International Development

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.

Subjects taught

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.

SPIRe part time programmes run for 2 years and students normally do 1 -2 modules per semester. The final 30-credit module is completed during the second year of the programme. PT students should complete the research design module in year 2.

Please note that our part-time programmes run during the day and are not timetabled in the evenings or at weekends.

Core and Option Modules for MA International Development

These are the current modules for 2023/24 but are subject to change. Each of the following modules carries 10 credits unless otherwise specified.

Core Modules

POL42330 Research Design (Autumn)

POL40100 Politics of Development (Spring)

POL41860 Governance, Politics and Development (Spring)

Option Modules


GS40100 Gender, Conflict-related Harm & Transitional Justice

LAW40760 NGOs: Law, Governance and Social Change

POL30820 Political Risk and Foreign Direct Investment

POL40050 Theories of International Relations

POL40140 Theories of Global Justice

POL40160 Comparative Public Policy

POL40540 Comparative European Politics

POL40950 Introduction to Statistics

POL41020 Politics of Human Rights

POL41510 Politics and Change in the Middle East and North Africa

POL41650 The Global Political Economy of Europe

POL41870 Political Economy of Institutions and Comparative Development

POL41980 Peace & Conflict Studies

POL42040 Gender & the Political System

POL42070 Politics of (mis-)information

POL42470 Gender Identity & Difference


DEV40020 Gender and Development

POL40370 International Political Economy

POL40970 Politics of European Governance

POL41030 Theory of Human Rights

POL41640 Qualitative Research Methods for Political Science

POL41720 Gender Peace and Security

POL41780 The Politics of Inequality

POL42050 Quantitative Text Analysis

POL42060 International Security

POL42340 Programming for Social Scientists

POL42440 Political Economy of Security

Summer Trimester Core Module

POL42300 SPIRe Internship (30 credits) or

POL42310 Thesis (30 credits)

Entry requirements

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

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:

MA International Development FT (W301)

Deadline: Rolling*

MA International Development PT (W302)

Deadline: Rolling*

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


W301: 1 year full-time

W302: 2 years part-time

Mode of delivery: Face-to-Face

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

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

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider