Development Practice

Trinity College Dublin

Development Practice

The one-year Development Practice programme encompasses an integrated theoretical and practical approach with multidisciplinary training in four ‘pillars’ – health, natural, social, and management sciences. Thirteen core academic modules 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 a work-based or research placement which provide hands-on practical experience for students, often in international Development NGOs and international intergovernmental organisations. This programme trains a new generation of development practitioners with the skills to implement and manage comprehensive approaches to sustainable international development.

The degree is led by the Trinity College Dublin School of Natural Sciences and delivered by staff from all faculties across the university, in collaboration with leading scientific researchers, and national and international organisations with specialist skills.

Is This Course For Me?
As a multidisciplinary programme, our students have a wide range of background profiles (engineering, international relations, computer sciences, natural sciences, law and political sciences). Recent graduates, as well as early and mid-career development professionals are pursuing the degree and are drawn from around the world.

Subjects taught

Course Structure
Students are required to accumulate 90 ECTS. Coursework accounts for 60 ECTS; fieldwork preparation and the dissertation accounts for 30 ECTS.

Semester 1 will run from September to December, while Semester 2 runs from January to April.

Students studying part-time must complete all modules over the course of two years, taking a half load in each year. The summer placement may be spread out over two summers in the case of those taking the part-time option, if appropriate.

Course Content
Students take modules and develop specialist skills in: Globalisation and African Development; Smart and Sustainable Eco-Cities; Impact Measurement; Gender and Development; Climate Change: Science, Development and Justice; Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development; Development Economics; Global Health; Sustainable Agriculture and Land Use; Geographic Information Systems; Qualitative Research Methods; Theories of Development; Dissertation (including fieldwork preparation); and Global Classroom: Foundations for Sustainable Development Practice (Option).

Students are supported and encouraged to undertake a research or practice-based placement (between April and August) with a development, research, government or non-government organisation, either in Ireland or internationally, leading to the writing and submission of a dissertation. Students will be encouraged to apply to partner organisations across multiple locations to study a pressing research challenge and gather data for their dissertation.

Assessment of the research project will be by submission of a dissertation of a maximum of 10,000 words. Students may instead choose to undertake a systematic review for their dissertation.

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
• 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.


1 year full-time / 2 years part-time

Enrolment dates

Next Intake September 2024

Closing Date 31st July 2024

Post Course Info

The course enables students to pursue their career interests in an array of areas in international development. Graduates of this course are in high demand from international organisations such as the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, Economics and Social Research Institute, World Food Programme (UN), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington DC, Oxfam, United Nations Global Impact, PwC Ireland, Trócaire, New York League of Conservation Voters, KPMG, Board Bia, and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and X (formerly known as Twitter) and various other government departments and non-government organisations.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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