PhD in Development Studies Course, Subjects, Syllabus, Online, Top Colleges 2021

PhD in Development Studies aka doctorate of philosophy in Developmental Studies happens to be a multidisciplinary course of 3-years duration with the examinations being conducted semester wise primarily.

Although the candidates also have annual examinations to move ahead into the next session or year. The 3-year course is divided into 6 semesters. Primarily, developmental studies are a branch belonging to the stream of Arts and humanities. 

Doctorate in philosophy in Development Studies can be pursued by any candidate who aspires to be of substantial service to the world and bring about a change in the global and political Scenario of a country.

Alert: IIT Kharagpur collaborates with University of Alberta, Canada for doctoral programme. Know More About it Here.


There are several colleges offering this 3 year course of doctorate in philosophy (PhD) in Development Studies for candidates having completed their post-graduation in relevant arts based streams like history, social science, political science, humanities, economics, geography, philosophy, journalism, law etc. to name a few.

Name of College/University Average Fees Average Placement Salary
Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi (IITD) INR 42,900 INR 16 LPA
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (JNU) INR 1391 INR 8.5 LPA
Loyola College, Chennai INR 80,000 INR 5.50 LPA
Christ University, Bangalore INR 35,000 INR 5.75 LPA
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi (GGSIPU) INR 6000 INR 4.50 LPA

Minimum eligibility criteria which acts as a necessary requirement for the acceptance of candidates into doctoral in philosophy in Development Studies includes minimum passing with an aggregate of 55% during masters or any relevant post graduate courses in arts stream

Post-doctoral graduates are eligible to apply for different positions after the 3-year doctorate in philosophy in Development Studies course which may include foreign service officer, a senior executive in public or private sector company or firm, foreign or social diplomat, politician, community development worker, world peace activist etc.

They can even work as international youth workers, lecturers or teachers, professors in reputed universities, researchers and more. The average initial salary for newly joined candidates in government services happens to be INR 15,000.

City wise or state wise distribution of top colleges providing PhD or M. Phil in Development Studies are as follows:

The fee structure for the 3-year duration of the entire course is set up by the respective colleges of either the private or government sector. Although normally, the range of fees as asked for by government run universities starts from around 15,000 INR to 45,000 INR per annum.

Some of the major positions at avail to a PhD in Development Studies student includes economic policy analyst, foreign relations officer, market researcher, volunteer coordinator or recruiter, project coordinator, development manager, policy risk analyst, international youth worker, international communications expert, government relations advisor, intelligence officer, immigration officer, diplomat etc.

The average salary expectations that is met by a newly joined trainee immediately after completing his or her doctorate in Developmental studies happens to be around 15,000 INR per annum which may extend up to around INR 10-15 lakhs per annum after having gained some experience and expertise in the professional matters and execution.

For candidates who are interested to pursue further senior research fellowship in Developmental studies or post-doctoral courses they may opt for various disciplines which include industrial organization, urbanism, biostatistics, etc.

What is the PhD in Development Studies Admission Process?

What is the PhD in Development Studies Admission Process?

The candidates are required to visit the official website first of all.

  • From the official website, they are expected to carefully peruse the brochure available on the webpage.
  • Then they are required to access the application form for registration.
  • They are supposed to fill in their demographic details and email ID and phone number and password in STEP 1 thereby, creating a unique registration number and password.
  • Soon after the formation of their application number, they are required to log in again and fill in the rest of their details in STEP 2 which includes educational qualifications with proof and certificates, Aadhar ID or other identity proofs which has to be uploaded on the website as per the specifications mentioned on the application form.
  • Following this, the payment for registration step has to be carried out either online or via demand draft or NEFT as per the options provided on the webpage.
  • Soon after payment, the candidate is expected to await the disclosure of the merit list.
  • After the disclosure of merit list counselling dates are declared and the candidates are supposed to report as per their allotted dates.

Entrance Examinations:

The admission is based on the exclusion criteria as determined by the common entrance examinations conducted by the respective university or a group of institutions affiliated to a common university. Following the entrances, an interview round is conducted which is the final determinant for the fate of the eligible candidate whether he or she will get admission in the said college or not.

What is the PhD in Development Minimum Eligibility Criteria?

The candidates eligible to appear for the entrance examinations conducted by the respective institutions must have at least secured an aggregate of 55% minimum marks in the respective masters or postgraduate courses (in some institutions the minimum requirement exceeds upto 60%).

  • The post graduate courses are mostly from the arts stream and these courses may include masters in sociology, humanities, history, geography, social sciences, developmental sciences, anthropology, political science and other allied and relevant fields.
  • In certain institutions like Christ University, Bangalore for candidates not having qualified for CSIR NET or GATE or other national level entrances, having an M. Phil degree is a must criterion required to be eligible to appear for the university entrances.
  • In some colleges, the maximum upper age limit has been placed which happens to be 55 years of age for the general category.
  • Apart from that, reservations for foreign nationals, scheduled castes and scheduled Tribes are found in almost all colleges till some extent.
  • Elimination round is based on the entrances conducted by the university which the candidates must qualify with a good rank.
  • This entrance is followed by an interview or Viva round which the candidate must manage to pass gracefully.
  • Final selection and rank list is based on the cumulative aggregate of degree merit, entrance merit and interview scores.

Which are the PhD in Development Studies Entrance Exams Conducted in India?

Some of the entrance examinations conducted by various colleges include:

Exam Conducting Body Tentative Examination Date
GATE IITB 2021 IIT Bombay February
UGC NET NTA September 16, 2020
CSIR NET NTA March
BITS Pilani PhD Entrance Test BITS June
JNU PhD Entrance Test JNU March

How to Get Admission in A Good PhD Development Studies College?

The first and foremost criteria remains to complete masters or post-graduation in your respective field with a minimum of 55% aggregate marks and possibly a strong CGPA.

  • Next thing the candidate has to be mindful of is to prepare for the respective entrance examinations be it GATE or CSIR-UGC NET with an objective to score extremely well, to possibly be a rank holder.
  • Apart from that the candidate must prepare for the Viva Voce and answer confidently in the interview rounds to score well.
  • Revised editions of concise books on comprehensive and critical thinking are available to practice quizzes and multiple choice questions on aptitude tests. 
PhD in Developmental Studies: What is About?

PhD in Developmental Studies: What is About?

Doctorate in philosophy in Developmental studies happens to be a multidisciplinary course with a duration of 3 years.

  • After the completion of 3 years the PhD candidate is expected to have completed his or her thesis to get his or her post-doctoral fellowship.
  • The 3 years are divided into 6 semesters and the examinations conducted are semester wise as well as session wise held.
  • The major eligibility criterion for any candidate to appear for the entrance examinations happens to be having completed post-graduation or master's in any of the relevant Arts field which include social studies, humanities, psychology, political science, English literature, history, geography, anthropology, management, law, economics, international relations and other allied streams, with at least a minimum aggregate of 55% or more.
  • The candidate if eligible needs to appear for the common entrance examinations conducted by respective colleges or universities or the national common PhD entrance examinations like GATE, CSIR-UGC NET, CUET etc.
  • The candidate needs to qualify exceptionally well in both the entrance examination and the subsequent interview conducted by the respective university in order to finally enter the selection criterion for admission.
  • The fee structure is unique to different universities as per their stipulated goals and net expenditures annually. Although, on an average the college fee ranges from INR 14,000 to INR 30,000 annually in a government college.
  • Again, the expected salary varies in dependence with the company recruiting the post-doctoral candidate and his or her work efficiency and sincerity. But the initial starting fees for a newly recruited candidate happens to be around 15,000 INR per annum.
PhD Developmental Studies Course Highlights

PhD Developmental Studies Course Highlights

PhD in Development Studies is a specialized multidisciplinary course opted for by students interested to figure out the root causes of poverty in the Indian slum areas and the overpopulation related issues that keep aggravating over time. It is a known fact that in order to solve an issue, first and foremost the primordial origin of the problem should be traced.

In the current global era, although scientific and technological advancements hold precedence in almost all the major cities of the world, poverty and economic crisis is still a grave situation still found in underdeveloped and developing countries.

Course Name PhD in Development Studies
Stream Arts
Course Type Doctorate
Course Full Form Doctorate in philosophy in Developmental studies
Course Duration 3 years, divided into 6 semesters.
Examination Pattern Examination is conducted both semester wise and yearly.
Eligibility The candidate must have completed masters in either sociology, humanities, history, geography, anthropology, political science and other allied arts with a minimum aggregate of 55%.
Admission Protocol Eligible candidates must appear and qualify in the entrance examinations. This is followed by interviews and thus, the admission is based on cumulative statistics of post graduate marks, entrance scores and scores secured in Viva Voce.
Average Annual Fees 14,000 to 30,000 INR per annum
Average Initial Salary: 15,000 INR. Subjective to changes depending on the work efficiency of the candidate and the satisfaction of the employer.
Available Job Positions: Manager Project planner/developer. Professor. Researcher. International relations officer. Foreign services agent. Community development worker. Social worker. Peace advocate. Human rights activist. Foreign diplomat. Business consultant. Ecotourism agent. Fundraiser. Immigrations officer. Communications expert. International youth worker.
Top Recruiting Units: Non-governmental organizations. Business development centers Research Centers Universities. Human rights associations. Political organizations. Public health and policy department. Urban and regional planning housing boards. Tourism networks. News agency.
Why should a student opt for a PhD in Development Studies?

Why should a student opt for a PhD in Development Studies?

The answer is pretty simple and evident enough. This course is a very crucial requirement for students interested to make a difference in the current global and national trends, social inequalities persisting in the present era, to get rid of economic stagnancy, educational and employment unavailability to each and every citizen. 

  • All the aspects that any non-governmental organization covers, can easily be taken control of by a postdoctoral candidate from Development Studies as he or she will have basic idea as to how to get rid of the real problem from its base so as to lead the path towards betterment and progress in the community as a whole.
  •  The skills gained after the 3 months’ duration are varied but useful in the longer run be it the inculcated communication skills which help the candidate further in the field of consultancy, diplomacy or to pursue law. 
  • Apart from that, critical and analytic skills help the individual to lay down a path as a policy analyst or business analyst. 
  • The candidate overtime acquires organizational skills, the mere ability to plan an entire project and organize an event helps him or her as a developer in the longer run. 
  • The quantitative and qualitative skills gained during essential study related surveys help the individual to grow as a researcher. 
  • Besides, the interdisciplinary approach of teaching allows the candidate to draw references from different cultures and countries to draw out an appropriate conclusion as to how to not repeat past mistakes in the present era. 
  • The ability to organize and manage a project by one's own self allows him or her to become productive as a future executive or proficient leader.
  • The candidate can also successfully become an international communications expert after undergoing the 3-years-duration.
  • Apart from that he can further specialize in trade relations and import export units as a diplomat or as a consultant.

Other Allied Courses:

PhD in Development Studies is not the only course oriented towards a common goal or with the eligibility criteria including post-graduation students from Arts stream like history, sociology, psychology, humanities, geography etc.

Candidates who have completed masters or M. Phil in these allied subjects may also opt for their corresponding PhD courses which are again mostly of 3-year duration similar to PhD in Development Studies.

Which are the PhD in Development Studies Top Colleges?

Which are the PhD in Development Studies Top Colleges?

Name Of College Average Course Fees Average Placement Package
Presidency College, Chennai INR 1500 INR 3.8 LPA
Hindu College University of Delhi, New Delhi INR 16,590 INR 5 LPA
St. Stephen's College, Delhi INR 35,000 INR 6.5 LPA
Madras Christian College (MCC), Chennai INR 25,919 INR 2.31 LPA
Miranda House University of Delhi, New Delhi INR 14,600 INR 6.40 LPA
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi - INR 4.95 LPA
Utkal University, Bhubaneswar INR 9,500 INR 3.2 LPA
University Of Mysore INR 11,000 INR 3.80 LPA
Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottyam INR 28,600 INR 2.90 LPA
Indira Gandhi Institute Of Development Research INR 32,000 INR 3.6 LPA

What is the PhD in Development Studies Syllabus?

What is the PhD in Development Studies Syllabus?

The doctorate in philosophy in Development Studies is a 3 year course with 6 semesters and the examination pattern happens to be yearly as well as semester wise and again it may vary from institute to institute likewise. Topics assigned to be taught within the duration of those 3 years have been listed out below as per the year they are covered:

First Year Second Year Third year
Philosophy of Research, The origins. Gender, livelihood and development Social movements and change
Development, its concepts, theories and history. Sociology of economic life Inequality, poverty and financing of human development
Contemporary Indian economy Database for development research Political economy of space
Social research methodologies Public policy, its theories and processes Development types: Even and uneven
Economics of development Development and crime Sustainable development and climate change
Democracy, state and civil society Development and the social sector Industrialisation, globalization and labour
Sustainable development and climate change Social exclusion in India Social exclusion and social justice
What are the PhD in Development Studies Job Prospects?

What are the PhD in Development Studies Job Prospects?

For a candidate who has finished junior research fellowship or doctorate in Development Studies, the probabilities of getting a decent paid job with decent manageable salary is innumerous provided he or she does want to go ahead with working as a part of any company or sector.

  • In case the candidates do opt for certain predetermined jobs they can try stepping into the world of politics by being a member of any political organization, Non-governmental organizations, public or private sector.
  • Having been trained in the art of management, planning and execution; they are highly skilled to work in managerial or executive posts in well-known companies.
  • Apart from that their flair in linguistics and interpersonal and intercultural interaction skills be it via speech or writing, makes them especially good at consultations and diplomacy in trade relations and business sectors.
  • Their flexible mannerisms while facing a major crisis during an ongoing project and critical or analytical intellectual capacities makes them great assets as project managers or designers or planners or organizers.
  • Apart from that they are free to join the immigration department, foreign relations office, any community development association, any fundraising non-governmental organizations where they shall be tasked with voluntary work. Apart from that such candidates are also eligible to take a dive into the world of journalism and tourism. They can work as market researcher, research assistant, risk analyst etc.
  • Besides, internationally they can work as world peace activists or human rights advocates. Many candidates opt for working in law firms and agencies as well. And many others try taking up lectureship in a reputed University. 
Job Profile Job Description Average Salary
Lecturer or Professor A lecturer or professor is an individual charged with the task to teach students, prepare question papers, correct the students' answer sheets, invigilate during examinations etc. INR 4.63 LPA
Social servant/worker A social worker is a person who works in a nonprofit organization with the primary goal to bring about a change in the community and help each and every member of the society so as to cure it of all the dimensions be it economic, health, inequality etc. INR 2.52 LPA
Brand Manager A brand manager is responsible for supervising the activities of each and every individual under him, assign projects, oversee the progression of those projects and send them for approval etc. INR 9.14 LPA
Policy Analysts Such policy analysts are tasked with the work of making new policies, reviewing new terms and conditions, scraping out the outdated ones so as to increase the efficiency of the company or firm as a whole. INR 6.5 LPA
Foreign Service Officer Foreign service officer works with the country's foreign service agencies or embassies to ensure the safety of a foreign national or an Indian citizen travelling abroad. He is supposed to maintain diplomatic relationships with agents from other countries. INR 4.8 LPA
Ph.D in Development Studies Top Colleges
What is the Future Scope in PhD in Development Studies?

What is the Future Scope in PhD in Development Studies?

PhD in Development Studies is not a very recent field that came into existence. Yet, it is growing in prominence especially when post-doctoral specializations and senior research fellowships are concerned in the field of environmental studies to:

  • Understand the determinants or key factors harming and destabilizing the normal balance maintained in the biosphere, community development and public health sector to work in conjunction with the community medicine workers.
  • Trade and investment, sustainable development and future goals to control environmental degradation and at the same time provide the necessities to the human race, studying the population statistics
  • Key determinants of population boom, its effect on the globe as a whole and how to control overpopulation and the associated scarcity issues that arise with the same.
  • Advocacy of world peace and as a part of United Nations Organizations, diplomats can pave the way for a much more harmonious earth.
  • Other courses related to Development Studies include PhD Sociology, PhD in Humanities and Social Science, PhD in Psychology, and PhD in Political Science which try to bring out similar community based issues and social issues into light and how to solve them.
PhD in Development Studies FAQs

PhD in Development Studies FAQs

Ques. What Is the Major Eligibility Criteria for PhD in Development Studies?

Ans. The candidate must have completed post-graduation or Masters in Arts with a minimum aggregate of 55% or above (60% or above in some colleges) in order to be eligible to appear for the entrance examinations like GATE, CSIR NET etc. The said courses may include history, sociology, geography, humanities, linguistics, social studies, political sciences and other allied fields in Arts. The admission process is based on merit followed by entrance examinations and an interview which the student must qualify in successfully.

Ques. What All Jobs Can a Student Do After a Doctorate Degree in Development Studies?

Ans. Jobs which any candidate can opt for after PhD in Development Studies includes foreign services officer, foreign relations manager, he or she can acquire managerial positions in banks, private sectors, government sectors or nonprofit organizations. Candidates can join or start their own NGOs for the welfare of the community in general. Apart from that they can work as policy makers and analysts, risk analysts, international development officers, international youth workers, peace activists, human rights activists, chief executives in big brands and companies. They can take up a career as a journalist or ecotourism expert, environmentalist, foreign diplomat and as a business consultant. They may also opt for positions as immigration officer or intelligence officer.

Ques. What is the Average Starting Salary for A Candidate Pursuing PhD in Development Studies?

Ans. The average starting salary for a candidate pursuing PhD in Development Studies happens to be around 15,000 INR per annum which may extend up to 10 lakh INR per annum or more depending on the work efficiency of the employee and the job satisfaction met by the employer.

Ques: What Is the Average Fee Requisite for PhD in Development Studies?

Ans. Fee structure of every college differs not only state and region wise but also depending on if the college is run by the government or is a private institution. For private colleges, the average PhD in Development Studies course fees happens to be around 80,130 INR with the range extending from 74,750 INR as the minimal fee requirement to 85,500 INR as the maximal fee requirement.

Likewise, for government colleges or public sector, the average annual tuition fee happens to lie within the range of 14,000 INR to 30,000 INR per annum.

Ph.D. (Development Studies) Fee Structure in India


30.50 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES4 L  (Maximum Fee)
1.04 L (Average Fee)
74.75 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES85.50 K (Maximum Fee)
80.13 K (Average Fee)

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