Development Studies

The Development Studies pathway is based in the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID), which has a longstanding global reputation for research excellence. 

The Department houses five externally funded research groups (the International Growth Centre, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, the Refugee Studies Centre, the Technology and Management Centre for Development, and Young Lives) which contribute to teaching programmes by providing case studies and specialist supervision.

2+2.5 students are admitted to the MPhil Development Studies while 1+3.5 students start with the MSc Global Governance and Diplomacy or the MSc Economics for Development. Students on the latter course usually continue on to the DPhil in Economics (see the Economics pathway page) but can continue to the DPhil in International Development

Those who have completed a Master’s degree or equivalent training that meets the ESRC 2022 Training Guidelines follow the +3.5 route, registering on the DPhil programme.

Several research students and some MPhil/MSc students are linked to the Department’s ESRC and DFID-funded Young Lives project (an innovative long-term international research project investigating the changing nature of childhood poverty). This brings them into contact with funding bodies and the challenges faced by funded research.

DPhil students have undertaken internships with a range of international and multilateral organisations, including banks, the UN family, refugee NGOS etc: an activity that the Department is keen to increase.

The Department encourages student to use their specialist research skills and regional specialisation to comment in the media. Students’ work has appeared in The Guardian, The Conversation, Open Democracy, Al Jazeera, CNN, Washington Post, Radio France, Quartz,, South Africa Broadcasting Corporation News, among others.

A number of students have been awarded prestigious Overseas Development Institute (ODI) fellowships after studying with us, and other recent DPhil graduates have gone on to a range of postdoctoral fellowships at Oxford and beyond. Graduates work in a range of international and third sector organisations, the media and consultancy companies.

Pathway leader: Professor Maxim Bolt


University of Oxford

Department of International Development
Structure of provision: 1+3.5, 2+2.5, +3.5