PhD in Development Studies

ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics & Management

Program Description

PhD in Development Studies

ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics & Management

PhD in Development Studies

The PhD Development Studies was established by the Technical University of Lisbon in 2009. This 3rd cycle course aims to provide high quality academic training in development studies and produce original research in this field. The course has emerged in response to the changes in recent decades that have brought Development Studies to the fore in current debates, both in the academies and in the area of economic, social and environmental policy.

Host centers

The research undertaken in ISEG’s research centers, which have been classified by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) as very good or excellent, provide important support for students in this program.

The research centers for economics (UECE), economic sociology (SOCIUS), economic and social history (GHES), and international development and cooperation, whose research focuses on Portuguese-speaking countries and developing economies in Africa, Asia and Latin America, (CEsA) play host to the PhD Development Studies students.

Who is the PhD Development Studies for?

Anyone interested in obtaining advanced academic training and doing research with a view to working in jobs related to international and national development in the public sector, the private sector, or the non-profit sector. Out-going students can find employment in teaching and research posts, managerial and executive positions in international and national organizations, consultancy, training, research projects, journalism, planning, development projects, public policy planning and evaluation, and social projects and social policies.

Lauguage of Instruction


How is the course structured?

The PhD Development Studies is a three-year program in which students must obtain a total of 180 ECTS (credits). It comprises:

•Taught course units, 60 ECTS;
•Preparation, submission and defence of thesis, 120 ECTS.

Course units are taught in the first year of the program over 2 semesters. They are:

•Development theories (1st semester), 7.5 ECTS
•Development history and policies (2nd semester), 7.5 ECTS
•Research methods (1st semester), 7.5 ECTS
•Research seminar (2nd semester), 7.5 ECTS
•Elective course units (1st and 2nd semesters), 15.0 ECTS
•Seminars (1st and 2nd semesters), 15.0 ECTS

Who can apply?

Anyone holding a masters degree in the areas of economics, management, law, sociology, geography, political science, international relations, history, anthropology, or any other area deemed appropriate.

Students who obtained a GPA of 16 or more (out of 20) or, in special circumstances, students whose GPA is lower than 16 but have demonstrated appropriate academic training or professional experience may also apply.

Admission and Application

The Scientific Committee for the doctorate program will choose candidates on the basis of the following criteria:

•Masters degree (final grade)
•First degree (undergraduate) (GPA)
•Academic and relevant professional experience
•Research proposal

Applications for the PhD Development Studies are made online on the ISEG website. Applicants must provide proof that they meet the admission requirements. They should also attach a research proposal for their doctoral dissertation project.

Acceptance of an applicant is given that research in these geographical areas offers a comparative advantage for participation in international research networks.

Research themes for the doctoral thesis and course units are grounded in a broad range of issues related to the development of contemporary societies. These include:

•Growth, development and institutional change
•Society and development
•Welfare State, institutions and European policy
•Development policy and international aid
•Long-run development dynamics

When and how do I apply?

The application deadline for the first phase is 10 May.

Application is made online on the ISEG website, where all details of the necessary information and documents to submit for entry to the program are given. Applicants will be informed of the success of their applications by 17 May. Applicants who are accepted in the first phase should officially register for the program by 27 May.

The application deadlinefor the second phase is 14 July, and applicants will be notified of the success of their applications by 19 July. Applicants admitted in the second phase should officially register for the program by 30 July. Applicants admitted in the first and second phases should enroll between 1 and 15 September.

There may be a third application phase from 1 to 15 September. In this case applicants will be informed about the success of their applications by 17 September, and both registration in the program and enrolment in classes will be between 20 and 24 September.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 12, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
3 years
Full time
7,000 EUR
Start date Sept. 2017
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End date Request Info
Duration 3 years
Price 7,000 EUR
Scholarship available