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Development Studies

Development Studies

What is Development Studies?

Areas of study concerned with development throughout the world, with a particular focus on developing nations, fall under the umbrella term development studies. Development studies aims to tackle some of the challenges facing the world and develop strategies to help alleviate poverty and inequality. It is an important area of study because it looks at inequality in the world and tries to find solutions to improve the lives of citizens. Development studies encompasses many disciplines including political science, economics, sociology, psychology, communication, nutrition and health sciences, environmental science and climate, business, information technology, gender studies and education.

Development Studies Association Ireland (DSAI)

DSAI came into being as an independent national association representing development studies in Ireland in 2012. Its purpose is to establish a broad system of alliances across the development sector, to enhance the research capacity and capabilities of the sector. It aims to provide a space for research dissemination and high-quality debate on the key issues of the day in development studies and practice. DSA Ireland aspires to being a virtual one-stop-shop for Irish development studies bringing academics and practitioners together to develop strategies that ensure a fair and equitable world for all. DSAI receives support from both Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs.  

DSAI’s vision: the creation of a vibrant and innovative development studies community, which will focus on cutting edge research, led by Irish research institutions, contributing to the reduction of poverty, inequality and vulnerability in the world.

While still a relatively young organisation, DSAI plans to further develop its capacities and work programmes, based on individual, institutional and organisational membership. Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), now the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) became an institutional member in January 2021.

For more information about DSAI visit

DSAI – TUS Branch

DSAI institutional membership must be more than a collection of individual researchers, to serve the needs of practitioners there must be a move away from an individual approach to a collaborative institutional approach by researchers. In this way a closer alignment between research themes and Irish Aid’s strategic objectives could be achieved, resulting in closer links between researchers and the overseas operations of agencies.

With this aim in mind, the DSAI – TUS Branch was established. Initially, the branch aims to spread awareness, across the TUS community, of the existence of DSAI, but long term its key aim is to establish a clear understanding of the purpose of institutional membership, how it will operate to ensure effective membership and how it will work alongside other TUS research structures.

We are delighted to announce that one of our members, Dr Catherine Corcoran, was recently elected to the Steering Committee of DSAI.

View list of members

Upcoming Events -

Events organised through the DSAI can be viewed here

Upcoming Trainings -

STAND Global Issues are part-time evening courses running in the Spring and Autumn that explore the interdependent and unequal world in which we live, through a process of interactive learning, debate, action and reflection. These courses are organised and facilitated by STAND 


Applications for STAND's Spring Global Issues courses are now open! The Spring course is 6 weeks long, and take place online one evening per week for 2 hours. You’ll join a community of likeminded peers and expert facilitators to delve into and unpack some of the world’s biggest global issues – from migration to global health, trade to climate justice.   

We welcome students from all disciplines to apply and no prior knowledge of development issues is needed. Upon completion of the Global Issues Course, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from STAND.

Our sessions are workshop-style, and include lots of interactive discussions, debates and group work – so we invite participants to show up fully and be ready to engage! 

Thanks to financial support from Irish Aid, we can offer our courses at subsidised rate of just €25*. Places are limited to 30 per course and are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Previous Events:

DSAI Annual Conference - 16th - 17th November 2022


In the context of unfolding climate breakdown, with the socio-political implications becoming more apparent, it seems appropriate to re-examine once again the concept of ‘sustainable development’. Although the concept clearly is a central value in the United Nations sustainable development goals and many countries’ policy frameworks, the claim underlying the concept has been subject to critical analysis for some time.

Date and Venue:

Click here for more information


Previous Events - DSAI Summer School - 31st May - 1st June 2022

The DSAI Summer School provided a focussed 2-day programme of workshops exploring research methods for sustainable development, engaging NGOs, Policy Makers, and Academics both as contributors to the programme and as participants. Connecting research, policy and practice the programme will bring together international experts through interactive sessions to enhance the professional development of participants.

Day one of the event on 31st May was online while the second day was hosted on our Thurles campus.

Find our more here

Read - Fairtrade Fortnight at TUS Thurles

Other useful links
  • Irish Aid Development Education Strategy 2017 - 2023
  • STAND global issues - STAND - Visit for details of the upcoming Spring Global Issues course offered by STAND. This is the perfect first step for any student interested in developing their understanding of international development and global justice issues and it’s a great way to get connected with STAND and to take action. 
    It’s also an opportunity for students to develop professionally - upon completion of the course, participants receive a Certificate of Completion which can be linked to their CV and LinkedIn profiles.