PhD/MPhil International Development

Start date
PhD – 3 years full-time; MPhil – 2 years full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research

Home/EU students:
Full time: £4,380*
Part time: £2,190
Overseas students (Band D):
Full time: £17,880
More Fees and funding details.

We offer two types of research degree: MPhil and PhD. You will have the opportunity to pursue original research under the guidance of an academic supervisor within an active research environment. In addition, training in research methods is provided and a training plan is drawn up to suit each student.

IDD is committed to encouraging new thinking in the fields of development and public management. Studying for a degree by research with IDD means being part of an active research and practitioner community that will support you in accomplishing your academic goals.

All students studying for a research degree pursue their own original research under the guidance of a supervisor and the support of another academic staff member as co-supervisor. This freedom is often attractive to people planning a career in academic or training institutions or who aim to work in policy planning units of public sector agencies.

An individual training plan is drawn up to meet the needs of each student, based on a training needs assessment, covering both discipline-specific and transferable skills. Any gaps in their own skills portfolio identified by students can be filled during their period of study through attending courses offered by the department or the University.  

Research areas

  • Conflict and post conflict reconstruction
  • Natural resource governance, management and livelihoods
  • Anti-corruption and good governance
  • Urban poverty and management
  • Religion and development
  • Participatory approaches
  • Public sector management
  • Decentralisation

Learn more about the research interests of our staff and how to contact them.

The School of Government brings together academic staff, research fellows and doctoral researchers across the Social Sciences. The School is one of the leading UK and international centres for Politics, International Relations, International Development, Sociology and European Studies.

In the School of Government we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.


Standard fees apply.

Research degree fees 2018-19
Fee band Full time Part time
Home/EU students £4,380* £2,190
Overseas students (Band D) £17,880 -
*Research fees also apply to combined research and taught programmes unless otherwise indicated.

For the most up-to-date information on fees, please contact the Department directly

Scholarships and studentships

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Information on scholarships and bursaries can be found via International Development Department and University scholarships web pages. 

Postgraduate scholarship and funding database

For more information visit

How To Apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

MPhil: A good Honours degree in a relevant field, but the application may also be supported by appropriate work experience. Applicants for the MPhil degree should provide evidence of their research ability, for example, the mark received for an undergraduate dissertation.

PhD: Excellent undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Typically the latter will be a taught masters degree, including a dissertation. Normally candidates for the PhD programme will initially be offered a place on the MPhil programme and will be transferred to the PhD at the end of the first year, subject to a satisfactory review of progress.

Besides formal qualifications, a key factor determining whether the Department decides to accept a candidate for either degree is the quality of his or her research proposal and its relevance to our own interests. Successful completion of a research thesis demands a high level of self-discipline, motivation and commitment to the subject of research. Great importance is placed on work experience, when relevant. Please contact the Department for more details.

Learn more about entry requirements and see our Guidance for applying for a PhD (PDF 236KB).

International Requirements

Dr Philip Amis

  • Urbanisation
  • Urban policy
  • Poverty and housing

Dr Danielle Beswick

  • Identity, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction
  • UK development policy
  • Genocide
  • Rwanda; the relationships between security and development

Dr Adrian Campbell

  • Public and local government reform, especially in transitional states

Professor Nic Cheeseman 

  • Elections and democratization.
  • The formation of a social contract in new democracies.
  • Power-sharing and the politics of inclusion.
  • Populism and strategies of political mobilization.

Dr Johnathan Fisher

  • Donors and the international politics of aid
  • Security and conflict in the developing world
  • African foreign relations and diplomacy

He has a particular interest in supervising students with a regional interest in sub-Saharan Africa and, particularly in:

  • Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and the Great Lakes region
  • Somalia, South Sudan and the Horn of Africa

Dr Tom Hewitt

  • The state in development
  • Industrial development in Brazil

Professor David Hudson 

  • Politics of leadership and coalitions, thinking and working politically
  • Political analysis (PEA, network analysis, power analysis)
  • Public engagement / opinion / support international development and global poverty
  • Donors and development aid
Dr Paul Jackson


  • Conflict and post-conflict reconstruction
  • Industrial development
  • Information management and finance

Dr Robert Leurs

  • Participatory development and new development professionalism
  • process approaches to projects
  • participatory poverty assessments and rural appraisal methodologies

Professor Heather Marquette

  • Development politics
  • Corruption/anti-corruption
  • Thinking and working politically in international development
  • The politics of developmental leadership

Dr Fiona Nunan

  • Natural resource governance, management and livelihoods in developing countries
  • Poverty and the environment
  • Policy processes in Southern countries


Departments from across the School of Government are all based within the Muirhead Tower. Following a £50million refurbishment, Muirhead Tower offers state-of-the-art teaching and research study facilities including free wifi throughout the building and dedicated study areas for postgraduate research students.

Muirhead Tower comprises 12,000sq.m of floor space between two towers. The tower includes a number of sustainable features including solar shading (known in the trade as brise soliel) to control temperatures, as well as low energy fans; timed lighting to reduce energy waste; natural ventilation systems and a heat source taken from the University’s combined heat and power generator.

The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, 230 "hubs" for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.

What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in this department?

The College of Social Sciences, to which the International Development Department belongs, has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for doctoral researchers on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice, 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service also runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles.

The University also has dedicated careers advisors for International students who run workshops and networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with International postgraduate researchers.