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Centre of Development Studies


MPhil in Development Studies for intake October 2024 - admissions open Monday 4 September 2023


The MPhil in Development Studies provides an inter-disciplinary training whose content and style have kept abreast with the changing reality of development concerns, and the changing requirements of those seeking to make a career in the development field. 

The course gives its students a firm grounding in political economics relevant to development, including the study of sociology, political science, law, economics and anthropology. We have close links with the other area centres within POLIS: African Studies, Latin American Studies and South Asian Studies which helps offer student a comparative lens. 

The inter-disciplinary approach is based on the recognition that together with the analytical rigour required of social scientists today, no important issue in development — poverty and inequality, population growth, the construction of the institutions, war and human rights, democratisation — can be properly understood without an inter-disciplinary perspective.  

The MPhil in Development Studies provides a framework within which students can construct a pathway suited to a wide range of differing interests and needs. Those for whom the MPhil represents a one-year preparation for a career in development policy can select a broad inter-disciplinary set of subjects, while those who wish to continue their studies at the doctoral level can select a more specialised set of options concentrating on the analytical tools of their subject, and discover which university department or faculty is most suited to their research plans.


Testimonial from Ainsley Trahan (MPhil 2021-2022)

I was drawn to Development Studies because I was craving a space in which I could learn from the diverse experiences of my peers and professors, whilst also tackling some of the questions that I find most pressing. During my MPhil, I discovered a new regional interest and delved deeper into research that I had conducted previously. I presented at three conferences (in the UK and in Azerbaijan) and made lasting friendships. I found community in two research networks and am still actively involved in both. Now, as I begin my PhD at Cambridge, I am very thankful for the key role that the MPhil in Development Studies played in my academic progression. My research project was inspired by a set of essays that I wrote during my MPhil, and I will be working closely with friends and mentors that I met during the course. Though I have now finished my MPhil, I carry the friends I made, questions I uncovered, and skills that I gained into this next chapter.  


The How to Apply page contains details of the entry requirements.

The Course Details page contains information about the incoming course structure from 2023 onwards. 

The Funding Deadlines page contains all the key dates to be aware of for funding opportunities.

The Fees and Funding page contains details of schemes specific to this course.

The FAQ page should cover anything else that the other pages have missed!

The Careers after the MPhil page provides examples of the wide range of careers our graduates move into.

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Centre of Development Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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