The Post Graduate Diploma / MA Degree in Development Studies by flexible and distance learning (FDL) offers learners the opportunity to combine work and study anywhere in the world, while still connecting online with a diverse and vibrant learning community. Learners can undertake the MA completely online or they can combine the best of distance and e-learning with classroom participation – it is tailored to the needs of learners who like to study in their own time and at their own pace, but still want to have the option of drawing on the benefits of face to face, participatory and experience-based interaction with other participants and tutors.

It is a less costly option than a face to face programme, especially for learners living outside of Dublin or Ireland, as travel and living expenses are minimised, and because you can continue to work where you are based. Despite geographical distance, by participating in online discussions and other networked activities, learners are still part of a community of learners at Kimmage.

Participants successfully completing the programme will be awarded an internationally recognised MA in Development Studies, validated by Qualification and Quality Ireland (formerly HETAC).

This programme is aimed at advanced level participants who hold a primary degree or equivalent qualifications and who have experience of working in a development context. 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. Some places are also retained for recent graduates who wish to study further before embarking on a career in development work.

MA learners who combine online and classroom-based learning can specialise within the programme by choosing from a number of elective areas that are most suited to their area of interest. These ‘specialist pathways’ include ‘Globalisation and Change’; ‘People-Centred Development’ and ‘Development and Management’. Note that this course is also available through the Full-Time Study and Part-Time Learning options.

What this Programme is About

The programme is designed to prepare participants for work in 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.

The programme aims to give participants the opportunity to develop:

  • a critical awareness of social, economic and management issues underlying socio-economic change
  • conceptual and analytical skills critical to understanding and engaging with contemporary debates relating to development, including contrasting arguments and understandings of development processes
  • the ability to apply such knowledge to policy analysis and practical problem solving
  • a set of operational skills pertinent to working in the public, private, faith-based and NGO domains, especially in relation to leadership, motivation and working with groups and in the planning, management and evaluation of development projects
  • understanding of research processes appropriate to different development contexts and issues, and the ability to undertake effective primary research in the development field
  • new friendships and contacts with a dynamic and diverse group of committed people

We are accepting applications for the following online modules commencing March 2016:

  • Sociology of Development
  • Research Methods
  • Gender and Development
  • Anthropology and Globalisation
  • Managing Development Organisations

Learners can commence with just one, or a number of these modules, continuing with further modules in October 2016 or March 2017, to build credit towards an MA award.

Program taught in:
  • English
Last updated November 16, 2018
This course is Online
Start Date
Sep 2019
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