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Development Studies with Reference to Emerging Economies MPhil/PhD

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The Department of International Development (DID) at King's has a different agenda to traditional development studies in the UK and wider afield.  It specifically focuses on 'emerging economies,' both to explore the sources of their success as well as understand the major development challenges they continue to face. These fast growing and changing societies raise new questions about the global economy, national development and promoting sustainable and equitable growth.

 Research at the department seeks to explore critical perspectives on economic growth, modernisation and ‘progress’ and to do so by exploring context-specific economic, social and political change in these countries rather than applying prescriptive models of development.

We have three research groups:

  • Poverty, Inequality & Inclusive Growth
  • Social Justice
  • Political Economy & Institutions

Research expertise spans political science, sociology, social anthropology, development economics, history, geography and management. We have strong regional expertise and collaborations in Latin America and SE Asia, in China and India. The African Leadership Centre hosted by DID brings unique connections with the African continent and offers a separate programme in Leadership Studies with reference to Security and Development. 

Key information

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

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of International Development



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Course detail


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. Staff expertise includes political science, development economics, political economy, sociology, anthropology, management studies and development studies. 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.

The work of our doctoral students seeks to understand theoretical, empirical or methodological gaps in their chosen area.  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. 

Course study environment

The Department is located on the Stand Campus right in the heart of London, next door to Somerset House and the Courtauld Institute of Art. The Maughan Library is situated a short walk away close to the Royal Courts of Justice, while both the British Library and Senate House Library are a short walk away. 

Postgraduate training

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. Students can attend MA lectures, subject to the agreement of the relevant teacher. Students can also participate in the induction and training programmes offered by the College, which is part of the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) supported by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council.

Head of group/division

Professor Susan Fairley Murray

Contact for information

Postgraduate Officer, Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Contact email


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Development Studies Research Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  
  • A Master's degree is usually required.

  • In exceptional circumstances only, a Bachelor's degree with 1st class or high 2:1 honours.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Before applying, please read carefully the information about our research interests, and make sure that your research topic falls within one of these areas. You are welcome to contact a potential supervisor directly to discuss your research topic, and if you wish you may send a draft research proposal before submitting a complete application through the online system. The admissions tutor will advise whether your research can, in principle, be carried out with us.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are encouraged to approach potential supervisors prior to application. To identify a supervisor please see: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Develpt research checklist
Personal statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). You should outline your reasons for pursuing further research. 

Research Proposal Yes The proposal (3-5 pages in length) should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.


Course intake

not fixed

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier. We will open applications for the corresponding intake in 2021 after the final deadline passes in 2020.

  • October 2020 entry – 31st July 2020 for International students and 28th August 2020 for Home/EU students
  • February 2021 entry- 23rd October 2020 for International students and 23rd November 2020 for Home/EU students

Applications for 2021/22 academic year will open from October 2020.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £5,300 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,650 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees:  £19,850 per year          

Part time tuition fees: £9,950 per year

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2020/21

Full time tuition fees: £5,550 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,780 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees:  £20,820 per year          

Part time tuition fees: £10,410 per year

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download our guide in PDF format.

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