Development Practice

MPA Development Practice
Academic Year 2020/2021
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)

The Masters of Public Administration in Development Practice (MPA-DP) is a two-year fulltime programme that offers professional trans-disciplinary graduate degree training that addresses the challenges of sustainable development through a blend of rigorous academic courses and practical engagements. The MPA-DP is delivered by staff from all faculties across the university, in collaboration with leading scientific researchers, and national and international organisations with specialist skills.

The goal of this programme 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 with international organisations. The MPA in Development Practice 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 two internships including one in an internatinal organisation.

Candidates develop specialist skills in:
Economic Policy and Analysis
Statistics; Impact Measurement in Development
Research design, methodology, and methods
Sector analysis
Students also produce a dissertation on a specialist research area of their choice.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

To qualify for a place on the Master of Public Administration Development Practice, students must hold a primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) or equivalent in a relevant discipline.

University English language requirements apply for students whose first language is not English.

Programme Outcomes
By the end of the programme a student should be able to:

1.Explain the contemporary structure and challenges of development practice in areas of development management, development science and technology, development governance, development and global health, and development monitoring and evaluation
2.Effectively participate in, and provide project management and team leadership for, development interventions
3.Operate safely and effectively in fragile and post-conflict development situations
4.Conduct professional program and policy evaluations
5.Engage in a specialized area of development practice
6.Work in teams
7.Prepare and present briefings to high-level development practitioner and government policy makers

Student Internships
Year 1
Students undertake one within-country placement. This will be GPA Neutral.

Year 2
Students undertake internships in leading international organisations. Professional research placements will be run across governments, in partnership with universities, in developing countries for OECD students but in developed countries for non-OECD students.

The placements can be with the private sector or civil society once they align with the Sustainable Development Goals project and have been accredited by the UN either as members of the UN Major Groups or have signed up to the UN Compact or the UN PRI frameworks.

Entry requirements

To qualify for a place on the Master of Public Administration Development Practice, students must hold a primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) or equivalent in a relevant discipline.

University English language requirements apply for students whose first language is not English.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Subjects taught

Y1 Core Modules Include (Students Must Only Take Core Modules in Year 1):

POL41870 Economic & Policy Analysis I
POL41600 Science Technology & Dev
POL41860 Governance Politics & Dev
EDUC42930 Global Classroom
LAW40760 NGOs: Law, Governance & Social
MEDN40080 Global Health
POL41580 Fieldwork I
POL41610 Thesis

Y2 Optional Modules Include (Students Choose One Stream):
Streams include:
Policy Impact and Evaluation (PIE)
1.POL41890 Economic & Policy Analysis II
2.POL41740 The Economics of Sust. Development
3.POL41880 Impact Measurement
4.CSSL40010 Public Administration and Policy
5.POL40950 Introduction to Statistics
6.ECON42000 Econometrics
7.ECON42400 Experiments in Economics

Conflict/Post-Conflict Interventions (CPCI)
1.EDUC42940 Post-Conflict & Development
2.POL41720 Gender in Peace and Conflict
3.POL41910 Political Violence
4.POL41930 Psychology of Conflict in MENA
5.GS40050 Gender War and Violence

Environment and Agriculture (EA)
1.PEP40800 Environmental Assessment
2.ENVB40070 Environmental Impact Assessment/ Ecotox & Air Quality
3.ENVB40130 Global Change Ecology
4.AESC40390 Human Impact on the Environment
5.AESC40440 Biodiversity & Ecosys Serv
6.RDEV40150 Policies&Strat for SustAgri&RD
7.RDEV 40490 Sustainable Agriculture
8.RDEV40300 Rural Enterprises
9.RDEV40470 Planning for Development
10.PEP40610 Tools for Sust Development
11.PEP40800 Environmental Assessment
12.LAW40120 Environmental Law and Policy

Global Public Health (GPH)
1.NMHS40700 Public Health Nursing: Principles and Theory
2.PHPS40010 Fundamentals of Epidemiology
3.PHPS40040 Public Health Practice
4.RDEV40200 Public Health
5.PHPS40340 International Health I
6.PHPS40190 Biostatistics I
7.PHPS40460 Biostatistics II
8.PHPS40650 International Health II
9.PHPS40690 Public Health Nutrition
10.PHPS40850 Sociology&Social Epidemiology




2 years full-time


MPA Development Practice (W412) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 9935
nonEU fee per year - € 19900

MPA Development Practice (W413) Part Time
nonEU fee per year - € 9950

***Fees are subject to change

MPA Development Practice (W412) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 9,350
nonEU fee per year - € 18,700

***Fees are subject to change

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.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
A wide variety of careers will be open to graduates from this programme in overseas development assistance for public, private and non-governmental organizations. The programme also appeals to active professionals already working in these fields who wish to strengthen their qualification.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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