Power, Participation and Social Change MA

Key information

Duration:
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date:
September 2018
Apply by:
1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Explore how people engage with each other and with decision-makers in pursuit of social justice. Designed for experienced practitioners, this MA combines coursework with work-based learning and action research.

You’ll be based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and gain:

  • knowledge of different conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches to participation
  • an understanding of how to apply these approaches to development and governance challenges
  • practical skills in participatory process and research
  • critical thinking, analysis and reflective practice abilities
  • personal development of values and attitudes useful in pursuing participatory approaches.

At IDS, our work is part of a global research collaboration. We work to identify and implement alternative approaches to social change. You learn to engage critically and constructively with change processes at various levels, using appropriate analysis, facilitation and research skills.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 1st in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
  • Rated as one of the top five best university-affiliated think tanks in the world (University of Pennsylvania: Global Go To Think-Tanks Report, 2015).
  • As part of the IDS community you are connected to a global network of over 360 partners, 3,000 alumni and hundreds of current and former staff.

Entry requirements

Degree requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please select your country from the list.

Argentina

Degree requirements

Licenciado/Titulo with a final mark of 7.5-8.5 depending on your university. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Australia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Azerbaijan

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4 or 81%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bahrain

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 (Grade B).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bangladesh

Degree requirements

Masters degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brazil

Degree requirements

Bacharel, Licenciado or professional title with a final mark of at least 7.5 or 8 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brunei

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with GPA 4.0/5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3/4.0 (grade B+).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Chile

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 5-5.5/7 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with overall mark of 75%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Colombia

Degree requirements

Licenciado with ‘Acreditacion de alta calidad' and a GPA of 3.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Ptychion with a final mark of at least 7.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ecuador

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 17/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Egypt

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a university with an overall grade of 75%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

France

Degree requirements

Licence with mention bien or Maîtrise with final mark of at least 13.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Germany

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Magister Artium with a final mark of 2.4 or better.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ghana

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a public university with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Greece

Degree requirements

Ptychion from an AEI with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading institution with overall mark of 55-70% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Indonesia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA 3.5/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (Licence or Karshenasi) with a final mark of at least 15.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Degree requirements

Diploma di Laurea with an overall mark of at least 105.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Japan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a minimum C/GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Jordan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kazakhstan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 4 or better (on a scale of 1-5)/GPA 3,33.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kenya

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kuwait

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lebanon

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.5/4.0 or 14/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malawi

Degree requirements

Masters degree, depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Mexico

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 8.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nepal

Degree requirements

Masters degree with overall mark of 80%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division or CGPA of at least 3.5/5.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall grade of B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Oman

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Degree requirements

Four-year bachelors degree with overall grade of 65% or Masters with 60%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Palestine

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Paraguay

Degree requirements

Bachelors with a final mark of at least 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Peru

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 14/20 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Philippines

Degree requirements

Masters degree with 'very good' overall, or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Qatar

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall CPGA of at least 3 (on a scale of 4).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Russia

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Saudi Arabia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA 3.5/5.0 or 3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division or CAP 4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Degree requirements

Bachelors (honours) degree with second-class division 1.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Korea

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with CGPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 2/4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sri Lanka

Degree requirements

Bachelors Special degree with upper second honours.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Degree requirements

Licence or Diplôme with 5/6 or 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Taiwan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with overall mark of 70%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Degree requirements

Lisans Diplomasi with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

United Arab Emirates

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3-3.5/4.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Vietnam

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (with a Graduate Thesis/research component) with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zambia

Degree requirements

Masters degree with GPA of 2.0/2.5 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zimbabwe

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us at pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in the social sciences or a related subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Higher level (7.0 overall, including at least 6.5 in each component).

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our entry requirements and find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade B or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 185 overall, including at least 176 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 185 overall, including at least 176 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

Pearson (PTE Academic)

67 overall, including at least 62 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

TOEFL (iBT)

95 overall, including at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

Level 5, including at least 4 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 80%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 80%

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grade C (Honours) or above in English.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Admissions information for applicants

How to apply

You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system

Personal statement

Yes. You must write a detailed, two-page personal statement stating why you are applying for the degree and the relevance of previous development-related experience. 

Find out how to write a personal statement 

Work experience

Yes. You should have one year's development-related work experience (which can be made up of voluntary work and vacation-based activities).

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Application deadlines

1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Course details

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact us at teaching@ids.ac.uk

How will I study?

You’ll learn through core modules and options and a three month student-led Critical Enquiry into Practice project.

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • a research plan
  • presentations
  • an action research group project
  • a 15,000-word synthesis paper.

Placement

Between May and August, you take your Critical Enquiry into Practice placement to gain practical skills in preparation for your career.

You’re responsible for finding a host organisation and location for your placement.

Modules

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.

Options

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

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t undertake your placement/internship in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid 

Our experts

Course enquiries

+44 (0)1273 606261
teaching@ids.ac.uk

Find out about the Institute of Development Studies

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018/19. We hope to publish the fees in September 2017. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,280 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2017. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

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.

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

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

Careers

IDS postgraduates have gone on to work in:

  • conservation, agriculture and food
  • finance and state ministries
  • UN agencies such as UNESCO
  • government departments such as DFID
  • NGOs including ActionAid.

They are all working to define and solve some of the most pressing global challenges. Some also go on to work in academic research.

Graduate destinations

100% of students from the Institute of Development Studies were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent IDS students have gone on to jobs including:

  • project manager, European Women's Lobby
  • campaigner, Greenpeace
  • project assistant, International Organisation for Migration.

(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)

Foundations of Power, Participation and Social Change

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

Foundations of Power, Participation and Social Change gives you the analytical and conceptual grounding for defining the issues and questions you will pursue in your action research projects.

The module engages with theory as a lens to illuminate pathways for action, and provides a foundation for understanding and shaping social change and influencing policy and practice.

In the first half of the module you will explore concepts and debates related to power, participation and social change.

In the second half the same three themes are further explored using case studies and student experience and introducing relevant analytical tools and practical approaches to inquiry.

Additional sessions develop your skills for academic study and writing, and introduce practices of reflective and experiential learning, including journaling, storytelling, conversation and other methods of inquiry. 

Power and Social Perspectives on Development

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module is concerned with the relationship between citizens and the state and, in particular, with ways in which citizens can participate in and influence the affairs of the state.

It is divided into two parts, each with five sessions led by a team of fellows from the Participation team.

Part one provides you with an overview of concepts, meanings and practices of citizen engagement.

In particular, we will explore:

  • different theories of power and approaches to social and political empowerment
  • the nature of civil and political societies and "the spaces in between" and their role in democratisation processes
  • concepts of 'deepening democracy' and participatory democracy.

In part two you examine some of the processes and channels through which citizens participate in, and influence, the affairs of the state. We look at:

  • participation in local government
  • the nature and role of social movements
  • processes of institutionalising inclusive democracies via increased formal representation (affirmative action)
  • the challenges of promoting local processes of democratic change from the outside. 

Designing Critical Enquiry

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This is a core module for students enrolled in the MA in Participation, Power and Social Change and is oriented towards supporting the design of your Critical Inquiry into Practice. It is also open to other MA students who wish to design a dissertation inquiry and to first year PhD students at IDS who will be using primary research in a constructivist, action research or action learning paradigm. 

In this module, you explore basic principles of action research, action learning and constructivist research design, strategy and method.

You examine contrasting research paradigms and epistemologies, and interrogate questions of validity.

You consider how to formulate research questions and researchable problems and address issues of positionality and ethics in research processes, relationships, communications and outputs. 

In terms of practice, the module will provide examples and opportunities to try out, critique and choose methods and tools useful for action research, action learning and constructivist research. You consider the components of a research plan, from identifying research problem to analysis, synthesis and communication. 

You gain practical experience during the module by working in groups to design, implement and communicate the results of a piece of action research, action learning or constructivist research. 

Dissertation Participation, Power and Social Change

  • 45 credits
  • Summer Teaching, Year 1 credits

Following the submission date for the second semester coursework, you are required to undertake an individual project based on original research, which culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation. Most students will rely on secondary sources. Primary data collection (fieldwork) is not essential, although some students who are able may wish to conduct a short period of fieldwork during the summer. Those wishing to undertake primary fieldwork will have to take one of three methods courses offered in the second semester. You must identify a supervisor and submit a Certificate of Approval for your dissertation by the end of May. Supervisors will guide you on developing your argument, structuring your dissertation and additional readings.

Aid and Poverty: the Political Economy of International Development Assistance

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

International development assistance (aid) has apparently strong theoretical justification, and rich countries are increasing their aidflows to unprecedented levels in pursuit of poverty reduction. But the political economy of aid is becoming more polarised as global security concerns and global trade reform influence the purposes and practice of aid. Critics are many and anthropological, economic and political science analyses the dominant aid paradigm.

This course provides you with a historically-grounded assessment of international development assistance and its potential to reduce poverty through detailed treatment of the arguments for and against aid. There will be a strong emphasis on the new aid architecture as well as the special circumstances of 'fragile' states and the role of aid.

Climate Change and Development

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This course provides you with an understanding of the science, politics and developmental implications of climate change and disasters, focusing on the perspectives of poor households, communities and developing countries. You will assess the overlaps between disasters, climate change and poverty, focusing on climate change adaptation and disaster risk-reduction approaches, critically analysing options to reduce negative effects and harness opportunities.  You will also examine the social, political and economic drivers of vulnerability, considering how policy processes at different scales influence risk management activities and local coping strategies.

Competing in the Global Economy

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Globalisation of production changed the way firms compete in the global economy. More recently, the emergence of China, Brazil, India and other 'rising powers' as key global economic actors has created new sources of innovation but also tougher competition in the global economy.

You examine in particular the implications for countries in the rest of Asia, Latin America and Africa: how do these new conditions impact firm competitiveness in developing countries? How can they use the new opportunities being created to upgrade their position in global value chains? How can they avoid the worst pitfalls associated with the new global competition? How can national sources of competitiveness (firms, clusters and their policy networks) be leveraged for overall better economic performance and structural change?

Debating Poverty and Vulnerability: Policy and Programming

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The module provides a practical guide to different policy and programmatic approaches to poverty and vulnerability reduction.

The first part of the module provides an overview of different programmatic interventions and policy process and considers their relevance for poverty.

The second part uses a case study approach to understand social protection as a policy and programmatic framework to address poverty.

Different social protection instruments are outlined, and their relative poverty and vulnerability reduction effectiveness is examined. Different evaluation methods are identified and the political and financial sustainability of interventions are considered.

The third part of the module looks at the underlying causes and drivers of poverty and considers how broader social policy can respond. This includes examining the vulnerability of workers through migration, and informality and how politics effects and shapes poverty programmes and social policy.

Democracy and Public Policy

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module examines the theory and practice of democracy and its role in development. The first part discusses theories of democracy, from classical to modern, mapping their core concepts and establishing clear analytical relations between frameworks of democracy and their historical contexts. The second part relates these theoretical discussions to empirical concerns and case studies around the notion of development and social change, including the relationship between democracy and economic development, the impact of religion and culture, the relationship between formal and informal institutions, citizen participation and democracy promotion. The final session discusses the future of democracy and its dilemmas in contemporary times.

Development in Cities

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

You learn how development in cities is critical for the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals.

You examine how:

  • more than half of humanity lives in urban areas and poverty is urbanising
  • cities are places of economic growth and opportunity
  • urbanisation is accompanied by rising inequalities, security and safety concerns and challenges to sustainability.

You look at key concepts and challenges, and the necessity to understand cities as quantitatively and qualitatively different from, but closely connected to, the rural contexts for which much of the traditional development approaches have been devised.

You learn the key frameworks for understanding and learning about the unique challenges of development in cities.

Governance of Violent Conflict and (In)security

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

You examine fundamental questions that armed conflicts and political violence raise about the role and relevance of the state and the process of governance.

You evaluate alternative approaches to the explanation of conflicts, together with their incorporation in the conflict- assessment frameworks used by policy-makers.

You study:

  • the role and limits of external interventions in preventing and managing violent conflict
  • the problems of governance in unstable and insecure political environments
  • post-conflict reconstruction and the legitimacy and capacities of the state
  • the control and reform of security institutions
  • the 'design' of political institutions to facilitate the management of conflict and situations of non-war armed violence associated, for instance, with high levels of crime. 

Health and Development

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Despite 20th-century medical and technological advances, health status is desperately low in many parts of the world and millions of people lack access to basic services. This course examines health systems in the face of the major developmental and organisational challenges of the 21st century. The course takes a fresh approach to the political economy of health care, examining health systems as 'knowledge economies' - ways of organising access to expert knowledge or expertise, embodied in both people and products - and focuses on how health systems could better benefit the poor.

Nutrition

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module is intended to equip you with an understanding of: the causes, extent and distribution of global undernutrition and its consequences; what works in terms of direct and indirect interventions to address undernutrition; and mechanisms designed to raise the political profile, commitment and leadership behind undernutrition reduction.

The module will be taught by a mixture of lectures and seminars and will be grouped under the following topics: 

  • Introduction to course: the nature of undernutrition - determinants and consequences
  • What works: immediate level interventions
  • What works: underlying indirect interventions
  • Addressing the basic causes - approaches to the politics and economics of undernutrition 
  • The enabling environment: transforming leadership, commitment and resources, the role of metrics, accountability mechanisms and real time surveillance

You will be encouraged to participate actively and reflect on your learning throughout the module through non-assessed groupwork. To assess individual progress a final assessment will be held at the end of the course.

Poverty, Violence and Conflict

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This course will assess conflict shocks and examine their differences relative to other socio-economic shocks. This will draw on both existing literature on conflict and the history of conflict analysis within different social sciences. You will examine the difficulties or research in conflict areas, including measurement, ethical concerns, and security concerns, and assess where we stand in terms of empirical knowledge. You will critically review the latest research on micro-level analysis of conflict, going on to examine the impact of conflict shocks on households and individuals, drawing on insurance and risk theory, and assess the impact of conflict on education, health and poverty. You will then examine preventive policies including the potential role of social protection in preventing conflict and post-conflict situations. The course, finally, will turn to an assessment of the role of international institutions, NGO's and community-driven initiatives in the context of conflict-affected 'fragile' states.

Public Financial Management

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

States in developing countries frequently lack the resources, administrative capacity and legitimacy needed to reproduce themselves and pursue their goals and the goals of society. This course explores the behaviour of states through the lens of public finance. How do states manage international capital flows, including FDI, debt, and aid? What domestic sources are available without excessively burdening economic actors or coercing popular sectors? How do states prioritise and allocate their resources in ways that deepen democracy, manage macroeconomic balances, pursue efficiency, and improve distribution?


We will address these questions by considering the following four broad themes: capital flows (including FDI, debt, and aid); revenues (rents and tax); budgeting; and the political economy of public finance.

Reflective and Creative Practice for Social Change

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

You explore diverse methods of reflective practice and their uses in facilitating change with professionals, activists, communities, organisations, and movements.

You examine critical, experiential, creative and transformative approaches to learning and reflection, including Western traditions of reflexivity (e.g. feminist, postcolonial, critical and participatory scholarship) and approaches from other cultures, spiritual traditions and the creative arts.

With a focus on learning by doing, and linking practice with theory, you inquire into the ways in which reflective practices can transform personal experience as well as patterns and relationships within groups, organisations and wider systems.

Depending on student interest, methods of reflective practice are explored in relation to participatory and qualitative research, organisational learning, monitoring and evaluation, facilitation, community development, adult education, gender analysis and processes of social and political empowerment.

Sustainability and Policy Processes: Issues in Agriculture, Environment and Health

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Delivered jointly with SPRU, this course provides you with an in-depth analysis of the relationship between knowledge, power and policy processes. Initially you will examine the historical and philosophical roots of key environmental, science and policy debates. A case study approach explores real-life examples from forestry, pastoral development, health service delivery, vaccines, occupational disease, agricultural biotechnology, water resources and biodiversity conservation. In exploring the cases, the focus is on the interrelationships between local contexts, community involvement and wider national and international policy processes influencing livelihood outcomes.

The Politics of Gender

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

During this module, you explore women's political representation and the biases in formal political institutions and systems.

The role and history of women's movements in civil society and the nature of their relationship with the state are also explored.

Following this, theories of the state and of organisational change are reviewed in relation to development institutions, to identify effective strategies for, and constraints to, institutionalising gender-sensitive approaches to development policy.

Theory and Practice of Impact Evaluation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module teaches elements of impact evaluation methods of welfare programmes in developing countries. It is designed for an audience of social scientists and is presented at a low-medium level of technical difficulty. Statistical and econometric methods of impact evaluation are presented together with sessions on theory-based evaluation and practical issues of management and design. The module is not only designed for researchers interested in conducting impact evaluations, but also for those interested in overseeing, commissioning or studying impact evaluations conducted by other researchers.

The module offers a balanced combination of substantive content and application of that content in various ways. After an introductory lecture, you will form small groups with other students taking the module and will identify a policy relevant issue and a specific public intervention to evaluate. Lectures will be followed by group-work sessions in which participants will learn how to build the components of a full evaluation design. Each group work session will conclude with one or two short presentations. Two of the group work sessions will be structured as computer labs where you will learn how to use specialised software. In a concluding session, groups will present their evaluation design to the other participants and the presentations will be collectively discussed.

Unruly Politics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Unruly Politics is a framework being developed for appreciating modalities of political action in the contemporary world.

The focus of this framework is on political actions which escape, exceed or transgress 'civil' forms of civic and democratic engagement in that they characteristically take forms that are juridically illegible, extra-legal, disruptive of the social order, strident or rude, whether this be in the form of riots and revolts or through the use of humour, disruptive aesthetics or eroticism in engagements with power.

Drawing from recent developments in continental and other philosophy and political praxis this module introduces you to theoretical approaches while using ethnographic, activist and citizen narratives of disruptive events, and unruly modalities of action in the everyday.

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