PhD in Development Education



Meeting the 21st challenges and directions for creative development professionals who can apply and integrate critical thinking and practical experiences from a wide range of perspectives and be innovative in seeking meaningful solutions, the Department of Development studies introduces Ph.D. in Development Studies is introduced. The purpose of this program is to emphasize the capacity building of potential research of national and international scholars whose research is likely to become a basis for improving practices in their professions and could contribute to the development sector at local, national, and global levels. The program further aims to equip the analytical and practical skills to engage in development issues critically and debates from an interdisciplinary perspective and work across the intersections of development policy, research, and practice. The program's objective is to enable students to engage in social transformation processes utilizing research-based expertise and critical and comparative analysis.


After the completion of the Ph.D., students will be able to:

  • develop the receiving and responding ability for the conceptualizing development activities in society
  • develop critical and reflecting ability on the development activities in their socio-cultural context and beyond
  • critique the existing grand theories of applying theories to study development practices
  • develop competencies to the value of the local ways of exploring, knowing, and practicing development
  • demonstrate a sound understanding of research methodology and practices to prepare for independent research
  • capacitate to connect with local and global circles of the scholarly and intellectual community

In case of candidates requiring specific course works, they will be offered one or more out of the following list as recommended by the supervisor(s).

EDUC 620 Research Methods

EDUC 621 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods or

EDUC 622 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

EDUC 640 Mixed Methods Research

EDUC 650 Transformative Education Research and Practice

EDUC 660 Participatory Action Research

EDUC 644 Statistical Methods in Education and Social Science Research

EDUC 611 Academic Writing and Research

DEVP 611 Sociology of Education and Development

DEVP 621 Development Policy and Planning

DEVP  631 Development Theory and Practice

DEVP 641 Monitoring and Evaluation


  • MPhil or equivalent in the relevant field of study is desirable
  • In case of less than 17 years of schooling, a bridge course of a semester is to be taken in consultation with the supervisor(s),
  • Minimum CGPA 3.0 out of 4 in the terminal degree for the CGPA system and minimum first division in the yearly system, and
  • Passing the admission test


  • Completion of the application blank,
  • Copies of credentials,
  • A copy of the curriculum vitae, and
  • Reference letters
  • A fully developed research proposal of around 5000 words (written in English)
  • A 5000-word research paper (published or unpublished) on any topic (written in English)
  • If the concerned department is satisfied, it recommends the applicants to the Research Committee.
  • The Research Committee evaluates the proposal and makes the final decision.
  • The Research Committee considers the following aspects while making its evaluation:
  • Past academic records
  • Research proposal
  • Writing ability [written test]
  • References
  • Relevant work experience (if any)
  • Interview
  • Presentation based on the research proposal
  • 5000-word paper on any subject (published or not published)


Generally, the following pathway is suggested for the successful completion of the program in the case of fulltime students:

  • Demonstration of knowledge and skills necessary to conceptualize a research project by completing the research methodology-related Courses (semester one)
  • Demonstration of the ability to conceive and plan a closely defined research program by presenting the research proposal to the research committee (between the end of semester one and middle of semester two)
  • Demonstration of adequate knowledge of research methodologies, and relevant literature by satisfactorily completing the qualifying assessment by producing two papers on methodology and thematic areas respectively (within semester two)
  • Research fieldwork (after completion of two qualifying papers)
  • Publication of related requirements and participation in the conferences (during the time of study)
  • Submission of the written thesis
  • External reviews of the thesis
  • Viva voce


The modus operandi of the thesis evaluation will be followed as specified in Research Guidelines for PhD developed by/for Kathmandu University


  • Not available