University of Sussex

University of Sussex

Development Studies

The complex challenges of global poverty and development are making ever-greater demands on those working in aid agencies, governments, non-government organisations (NGOs) and policy and research institutes. Meeting these challenges calls for creative development professionals who can apply and integrate critical thinking and practical experience and be innovative in seeking meaningful solutions. This course provides a solid grounding in international development concepts, theories and approaches. It is designed to enhance career opportunities in international development by helping you gain the professional skills you need to work at the intersections of policy, research and practice. You are also able to understand the main theories, concepts and debates of development and to draw on this knowledge in your professional work, engage in an informed and critical way with professionals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and approach development problems with creativity, confidence and the ability to work collaboratively with others. The programme is structured to allow strong coherence and some integration with the other specialised MA degrees offered at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).

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, and two from empowering society; introduction to development economics; sociology, anthropology and the development conundrum. Spring term: you choose 60 credits from a range of 15- and 30-credit modules (one of which must be a 30-credit module): 30-credit modules may include: Competing in the global economy; democracy and development; health and development; sustainability and policy processes: issues in agriculture, environment and health; poverty, policy and programmes; 15-credit modules 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: You take the 15-credit module introduction to research to help you prepare for your dissertation. 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 courses, examinations, as well as a final 10,000-word dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MA Full-time £ 14,450 per Academic year (home fees) 12 months
MA Full-time £ 14,450 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