PhD in Development Studies


Programme Description

ISEG Lisbon is taking all measures with health and safety of our community as a top priority. Since March we're operating 100% online, engaging virtually and using online tools for learning and evaluation.

The Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. Development Studies students.

Who is the Ph.D. 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.

How is the course structured?

  • The Ph.D. 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 a 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 Ph.D. 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
Last updated Dec 2020

About the School

The first school of Economics and Management in Portugal, ISEG belongs to the University of Lisbon, the largest Portuguese University. ISEG Lisbon is internationally recognized and accredited by AACSB ... Read More

The first school of Economics and Management in Portugal, ISEG belongs to the University of Lisbon, the largest Portuguese University. ISEG Lisbon is internationally recognized and accredited by AACSB and AMBA, complying with the best higher education standards. ISEG’s research centers are very well rated by the Portuguese research council (FCT). With an experienced and well prepared faculty, students from more than 70 countries contribute to an ever-increasing international academic environment, and take advantage of the school's excellence and location. ISEG Lisbon has excellent modern premises at the heart of Lisbon, right next to the Parliament and the river Tagus, in a vibrant neighborhood full of social life, business and culture. At ISEG, you will find a culture of excellence and achievement, alongside a climate of inclusiveness and cooperation. This is made by the mutual collaboration of students, faculty and staff. ISEG is a School prepared for the future: with a unique blend of quantitative skills and social contextualization of economic and managerial decisions, ISEG’s faculty, professionals, students and alumni are at the forefront of those who address the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an entrepreneurial and collaborative mindset. Read Less