Trinity College Dublin


Pádraig Carmody,

MDP Program Director,

Elaine Elders,

MDP Program Administrator


Apply here.

The Trinity College Dublin Masters in Development Practice (MDP) offers professional trans-disciplinary graduate degree training that addresses the challenges of sustainable development through a blend of rigorous academic courses and practical engagement.  The MDP is based in Trinity College, The University of Dublin (TCD) School of Natural Science and is delivered by staff from faculties across the university, in collaboration with leading scientific researchers, and national and international organisations with specialist skills.

Trinity College Dublin (established in 1592) is Ireland’s leading university, recognised internationally for the quality of its education and research. Over 100 Trinity staff members identify themselves as having a research and education interest in this area, and there are more than 70 research projects on international development.

The goal of the Dublin MDP 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 contexts and in international organizations. The course modules are categorized according to each of the Global MDP Program’s four pillars—health, natural, social, and management sciences. Some are categorized as cross-disciplinary, although the program as a whole emphasizes the interconnectedness between development issues in these four fields. The MDP is rooted in evidence that effective public policy must be science-based. Course offerings include a blend of traditional classroom-based modules and internships/research placement.

MDP candidates develop specialist skills in:

  • Development Economics.
  • Statistics; Impact Measurement in Development
  • Research design, methodology, and methods including (including training in leading edge quantitative, qualitative, and digital tools and techniques).
  • Project and programme management
  • Sector analysis: Tropical Agriculture and Sustainable Development; Global Health; Gender and Development; Climate Change and Human Rights; Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development; Economics of Sustainable Development; Smart Eco-Cities of the Future and Globalisation and African Development.
  • Fieldwork
  • Students also produce a dissertation on a specialist research area of their choice.

International Clinical Field Training (Fieldwork )

There are two objectives of this core module – firstly, the module is designed to enable students to gain field experience in a supportive and structured environment; and secondly, to provide students with the opportunity to collect data for use in the final MDP dissertation. On completion of this module, students develop skills in the following areas:

  • Research design and planning;
  • Primary and secondary data collection utilising a range of quantitative and qualitative tools;
  • End-to-end project management skills including design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a development project as a practitioner
  • Conduct policy-oriented case study research on development problems and challenges from theoretical, policy and practice perspectives.

Sample projects include:

Volcanoes National Park (VNP), Rwanda  

How are the incentives from sustainable conservation projects used by community-based organizations? Impact evaluation.

Assessing the contribution of community/culturally based tourism in socio–economic development of the communities around the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda.

REPOA, Tanzania .   Research on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection instruments – what are the most effective instruments for reduce poverty in Tanzania?

DUCE, Tanzania.    Gender and Education: Why are women less likely than men to participate in higher education in Tanzania?

Conduct baseline study to inform gender interventions. Develop longitudinal research programme to evaluate impact of strategies over time.

Climate Change awareness and education programme.

IPAS.  Cross-country Regional Assessment of IPAS Policy Initiatives on Sex-selective Abortion in Asia.

Sample of placements secured by MDP students include:

Organisations include

UNESCO UN Economic & Social Commission, New Delhi UNDP, Geneva, Tokyo, New York Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice UN SIDS, New York National Universities Commission, Nigeria UN Office of the General Secretary, New York OECD, Paris UN DESA, New York UN ESCWA, Lebanon UNODC, Pretoria, South Africa Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris & Kathmandu UN Economic Commission for Africa SRO-EA, Rwanda UN OCHA, Johannesburg UN ESCAP, Bangkok

UN WOMEN, India, New York

UN EP, Panama

UN FCCC, Bonn UNDP, New York Oxfam Ireland, India & Tanzania

For more details, please see our website or contact our director or administrator directly.