PhD Overview

This unique doctoral programme offers focused graduate training and supervision to build core academic and transferable skills towards three primary objectives:

  1. Fundamental Knowledge: Our PhD students attain deep specialisation in the central rubrics that have shaped development studies as a field. This includes a close familiarity with both the political-economic and the cultural dimensions of development studies and the ability to think creatively by linking and synthesising between such fields. For this, students will acquire advanced skills of perceptive reading, information management, data processing, oral and written communication.
  2. Research Design and Implementation: Our programme requires students to thoroughly ground themselves in key analytical frameworks and methodologies for conducting research on development issues. This involves developing core skills in designing and conducting fieldwork in cross-cultural settings involving human subjects.  It requires deep reflection on the ethics and practices of research and exchange while generating a strong degree of reflexivity on the public purposes of development research.
  3. Professional Skills Development: As part of the ability to clearly relate complex ideas in both written and oral forms, we train students in the communication skills necessary to present research plans and outcomes to an audience of both specialists and non-specialists.

The programme cultivates strong project design and management skills. Fostering a close familiarity with the practices of grant applications, ethics board procedures, and writing for different audiences provides key skills transferable beyond the academic realm.  Thematically, the department helps students build a programme of advanced interdisciplinary research across broad thematic areas in the field of development studies.  These include: (a) the political economy of development; (b) the cultural politics of development; (c) global health and wellbeing; and (d) development and sustainability.