International Development Practice

Given that international development challenges are multi-dimensional, they require interlinked strategies across multiple disciplines and perspectives. The programme is led by highly experienced staff who work in multilateral agencies, and have a backgrounds in human rights, policy, planning, gender, migration etc, along with practical field based research experience across many countries worldwide.

Subjects taught

The MIDP will provide the platform to build on your enthusiasm to instigate and lead change, while positioning careers in this domain. You are offered a range of modules that challenge them to examine concepts of ‘development’ using core conceptual and practical debates of contemporary international development. You will encounter a wide variety of teaching methods. Modules will include web-based learning, lectures, exercises, seminars, excursions and Programme outline group/project work.

The core modules in semesters 1 and 2 that make up 40 ECTS include:
An introduction to development, covering international development theories and frameworks
International development policy and practice including project management (formulation, appraisal, monitoring and evaluation), and covering a range of actors and development policies
Data analytics and statistics for social scientists, so students can critically analyse data for development practice
A development perspectives seminar series featuring invited international development practitioners from the UN, NGOs, research agencies
Research communications for development, where students learn to develop their own website and critique sources of international development information.
You then choose from a large range of thematic elective modules to make up a total of 20 ECTS. The thematic pathways are:

Climate change, agriculture and food security
o Modules options include policy and scenarios for climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate change nutrition and global health, natural resources and livelihoods and
gender and climate change.

Development, security and governance
o Module options include geopolitics and security, a historic analysis of NGOs, development and justice concepts and practice

Human Rights
o Modules options include international human rights law, international humanitarian law, migration law, business and human rights, gender and human rights, international
refugee law, minority rights and rights of indigenous peoples

o Modules options include gender and conflict, gender sexuality and global health, applied gender analysis and policy, gender perspectives on globalization, human rights,
women and gender.

Sustainable development practice
o Modules options include social marketing and sustainability, an introduction to sustainable business, designing a sustainability research fellowship proposal, writing peer-
reviewed research articles on sustainability issues.

Some pathways allow for off-campus learning in semester 2.

Online learning: there are options for on-campus or on-line mode of delivery in semester 2.

Students will complete a 30 ECTS Research Project in collaboration with an international organisation or a international development research project.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
An upper second class degree in wide range of areas, including social or economic sciences, environmental sciences, management, business, health, human rights, engineering or sciences. In other circumstances, those with a lower degree grade or who have relevant work experience in the field of international development will be considered.

Please also see the University’s Recognition for Prior Learning.

Application dates

Closing Date
Please view the offer rounds website at

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System


1 year full-time.

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024
Closing Date Offers are made on a rolling basis.

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Career Opportunities
The MA in Development Practice enables students to develop their skills so they are competitive for distinct career paths in international development institutions. This includes potential careers within UN agencies (such as the ILO, FAO, UNICEF, IOM etc), international NGOs (e.g., Concern, Oxfam, etc.) or bilateral aid organisations. Some students may want to pursue careers in research institutes, for example as PhD students or Research Assistants. Other students may seek careers in companies or foundations which have an international development component. The combination of theoretical knowledge with a practical focus on skills (such as project planning, monitoring and evaluation, economics, data analytics, statistics, etc.) will position you for a vibrant career in international development and allow you to engage robustly in discussions related to global development.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider