adult education, or NGO setting. It offers learners an opportunity to explore contemporary theories of social change and development and to analyse development policies and practices. It builds skills, especially in relation to research, leadership and working with groups and in the planning, management and evaluation of development projects.

It is aimed at advanced level participants who hold a primary degree or equivalent qualifications and who have experience of working in a development context. Particularly welcome are leaders, facilitators and managers of community development projects, government and development agency staff, people involved in pastoral ministry, researchers, development educators, volunteers and activists. It should also appeal to academics in the countries of the Global South engaged in teaching and research in development. Some places are also retained for recent graduates who wish to study further before embarking on a career in development work.

Learners can specialise in the programme by choosing from a number of elective areas that are most suited to their area of interest.

These ‘specialist pathways’ include:

  • Globalisation and Change
  • People-Centred Development
  • Development and Management

Participants successfully completing the programme will be awarded an internationally recognised MA in Development Studies, validated by Qualification and Quality Ireland (formerly HETAC). Note that this course is also available through the Flexible Distance Learning and Part-Time options.

Programme Objectives

  • To offer a high-quality academic training in development studies, examining contemporary theories in the social sciences and development policies and practices.
  • To equip participants with a theoretical understanding of debates relating to development, including contrasting arguments and understandings of development processes, and to enhance their abilities to apply such knowledge to policy analysis and practical problem-solving.
  • To enhance the skills of participants, especially in relation to leadership, motivation and working with groups and in the planning, management and evaluation of development projects.
  • To enhance participants’ understanding of social research on contemporary issues in the development field and to facilitate learners to critically analyse these issues in the light of their own primary research and development experience.

This programme is also offered through part-time and flexible and distance learning options. Learners can take single modules and build credit for a full award. Click here for further information.

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
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Sep 2019

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