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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Development Studies is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in Development Studies seeks to provide students with a critical and reflexive program that eschews the norm. This approach to development enables a rethinking of who benefits from explicit and implicit contemporary approaches, allowing for a repositioning of who development is for. This MPhil aims then to give students a rich and inspired program that will allow them to build an approach to development that is grounded in thoughtfulness and reflection of the historical, racial and political terms of the paradigm as it stands.

The MPhil in Development Studies is taught within the Centre of Development Studies and in collaboration with the Centres of African Studies, South Asian Studies, and Latin American Studies, as well as the Faculty of Economics, the Departments of Land Economy, Geography, Politics and International Studies, Social Anthropology, and the Judge Business School. It therefore provides a framework within which students can construct a pathway suited to a wide range of different interests and needs, drawn from different institutional locations.

Learning Outcomes

The emphasis on critical reflection in this MPhil privileges analytical approaches to development as opposed to more practice-based or vocational strategies. 

Students will come away from the MPhil with a broad and incisive understanding of development, its institutions, actors and interests.

In doing so, the MPhil seeks to provide students with a solid foundation for consistent future growth through various fields of development, whether in scholarship or practice.

Optional classes on quantitative and qualitative data analysis are taught separately to the MPhil, by the Social Sciences Research Methods Programme at the University.


Several students annually continue to the PhD in Development Studies. For continuation onto the PhD, candidates will have achieved an average of 70 (High Pass) for their overall mark in the MPhil course. They will also need an acceptable PhD proposal, with a relevant academic supervisor available.

In recent years, Development Studies students have also been accepted as PhD students by the Faculties of Education, Social and Political Sciences, and History, by the Departments of Social Anthropology, Geography, and Land Economy, by POLIS, and by the Judge Business School.

The PhD admissions criteria can be found on the Centre's website.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.


This course is advertised in the following departments:

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Centre of Development Studies This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course - related enquiries

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Jan. 6, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.

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