1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

International Education and Development

Do you work – or wish to work – on educational issues in aid agencies, multilateral agencies, NGOs, consultancy and research firms, government ministries and academia?  

The MA has established its reputation over three decades and is highly regarded internationally. Our faculty enjoy a global reputation as leaders in their field and have contributed to education and development policies around the world. You’ll study with students from across the globe and benefit from our large network of alumni.

We expect to offer you four specialisms:

  • Teachers: Policy and Practice
  • Curriculum, Learning and Society
  • Educational Policy and Planning
  • Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding.

Key facts

  • You’ll have the opportunity to see issues from different perspectives: the internationally diverse experience of our faculty, students and visiting academics is a unique feature of this course.
  • Our teaching is informed by cutting-edge research in the Centre for International Education – part of Development Studies at Sussex, ranked 1st in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
  • You’ll benefit from our extensive networks, broadening your experience through placements with NGOs, international agencies and educational institutions, and giving you a setting for your research project.

How will I study?

You take taught modules and produce assessed work (such as a literature review, briefing paper and two essays) related to each module. You'll receive one-to-one tutorial support with course assignments.

You develop and present your dissertation proposal and then write a final dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Alongside our taught modules, we offer a programme of research seminars on relevant theoretical and practical issues. Speakers comprise colleagues from the Centre for International Education and the wider Department of Education, faculty from other departments at Sussex, and invited guests from around the world.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to study this course full time or part time. Find the modules for the full-time course below. 

For details about the part-time course structure, contact us 

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Academic and Research Skills

      60 credits
      All Year Teaching, Year 1

      This module provides a structured induction into a wide range of essential academic and research skills. You will gain conceptual and practical experience in reading, analysing, designing and undertaking research throughout the module, culminating in the major project undertaken at the end of the course. Theory and practice are linked throughout, with sessions covering topics such as:

      • the conventions of academic referencing
      • approaches to reviewing the academic literature
      • writing a research proposal
      • different methodological positions
      • specific research methods and research ethics. 

      The module aims to ensure a thorough understanding of the academic and research skills needed to undertake all aspects of the MA in International Education and Development and there are opportunities to discuss the requirements of each assignment in depth.

      Throughout the year there is an emphasis on collaborative group work, exchanging ideas, presenting work in progress and supporting each other through the different phases of writing and reading. The course therefore provides a supportive framework within which you are encouraged to develop critical and reflexive understandings of your roles as both consumers and producers of research. 

    • Policy and Practice Issues in International Education and Development

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This module explores a variety of contemporary perspectives associated with educational policy and in development contexts. You will gain an understanding of the ways in which research shapes the education and development agenda, critically considering perspectives with respect to the influence of international, regional and national agenda, to ones associated with processes at the local level (including in schools and classrooms). You will also addresses challenges for implementing change with respect to political will and capacity development, and approaches to strategic management across all levels of decision-making with respect to education reform.

      The module pays particular attention to the implications of international development targets for educational policy and practice. Topical issues addressed may include a critical examination of the relations between: education and conflict; education, democracy and citizenship; education and poverty; education and NGOs; and education, health and HIV/AIDS.

    • Theories of International Education and Development

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This module serves as an introduction to key theories in international education and development. It begins with a historical overview of theories of international education and development. This is followed by a critical examination of the main theoretical frameworks relating to education and development including modernisation theory, human capital theory, dependency and underdevelopment theory, capability theory, feminist and post-colonialist/post-structuralist approaches, and pedagogy. The examination of the different theoretical approaches pays particular attention to their implications for the funding, governance, policy, delivery of education in economically and socially diverse national contexts.


    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Childhood and Youth in Global Perspective; Rights, Protection and Justice

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module will explore legal and rights frameworks relating to children and young people with a particular emphasis on international conventions and perspectives. The first part of the module will involve an exploration of three areas of law: children's rights, child protection/welfare and youth justice/offending. 
      Explorations of these topics will include an examination of ideas of globalisation and post-colonial critiques where relevant. In the second part of the module case studies will be used to critically explore these issues in relation to practice with children and young people drawing upon examples from the developed and developing world.

      An indicative list of practice topics for exploration includes: 

      • Children/young people and work
      • Children and poverty
      • Children and homelessness
      • Children and criminal justice
      • Children and refugee status
      • Children and the family 

      The module will make connections between policy and practice approaches to children and youth in majority and minority worlds as well as linking themes such as migration, adoption and child trafficking. We will, however, pay particular attention to the specificities of work within a development context including an exploration of the practice issues asssociated with work in refugee camps and with street children.

    • Curriculum, learning and society

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The aim of this module is to study how the curriculum, learning, and society interrelate in low- and middle-income countries. It will engage with the major issues, concepts, and theories relating to curriculum development, pedagogy, and social inclusion in education. These will be related to policy and practice. It will address questions such as:

      • What are the patterns of curriculum worldwide and how is curriculum reform being accomplished in different settings?
      • To what extent are equity and social justice enacted through the curriculum and how might this be furthered?
      • What are the processes of curriculum development and what power do teachers and other stakeholders have in deciding what knowledge is included? 
      • What do different definitions of educational quality say about what is valued in education? 
      • What pedagogies are espoused and practiced in low- and middle-income countries and how appropriate are these for different kinds of learners? 
      • What are the pedagogical and social effects of different systems and practices of assessment?
      • How are instructional materials incorporated in educational practice at national and local level? 
      • How does the curriculum relate to local and global cultures and teacher and learner identities? 

      The module will engage with these questions at various levels, including especially a study of how macro issues are played out in the micro/meso contexts of classrooms and other educational institutions.

    • Foundations of Education Policy, Planning and Development

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The changing roles of government in relation to education services have multiple implications for stakeholders in education. This module explores approaches to educational planning and policy issues, and considers the implications of contemporary governance concerns associated with designing and implementing educational reform.

      You will gain practical experience in developing education strategies aimed at achieving education and development targets. The module pays particular attention to the various dimensions of the changes in the governance of education.

      The module considers key aspects of policy and planning covering the changing international agenda regarding good governance:

      • the changes to educational planning and reforms aimed at ensuring sustainable financing
      • the role of NGOs and communities in designing and implementing change
      • reforms and governance of education paying attention to decentralisation and its impact on how schools are managed and function
      • and approaches to monitoring and evaluating education interventions and programmes.
    • Teachers: policy and practice in lnternational contexts

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The module focuses on how teacher education can be organised to best enable teachers to improve their practice. In addressing this, it is necessary to consider how teachers learn to teach. The importance of the teacher to the teaching/learning process has never been in doubt and yet it is only relatively recently that the spotlight has been put on teachers, rather than on pupils, to examine the ways in which teachers learn and the theories and motivations that underpin their practice. Understanding how teachers learn to teach and how best to facilitate their learning are crucial issues to consider when designing policies to improve education in developing countries.

      The aim of the seminars in the first part of the term is to give you a broad overview of some of the major issues, concepts and theories in teacher education and how they relate to practice. In the second part the module looks at contemporary issues related to culture and teacher development, teacher mobility, teacher motivation, supervision and mentoring, and teacher education by distance including the use of ICTs. These are all considered in the context of a variety of developing countries, and include consideration of the role of international aid in shaping the practice of teacher education.

    • The Global Governance of Education and Conflict

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The module seeks to critically examine cutting-edge issues related to educational governance, policy-making and planning in low- and middle-income contexts. Each academic year three or four key issues will be selected, based on current developments in the field of education and international development.

      Issues such as the global governance of education in conflict-affected states, public-private partnerships in education, governing teachers, and NGOs and the global governance of education will be selected and taught as a block of two to three sessions. Each block will provide participants with a comprehensive reading list on the topic, discussion and debate on the core questions raised by the selected issue, and a possible final essay question that participants can select.

Entry requirements

A lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above, or equivalent qualification. Experience of work in a relevant area is desirable.

The course is aimed at students with professional experience in education and development and at those with a strong academic background in a relevant discipline.

English language requirements

Higher level (IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?


Home: £7,700 per year

EU: £7,700 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £7,700 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship

PGCE First-Generation Scholars Award (2017)

£600 maintenance award to PGCE students with a household income below £42,875

Find out more about the PGCE First-Generation Scholars Award

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Meet the people teaching and supervising on your course.

  • Faculty profiles

    Prof Kwame Akyeampong
    Professor Of International Education & Development

    Research interests: Educational Assessment, Educational inequalities, Educational policy analysis, Educational Reform, Mathematics Education, Teacher Education Policy, Teaching and Learning

    View profile

    Prof Janet Boddy
    Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies

    Research interests: child and youth welfare, cross-national methodology, family studies, Research Ethics, social pedagogy, Social work

    View profile

    Dr Barbara Crossouard
    Reader in Education

    Research interests: assessment, Citizenship and youth, doctoral education, education in contexts of postcoloniality, gender, higher education, identities, researcher development

    View profile

    Prof Mairead Dunne
    Professor of Sociology of Education

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr Naureen Durrani
    Senior Lecturer in International Education and Development

    Research interests: Citizenship and youth, Curriculum and textbooks, Education, Education & peacebuilding, International education & development, Pakistan, pedagogy, South Asia, Teacher Education

    View profile

    Dr Louise Gazeley
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Educational inequalities, Exclusion from school, Fair access and widening participation, Inclusive education, Parental involvement in education, Social class and educational disadvantage, Teacher Education

    View profile

    Prof Gillian Hampden-Thompson
    Professor of Education

    Research interests: Educational inequalities, Quantitative methods, Secondary Data Analysis, Social rights and social justice, Sociology of Education, Student outcomes, Teaching and Learning

    View profile

    Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith
    Senior Lecturer In Higher Education

    Research interests: Feminist and qualitative research methods, Feminist theory, Gender Studies, higher education, Sociology of Education, Widening participation

    View profile

    Prof Brian Hudson
    Professor of Education

    Research interests: Education, ICT in Education, Initial Teacher Education, Joint Action in Didactics, Mathematics Education, Teacher Education, Teacher Education Policy

    View profile

    Dr Nigel Marshall
    Senior Lecturer in Education

    Research interests: Developing concepts of gender, International music education, Music and Dementia, Music and early childhood, Music and wellbeing, Music Psychology

    View profile

    Prof Louise Morley
    Professor of Education

    Research interests: Women and leadership

    View profile

    Dr Linda Morrice
    Senior Lecturer In Education

    Research interests: citizenship, Education, Gender and Sexuality, Learning, Migration, refugees, Social cohesion, Social exclusion, Social identities

    View profile

    Prof Mario Novelli
    Professor Of The Political Economy Of Education

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr John Parry
    Teaching Fellow

    Research interests: environmental education, Social inclusion, Sustainable development

    View profile

    Prof John Pryor
    Professor of Education & Social Research

    Research interests: doctoral education, Education, formative assessment, higher education, International education & development, Learning, pedagogy, professional development, Social rights and social justice

    View profile

    Dr Robert Rosenthal
    Senior Teaching Fellow in Education

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Prof Yusuf Sayed
    Professor of International Education and Development Policy

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr Julia Sutherland
    Senior Lecturer in Education

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr Simon Thompson
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Prof Rachel Thomson
    Professor of Childhood & Youth Studies

    Research interests: Social behaviour, Sociology

    View profile

    Dr Jo Westbrook
    Senior Lecturer in Education

    Research interests: adolescence in literature, Ethnographic Methods, International education & development, pedagogy, qualitative research methods, reading comprehension, Teacher Education, Teacher Education Policy

    View profile


Graduate destinations

100% of students from the Department of Education were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our graduates are employed as educators all over the world, and recent graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • programme funding officer, Africa Educational Trust
  • postdoctoral researcher, Queen Mary University of London
  • programme manager, United Nations Children fund UNICEF.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Our graduates develop their expertise for work in government departments, development agencies, non-governmental organisations or independent education consultancy. Some go on to study at doctoral level.

Employers of our graduates include:

  • the UK Department for International Development
  • the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • the British Council
  • the World Bank
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Oxford Policy Management
  • universities
  • government ministries.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Contact us