Capstone projects



Our Capstone Projects are applied research seminars that form an integral part of the Master in Development Studies.

During an eight-months intensive research process that starts in the spring semester of the first year and extends to the end of the fall semester of the second year, groups of three to four students pursue independent research on a development issue related to the specialisation track of their choice.

Topics cover a wide range of thematic areas as they are relevant to international development, including global and local conflict, migration, environmental issues and sustainability, culture and human rights.

The Capstone Projects originate from the concrete development problems faced by an organisation constituting “International Geneva”, including international organisations, NGOs, government agencies, think tanks, and other public and private sector organisations. In some cases, Capstone Projects require local field-work in developing countries.

The objective of the Capstone Project is for students to gain an in-depth understanding of the major theoretical and conceptual debates around a given topic, formulate a research question, identify the relevant literature, develop a methodology, define relevant key players and stakeholders, set up interviews and meetings, conduct applied qualitative and quantitative research, and produce a substantial report of between 12,000 and 15,000 words of length that reflects a thorough understanding of the selected topic, including a set of policy-relevant recommendations.

The findings of the report will be presented to the partner organizations at the end of the fall semester.


Master in

Master in