International Development

The MA Degree in International Development is designed to prepare participants for work in international development in a community, local government, youth/ adult education, or NGO setting. It offers learners an opportunity to explore contemporary theories of social change and development and to analyse development policies and practices. It builds skills, especially in relation to research, leadership and working with groups and in the planning, management and evaluation of development projects.

It is aimed at advanced level participants who hold a primary degree or equivalent qualifications and who have experience of working in a development context in Ireland or in other countries in the Global North or South. Particularly welcome are leaders, facilitators and managers of community development projects, government and development agency staff, people involved in pastoral ministry, researchers, development educators, volunteers and activists. This course is also relevant to academics in the countries of the Global South engaged in teaching and research in development. Places are also retained for recent graduates who wish to study further before embarking on a career in development work.

90 ECTS credits are required to complete the MA in International Development.Learners must complete five compulsory taught modules (30 credits in total) in addition to 6 optional modules (30 credits), and a 30 credit research based thesis. Taught modules commence in mid September and end by early May of the following year. Learners then have approximately 5 months to complete and submit a final research thesis at the end of September.

Full-time learners take most taught modules in a classroom setting (on-campus delivery), while certain modules are available either by distance only, or can be taken either by distance or through on-campus delivery. On-campus delivery of each 5 credit module involves 25 hours of class-contact. Reflecting the diverse needs of our student population, a flexible approach to such delivery is taken with some courses offered through 2.5 hour taught classes over 10 weeks with others offered through more concentrated one or two week blocks of time depending on timetable requirements and arrangements. Distance learning is structured to allow learners to study at their own pace over a semester.

The MA in International Development applies a learner centred, participative approach to learning. This, combined with the diverse groups of full and part time learners, including a significant number of students from the Global South, creates a unique learning environment that builds on both the diverse array of experiences of participants and on the knowledge and experience of facilitators and instructors.

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree (2.2 or higher) in a development related discipline (e.g. Agricultural Science, Anthropology, Economics, Education, Engineering, Geography, Health related discipline, Nutrition, Rural Development, Sociology or other Social Science etc) or a recognized international equivalent. Those with a professional background in work related to international development are particularly welcome to apply. In exceptional cases, applicants without a primary degree may be considered on the strength of their professional work experience, other qualifications and completion of a qualifying essay.

Minimum English language requirements:

IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score- TOEFL (Paper based test):560

TOEFL (Internet based test): 92

PTE (Pearson): 59

Maynooth University TOEFL code is 8850


14 months full-time, 2-4 years part-time

Careers or further progression

Graduates of this programme are well placed to pursue a career in development and humanitarian related field either overseas or in Ireland, including both 'hands on' management / field positions overseas, support roles in head offices and / or working in the development education sphere domestically. The course is appropriate for those already working in the sector but looking to 'upskill', those recently returned from overseas work or volunteer experiences or those contemplating a career in the sector.

Further enquiries

Programme Coordinator: Eilish Dillon
Tel+353 (0)1 474 7347
Address: Room 3.3.3, Education House (North Campus) Maynooth University, Maynooth Co. Kildare

Subjects taught

Full time learners take most taught modules in a classroom setting (on-campus delivery) at Kimmage DSC, while certain modules are available either online/by distance only, or can be taken either online or through on-campus delivery. Part-time learners based in Ireland can take a blended approach, mixing classroom based modules with on-line modules. Learners also have the option of taking this master's degree by distance / online learning with no requirement to attend any modules in Ireland. Such learners can also participate in a selected range of block delivered classroom based modules at Kimmage DSC.

MA learners must complete six compulsory taught modules (35 credits in total) as well as any 5 optional modules (25 credits), and a 30 credit research based thesis. Taught modules commence in mid-September and end by mid-May of the following year. Learners then have 5 months to submit a final research thesis.


International Development
International Development is concerned with the development of people all over the world. The international development programme was established in Maynooth University in 2013 in collaboration with the Kimmage Development Studies Centre, providers of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Development Studies since 1974. We bring together a community of practitioners and learners who want to link development theory with practice, to question and seek alternatives to current development processes, to learn how to turn development aspirations into realities, and who wish to reflect on their own experience

Application date

All applications should be made through the PAC system.

Closing Date : 30 June 2019

Course fee

In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

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