University of Sussex

University of Sussex

Science, Society and Development

This programme looks at science, society, sustainability and development, focusing on the key areas of agriculture, environment, and health. You are invited to address complex policy issues including water and sanitation, epidemic disease, the African Green Revolution, biodiversity and genetically modified crops. This programme emphasises the ways that politics permeates policy processes at all levels, and plays out through competing framings, narratives, knowledge and networks. Starting with a solid grounding in development studies and society-science technology relations, the course then puts the dynamics of policy processes at centre stage. The course provides you with a theoretically informed understanding of debates in development, sociological studies of science and technology, and governance and policy processes, while promoting a people-oriented approach; it equips you with the ability to critically examine and reflect on the role of science in environmental, health and agricultural issues within development, using an interdisciplinary perspective; engage in an informed and critical way with other professionals; apply practical methods and frameworks to research problems; and advance policy debates on key issues relating to food and agriculture, health and disease, water and sanitation, and agricultural research problems.

Entry requirements

A 1st- or upper 2nd-Class undergraduate Honours degree in the social sciences or a related discipline, and preferably 2 years' development-related work experience. Applications must be accompanied by a detailed, 2-page personal statement.

Course modules

Autumn term: Ideas in development and policy, evidence and practice; science, knowledge and the politics of development; science, power and institutions. Spring term: Sustainability and policy processes and 2 15-credit modules from a range of options, which may include: Aid and poverty; analysing poverty, vulnerability and inequality; climate change and development; decentralisation and local government; emerging powers and international development; global governance; impact evaluation; management of public finance; nutrition; politics of implementing gender and development; poverty, violence and conflict; reflective practice and social change; unruly politics. Spring and summer terms: Introduction to research. Summer term: You work on your dissertation.

Assessment methods

Assessment is primarily through term papers of 3,000-5,000 words, coursework assignments, presentations, practical exercises and, for some modules, examinations, as well as a final 10,000-word dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MA Full-time £ 13,750 per Academic year (home fees) 12 months
MA Full-time £ 13,750 per Academic year (overseas fees) 12 months
MA Part-time - 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sussex House Brighton BN1 9RH South East

Key information

Telephone number: 
01273 606261