International master's programme

Master of Philosophy in Development Studies, specialising in Geography

– Career prospects


The MPhil in Development Studies gives you a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures and the complex issues of social change, making you well-equipped to work in other countries after your studies.

The programme is intended for students interested in pursuing careers in the development sector and gives you a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures and the complex issues of social change. Both international and national organisations working on development issues actively seek candidates with an academic background. The programme thus prepares you for both further research and jobs in a variety of sectors, including advisory organisations, aid programmes, planning and policy, resource management, teaching and research.

In Norway NORAD, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and various Ministries (Foreign Affairs etc.) are relevant workplaces for candidates who have completed an MPhil in Development Studies.

Syed Afsan Shabab

Japan International Cooperation Agency, National consultant

I have finished MPhil under the program ‘Development Studies: Specializing in Geography’ from the Department of Geography, NTNU in 2014. I am currently working as National Consultant at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and assigned to Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh in ‘Strengthening Public Investment Management System’ Project. Previously, just after my completion of the MPhil program I joined as Research Specialist at ‘Missing Child Alert’ program funded by the Plan International.

My academic experience during MPhil in Development Studies changes not only my carriers but also my life course. Some of the specific point I would like to mention here:

  1. The group dynamics and the team management: I needed to be the part of various team started from departmental academic group, cultural group, and work groups. I never gave much importance on group dynamics beforehand. Through the multicultural amalgamation of study participants and in-depth sensitization through EiT I now know how important it is to understand group / team dynamics for the leadership skills / project management. I learnt that you have to evolve in both ways; having the clarity of understanding what you are doing as well as develop proper business communication to uphold your ideas to proper places.

  2. National to international development mindset: Prior to join this program I had my honors from ‘Urban and Regional Studies’  and had worked near about three years in rural community development in Bangladesh; during my work then in many points I felt my lack of knowledge on the contemporary best practices worldwide and a global view on development. The course guided me to have clarity on this issue.  

  3. Thinking like a researcher: The MPhil in Development Studies covers 360 degrees considering the research identification, preparation, implementation and documentation. I strongly felt that I have been matured as development researcher after my completion of MPhil program. 

  4. Value added to my carrier: The value added by the program in my working carrier is tremendous. The response to my job application increased a lot and a major part in the interview I need to share my research and experience of the program with the interviewer. My income status hiked 5 times than what I have had earlier.  

Overall it has been a great experience which have matured my professional and philosophical understanding towards the life and contemporary development dimensions.   

Eva Fjellheim. Photo.

Eva Maria Fjellheim

SAIH, Programme Advisor for Colombia & Nicaragua

I finished my master studies from NTNU in MPhil in Development Studies 2011. In addition to having acquired broad knowledge of environment and development issues, I have especially developed competence within issues related to indigenous peoples and rights through the work with my master`s thesis in Argentina, a research project for the south Sami area and as a participant in LAGs solidarity brigades in Mexico. I have also worked on the topic at the Norwegian Church Aids regional office in Guatemala.

Now I`m working in the Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund (SAIH) in Oslo as a Programme Advisor for Colombia and Nicaragua. SAIH focuses on education and development cooperation, as well as North/South information and political advocacy in Norway. I follow up partners and projects in Colombia and Nicaragua. In addition I contribute to the campaign work regarding Norwegian investments in Latin-America and the human rights of the indigenous people and afro decendants in this area.

Teklehaymanot Geremeskel Weldemichel

Mekelle University, Institute of Environment, Gender and Development Studies

Lecturer and Head of Department in Development Studies

I finished my master studies from NTNU in MPhil in Development Studies  in 2012. I am currently working as a lecturer at the Institute of Environment, Gender and Development Studies (IEGDS) in Mekelle University, Ethiopia. I am also Head of Department of Development Studies within the institute. MPhil in Development Studies was a life changing program for me. I always dreamed of studying the fundamental problems related to development and underdevelopment and this study program has opened the opportunities of doing so for me. In addition to the knowledge and research skills, this program has provided me with significant international experience. My stay in Trondheim was time of transition for me.

Francisca Quayson

Rennesøy municipality, Spatial Planner, Rogaland

I had a Bachelor`s degree from Ghana and finished my master studies (MPhil in Development Studies, specializing in Geography) from NTNU in 2012.

My previous employers are Centre for Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS), Amnesty International and  the Norwegian Railway Authority. I currently work as a Spatial Planner in Rennesøy municipality. My duties include process planning applications according to the planning and building regulations in Norway, preparing planning documents for political discussions, communication with stakeholders in planning matters as well as making geographical data available to the public.

Some of the courses that I have found particularly relevant for my current job are: Planning for Sustainability and Development, Landscape and Planning, Natural Resources Management, GIS Data Capture and Mapping and Environment, Development and Changing Rural Livelihoods.

In addition, the fieldwork projects that formed part of the courses in Methodology and the Research Process, Natural Resources Management and Planning for Sustainability and Development were essential in preparing students to work on multidisciplinary projects while bringing us closer to the municipalities (kommune) and their challenges.

The course in Discourses of Development and Globalization taught me about communication and cooperation with stakeholders in the planning process. Participation from the grassroots in local and national developmental projects has had a central focus in Norway. For example, engaging local residents and stakeholders on discussions concerning a new plan for the Vikevåg city centre.

Further, I draw insight from the course in Knowledge Management in a Global Economy. Municipalities are looking into ways of consolidating their city centres, making them attractive business centres while reducing the relocation of shops and businesses from the city centres to the outskirts. It has been increasingly important for municipalities to market themselves both nationally and internationally to attract businesses, investment, labour and settlers who in turn generate tax capital for infrastructural development. For example the Fornebu and Forus Clusters.

Finally, a unique feature to this programme is the master`s thesis that enables students to explore themes and subjects that may be relevant for their career. The research can be the major link between the theories learned and how it is applied. Employers value employees who are independent and able to find information on their own.


MPhil in Development studies, specialising in Geography - brochure

Please download the brochure about MPhil in Development Studies, or contact the Department of Geography if you want to order one or more copies.

Contact information

Visiting address:
Department of Geography
Building 7, level 4

Telephone: + 47 73 59 19 10

Postal address:
Department of Geography
NO-7491 Trondheim