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Global Human Development, Ph.D.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #185 (QS) Dublin, Ireland
The PhD in Global Human Development from University College Dublin is part of the Human Development Initiative (HDI). HDI aims to promote and foster development education, produce quality research in partnership with southern universities and raise awareness of contemporary development issues through various outreach programmes.
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It is comprised of an inter disciplinary group of academics, researchers and students whose work focuses on contemporary development issues.

The PhD in Global Human Development from the University College Dublin is a 3-4 year full time ‘sandwich’ programme jointly offered by UCD and one of a number of other universities in Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe and China. (University of Dar Es Salaam, University of Malawi, University of Zimbabwe and Xiamen University), or any other university in a ‘developing country’ willing to accept students for their obligatory research stay. The programme has been developed for government personnel and public servants (such as Higher Education academics, research institutes) mainly in East Africa.

Programme Objectives

The aim of this programme is to pool the respective capacities of UCD and the respective partner universities to provide graduate research students and supervisors with what is necessary to conduct top class research in the field of development. Students will be provided with the academic and intellectual tools to work on the issues related to the Millennium Development Goals and poverty reduction through their respective core disciplines and place this within real-world experience and research in the developing world. Both institutions will provide members to the student’s Doctoral Studies Panel. Where this entails primary supervision resting with non-UCD staff members, such persons will be submitted through UCD channels for approval as adjunct staff members.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Credits
    30 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

  • Term one:  Students are registered to both institutions, but will start their studies at UCD. It is recommended that students take at least 15-20 credits of taught modules (Level 4 & 5) in the first term at UCD. 
  • Term two: Students will conduct research at the partner institution under supervision of their local supervisors. Credits for research will be recorded.
  • Term three: Students return to UCD to acquire the final outstanding taught credits, which will have to amount to 30 by the end of term three. Students have to liaison with their supervisor and their Doctoral Studies Panel at UCD to prepare for their transfer assessment, which has to take place in the 3rd term of the PhD programme.
  • Term four & five: Students will go back to the partner institutions, work closely with their supervisors and will finalise their dissertation.
  • Term six: Students come to UCD to finalise and submit their dissertation.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • The entry requirements for the PhD in Global Human Development is a Master degree (MA or M.Sc.), with an overall grade of 2.1 (GPA 3.6) in the areas of Agricultural Science, Business Studies, Economics,  Engineering, Mathematics,  Medicine, Politics, Sociology and other related areas of study whose ultimate focus is Global Human Development, in particular, poverty reduction.
  • Additionally we request a proof that the applicant is allowed to conduct research at another university in a 'developing' country by providing UCD with a letter from a ‘local’ supervisor.
  • Applicants need to comply with the UCD language requirements.

Tuition Fee

Fees are payable to UCD for the semester when students are studying at UCD. Fees will have to be paid directly by the student to the local partner university.

Living costs for Dublin

  • 1100 - 1800 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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