International Development Education & Practice - Structured

Programme Overview
This Structured PhD in International Development Education and Practice will train generalist practitioners and educators by combining a range of teaching and learning approaches developed by a cohort of experts from academia, policy making and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The format of the programme will allow those in full-time employment to take the course on a part-time basis.

Key Features
The Structured PhD in International Development Education and Practice is a four-year full-time programme. Candidates who wish to opt for study on a part-time basis may do so over a maximum of six years.

Each element of the 'taught' programme will entail face-to-face lectures and workshops as well as web-supported delivery designed to enhance student learning outcomes. The online aspect of the programme will feature online discussion groups, access to all course documents, e-books and relevant journal articles, student formative assessment tasks, synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaborative learning between staff and students. All materials relating to the programme such as the syllabus, course readings, assignments, videos, podcasts and recorded lectures will be uploaded to MIC's virtual learning environment, Moodle.

After successfully completing two semesters of the programme, participants may complete a dissertation (30 ECTS) in Semester 3 and, if successful, exit the programme with a Master of Arts (MA) in International Development Education or a Master of Arts (MA) in International Development Practice after completing 90 ECTS of study. Those who do not fulfil the requirements of a Masters programme may be able to graduate with a Graduate Diploma in Development Education and Practice, subject to satisfying the necessary requirements of the Graduate Diploma component of the programme (60 ECTS).

Programme Content
The course will be delivered on the following basis:
•'Taught' modules during which participants will take part in a series of face-to-face lectures, problem-based learning tasks, seminars and workshops based on discipline-specific modules and classes on generic, research and transferable skills;
•A series of lectures and assignments to be delivered on a 'blended learning' basis;
•A public lecture series on the themes of development education and practice;
•A doctoral thesis to the value of 270 ECTS
•Research Review Panels at the end of years 1, 2 and 3 to monitor student progress
•Part-time study option (6-year programme) with review of student progress undertaken at the end of each academic year.

Entry requirements

The minimum requirements for this programme are the following:
•Applicants should be the holders of a first class honours primary degree or upper second class honours (2.1) primary degree (Level 8, NFQ) in a relevant or cognate discipline that incorporates a substantial education or social science component.


•A Master's degree or equivalent qualification (Level 9, NFQ), at a minimum 2.1 honours level that has been obtained from a university or other institution recognised by the University of Limerick following a period of study similar to that required in the University of Limerick.


•A Master's degree or equivalent qualification (Level 9, NFQ), at a minimum 2.2 honours level, in Development Education, Development Practice, or a related area, that has been obtained from a university or other institution recognised by the University of Limerick following a period of study similar to that required in the University of Limerick.


•A minimum of two years' experience as a development practitioner, or as a teacher of Development Education or related fields, may be considered as a basis for entry on a case-by-case basis. Acceptance under this criteria will be subject to an interview and in accordance with the University of Limerick Policy on Accredited Prior Learning.

On application, candidates are required to submit a satisfactory provisional research proposal which is approved at departmental and faculty level in terms of academic merit and suitability of topic. This proposal will then be reviewed by the MIC Post Graduate Research Sub-Committee (PRSC).

English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

Subjects taught

The following modules, among others, will be offered in Year 1 of the Structured PhD programme:
•Development Theory and Practice
•Agriculture and Sustainable Development
•Development Education for Development Practitioners
•Research Field Methods & Logistics
•Financial Management for Development Practitioners
•The Political Economy of Sustainable Development
•Environmental Heath
•Project Management for Development Practitioners

Enrolment dates

How To Apply
Download and complete the application form from "Application Weblink" below.

•The application form must also include your university transcripts and contact details for two referees.

•In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

Pay the application fee* and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Research and Graduate School Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

*Pay your application fee (EU: €33; non-EU: €55) using Realex System. Please note down the payment reference number, make a screenshot or print a copy for your own records.

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Career Opportunities
This innovative programme is designed for those who wish to pursue careers within international organisations, government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), philanthropic institutions, and consultancy firms engaged in international development practice. For graduates of the Structured PhD in International Development Education and Practice at Mary Immaculate College a wide variety of career options exists in the area of development cooperation, particularly in the public and private sectors as well as within civil society, development consultancy, NGOs and international and European Union agencies such as Irish Aid, Oxfam, Trócaire, Concern and Action Aid.

This programme will also help professionals currently working in development-related areas to strengthen their academic qualifications, engage in continuing professional development, and to deepen their understanding of development education and practice. The programme will create a cohort of international educators and practitioners with the capacity to analyse and scrutinise some of the most chronic developmental problems of the twenty-first century and to provide participants with the practical skills to provide resolution along a wide spectrum of critical policy areas. Additionally, students on the programme will demonstrate their ability to use research methods and techniques by undertaking a substantial piece of original supervised research.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider