The Master in Development Practice (MDP) is a world leading and uniquely innovative programme that blends science and social science to further international development. It is part of a global network with a Secretariat at the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network with offices at Columbia University in New York (and was the only programme to receive seed funding in Europe in the first round). In the programme, students are exposed to leading edge scientific and social science techniques and researchers in order to develop international development solutions. The MDP is part of the only global educational network of its kind, involving more than 30 universities across all continents. Students receive leading edge transdisciplinary training in four “pillars”- health, natural, social, management sciences.
The MDP is led by the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Natural Science in collaboration with leading scientific researchers, and national and international organisations with specialist skills. The goal is to produce rounded development practitioners with a deep understanding of scientific methods and techniques to reduce global poverty, in addition to extensive on-the-ground training in developing country contexts, and/or international organizations.
The MDP has innovative elements that distinguish it from other M.Sc. programmes in Ireland as it utilises a modular structure to develop student capabilities to understand theories, practices, and languages of different specialities. Students develop deep analytical and practical skills across the four core pillars of the programme.
Specialist skills are formed across a range of areas including research design and methods (with training in cutting edge scientific quantitative, qualitative, and digital tools and techniques, sustainable agriculture and land use; development economics; health; gender; climate change and climate justice; civil engineering for sustainable development; impact measurement;; globalisation and African development and smart cities and sustainable urbanism. Students also produce a dissertation drawing upon research conducted during fieldwork. These have attracted attention from policy-makers, such as the Minister of Education in Rwanda and are sometimes revised for publication in international journals.
It combines a range of teaching and learning approaches both in the seminar room and in the field. Students engage in a minimum of twelve class-room based modules and a work-based or research placement to gain hands-on practical experience during the programme. In this they are encouraged to spend up to three months completing cross-disciplinary fieldwork in a developing location. To date, students have undertaken fieldwork in Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Brazil., Malawi, India, USA, Vietnam and Madagascar.
Placements have included those with UN Women, World Health organization,, Food and Agriculture organization of the UN, OECD, World Bank, UNESCAP, and a multitude of other international organisations.
Students also have the opportunity to collaborate in a global community through their participation in the Global Classroom, a web-based capability, managed by the Global Association, to bring students and world-leading development experts together to engage in collective classes and educational innovation.
Students also engage with leading experts, practitioners, and academics both in the classroom and in the field. The MDP is delivered by TCD in collaboration with a wide number of national and international organisations with specialist skills in development practice.
The Admissions Committee strongly recommend early applications, especially from international students, as we review applications on a continuous basis.
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Number of Places20 Places
Prof Pádraig Carmody
31st July 2022
• 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
Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.
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