skip to content

Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Development Studies is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in Development Studies seeks to provide students with a critical and reflexive programme which encourages them to closely examine the role of the main development actors, institutions and policies and to ask who actually benefits from development interventions which are designed and implemented within global and national power structures.  The emphasis on critical reflection in this MPhil privileges analytical approaches to development as opposed to more practice-based or vocational strategies.

The MPhil will offer students:

  • Knowledge of the individual disciplines relevant to development studies and a conceptual understanding of the need for interdisciplinary research.
  • Knowledge of a range of theories and methodologies from different fields in development with a particular focus on the application of theory to empirical data.
  • Engagement with a wide range of academic and policy debates in the field of international development and the ability to think about development beyond prescribed technical solutions.

Learning Outcomes

The MPhil seeks to provide students with a solid foundation for consistent future growth through various fields of development, whether in scholarship or practice. The learning outcomes aim to include:

  • The ability to collate, comprehend, and critically analyse a wide range of source materials.
  • The ability to develop and structure written and verbal arguments reflecting independent thinking on main debates in development.
  • The ability to produce major pieces of writing to high academic standards.
  • The ability to work in a group and to contribute constructively in an international, interdisciplinary environment.


Several students annually continue to the PhD programme in Development Studies. For continuation to the PhD, candidates will have achieved an average of at least 70 for their overall mark in the MPhil course. They will also need to submit a strong PhD proposal, with an available relevant academic supervisor.

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

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.



This course is advertised in the following departments:

Key Information

9 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

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

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Feb. 29, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

Similar Courses