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Duration 3-4 years f/t or 6-7 years p/t

PhD Development Studies with reference to Emerging Economies in International Development Institute at King's College London.

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The Department of International Development runs an active multidisciplinary doctoral training programme.

A growing number of middle-income countries challenge conventional understandings of development. Much is to be learned from the experiences of the processes of change in these different nations, societies, and economies. Our supervisors accept original projects that explore how development processes occur in different ways and at different scales and levels, from global to local to familial. Topics have ranged from how to break away from primary exports and into producing value added products to the challenges for effective, equitable and transparency governance, state and market entanglements in health, equitable development of business groups, policy development for inclusive growth, and questions of gender justice.

The work of our doctoral students seeks to understand theoretical, empirical or methodological gaps in their chosen area. Students will join one of our three research groups (Poverty, Inequality & Inclusive Growth; Social Justice; Political Economy & Institutions) and are expected to play an active role in that community of interest. Under the guidance of their supervisor each student is encouraged to acquire disciplinary training relevant to their research question, but also to develop an enquiring appreciation of what other disciplines may bring to their field of study. Staff expertise includes political science, development economics, political economy, sociology, anthropology, management studies and development studies. King's College London is a member of the ESRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership which offers a range of training opportunities for our Doctoral students. There are some opportunities for registered PhD students to gain experience as paid teaching assistants on our BA International Development programme.

Our doctoral students come from many different countries and as graduates they go on to pursue academic, research or policy careers in the private sector, government and NGO sectors.  

Duration, fees and funding

At doctoral level students need to be highly self-motivating and capable of rigorous independent work. The normal duration of the full time doctoral programme is three years. Under justified circumstances, students can make the case for a fourth year extension. A part time option may be available to UK/EU students with supervisor agreement.

Funding opportunities can be found in the postgraduate funding database. The Department of International Development does not currently offer direct scholarships or bursary scheme. The LISS DTP Studentships competition is open to UK/EU applicants who meet its residence requirements.

Identifying a possible supervisor

Doctoral programmes in the UK are primarily based around the individual supervisory relationship and no applicant will be accepted without an agreed supervisor in place. Therefore it is essential that applicants have identified a potential supervisor who shares their research interests and that the proposed project has a good fit with the focus of the department.

Before submitting a full online proposal, applicants are encouraged to follow these steps to ascertain their eligibility and fit to the programme:

  1. Please carefully read the information about the Department's focus and research to make sure that your research topic falls within one of these areas. Look at the department’s ‘people’ pages in order to identify a potential supervisor whose work closely relates to yours. 
  2. Elaborate a 1500 word research proposal, highlighting your proposed research question, current knowledge, the relevant theoretical frameworks, and the methodology you intend to use. 
  3. Prepare an updated academic CV highlighting your academic formation, methodological training and existing publications if any. 
  4. Email the CV and the proposal to the potential supervisor to gauge their availability and views on your suitability.

Further advice and access to the online application

The programme convenor can be contacted via our administrator 

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