Development studies (2013 entry)

Applications for 2013 entry are now closed.

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Subject overview

Sussex has a worldwide reputation for excellence in the field of international development. We offer an exciting range of taught and research degrees based at the School of Global Studies and at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).

Global Studies is a unique interdisciplinary school, where you will benefit from:

  • cutting-edge research on development and high-profile research centres linking development to other global issues such as migration, human rights and security
  • international faculty with expertise in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, with a critical and engaged approach to development, combining academic analysis and policy expertise
  • a distinctive programme of guest lectures, research seminars and other events, covering a range of global political and development-related issues
  • access to research placements with partner organisations around the world and our worldwide alumni base.

Institute of Development Studies (IDS) logo

Founded in 1966, IDS is a leading global organisation for research, teaching and communications on international development. By studying at IDS you will benefit from:

  • research-led teaching on our degrees, drawing on the expertise of IDS Fellows and researchers renowned for their academic excellence in international development
  • a close-knit and supportive learning environment that allows you to develop your own specialism within development studies
  • IDS’s distinct theoretical perspectives on communication and influencing and their contribution to social change
  • being part of the IDS Alumni Professional International Development Network with over 2,000 members in 114 countries
  • our strong working relationships with many collaborators and partner organisations around the world.

Specialist facilities in the School of Global Studies

The University offers extensive computing facilities with a full range of data-processing and communications software. Office space is usually allocated to students taking research degrees. You will have full access to the University’s main Library and its online collection, and limited access to the British Library of Development Studies at IDS, which is located on the Sussex campus.

Specialist facilities at IDS

IDS plays a lead role in the provision, development and support of information and intermediary services that build a bridge between development research and development policy and practice. The IDS Knowledge Services include both broad-based services such as the development policy, research and practice information online gateway Eldis, and specialist services such as BRIDGE (gender), the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC) and the Livelihoods Connect Network. IDS Knowledge Services also work in partnerships with organisations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. For more information, visit IDS: Knowledge Services.

The British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) is Europe’s most comprehensive research collection on economic and social change in developing countries. IDS students have full access to a wide range of online databases, CD-ROMs, e-books and e-journals in addition to the facilities at the University’s main Library.


  • PhD in Development Studies (Global Studies)
  • PhD in Development Studies (IDS)
  • MPhil in Development Studies (Global Studies)

Research in the School of Global Studies

We welcome enquiries from students wishing to undertake research in any areas of faculty interest.

All research students are required to complete an appropriate programme of research methods training. This may involve enrolling on the MSc in Social Research Methods – a stand-alone Masters degree – before proceeding to a PhD. This is known as a 1+3 degree.

Students who have already completed a programme of research methods training can apply for the basic, three-year doctoral degree leading to a PhD.

Coursework and supervision

Whether you start the three-year PhD or the 1+3 MSc/PhD degree, you will normally be required to complete some research methods training modules and possibly some specialist thematic modules drawn from the MA degrees. You will be allocated two academic supervisors with whom you work for the duration of your research degree. These are allocated according to their regional and thematic expertise, to provide a complementary ‘match’ with your research.


Research degrees usually involve fieldwork away from Sussex during the second year of your PhD. Supervision continues during fieldwork, while you gather data to be written up in the final year. Students on the 1+3 degree can normally go to the field by the middle of their second year.

Recent thesis titles

Aboriginal property rights and biodiversity within the globalised political economy

Building capacity for community economic development: the case of Kat River Valley, South Africa

Community development among the Khasis in Meghalaya, India

Conservation, development and participation: the rhetoric of medicinal plant policy in Nepal

Emancipation and overcoming metaphysics in post-development thought

Enterprise development and informality: case studies from Mozambique

Environmental degradation and sustainable livelihoods following the return of Mozambican refugees from Dedza and Ntcheu Districts, Malawi

Legitimacy of local institutions for natural resource management in Manica, Mozambique

Poverty, livelihoods, social capital and migration: a case of two villages in northwest Cambodia

Small farmers and the political economy of pesticide use in banana production in St Lucia

Research at IDS

Research students are based in IDS.

IDS runs a PhD for research in areas aligned to our Research Teams and Fellows. Prospective applicants, and those applying for the MSc in Social Research Methods with a view to subsequently enrolling for a doctorate, are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the research priorities of our Research Teams and Fellows, and to enter into dialogue with them, prior to application.

Information on research priorities can be obtained at Research teams. Alternatively, a current annual report can be obtained from the IDS teaching team:

T +44 (0)1273 606261
F +44 (0)1273 621202/691647
IDS: PhD by research


Students are required to register (and pay full-time fees) for a minimum of three years.


Research training needs will be assessed at the time of application and admission. You may be required to undertake coursework on research skills. You will be allocated two academic supervisors with whom you work for the duration of your studies.


Research degrees normally require fieldwork, usually in the second year of your programme of study.

Recent thesis titles

Dancing with the experts: an activist re-search for legitimacy in Egypt’s aid relations

Essays on the macroeconomic management of foreign aid flows in Africa

Food demand. Uncertainty and investments in human capital. Three essays on rural Andhra Pradesh, India

Hidden on the line: labour contracting in the Korean automobile industry

In-flux: (re)negotiations of gender, identity and ‘home’ in post-war Southern Sudan

Outsourcing and the rise of innovation software services in Bangalore

Risk and insurance in rural Africa

Taxation, responsiveness and accountability in Sub-Saharan Africa 

Entry requirements

MPhil in Development Studies (Global Studies)

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in any relevant social science but applicants with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants should submit an outline (two to three pages) of their research interests.

Overseas entrance requirements

Please refer to column A in Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in the other sections. Internet TOEFL with 88 overall, with at least 20 in Listening, 20 in Reading, 22 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.

For more information, refer to English language requirements.

PhD in Development Studies (Global Studies)

UK entrance requirements

A Masters degree in any relevant social science but candidates from other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants should submit an outline research proposal indicating the nature, ambition and primary questions of the research project.

Overseas entrance requirements

Please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in the other sections. Internet TOEFL with 88 overall, with at least 20 in Listening, 20 in Reading, 22 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.

For more information, refer to English language requirements.

PhD in Development Studies (IDS)

UK entrance requirements

A Masters degree in any relevant social science but candidates with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants should submit an outline proposal indicating the nature, ambition and primary questions of the research project.

Applicants must have substantial professional work experience in a developing country or in development-related work

Overseas entrance requirements

Please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section. Internet TOEFL with 95 overall, with at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.

For more information, refer to English language requirements.

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545

Fees and funding


MPhil in Development Studies (Global Studies)

Home UK/EU students: £3,9001
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £3,9002
Overseas students: £13,0003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.

PhD in Development Studies (Global Studies)

Home UK/EU students: £3,9001
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £3,9002
Overseas students: £13,0003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.

PhD in Development Studies (IDS)

Home UK/EU students: £3,9001
Overseas students: £13,0002

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.

To find out about your fee status, living expenses and other costs, visit further financial information.


The funding sources listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual funding source to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

To find out more about funding and part-time work, visit further financial information.

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2013/14. For general information, refer to Funding.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Faculty research interests in the School of Global Studies

Within the School of Global Studies there is a close academic collaboration between departments and interdisciplinary research centres. Both faculty and students are members of the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, the Centre for World Environmental History, the Justice and Violence Research Centre, and Sussex Centre for Migration Research. Research interests are briefly described below. For more detailed information, visit International development.

Dr Andreas Antoniades Globalisation, political economy.

Professor Richard Black Migration, poverty and development; natural resource management.

Dr Paul Boyce Gender, sexualities, health, South Asia.

Dr Grace Carswell East Africa, Southern India; rural livelihoods; population-environment interactions.

Professor Andrea Cornwall Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Brazil, India, UK: political anthropology, gender.

Dr Vinita Damodaran Protest and nationalism in India.

Dr Geert De Neve Politics of labour in India, anthropology of globalisation.

Professor Saul Dubow Racial segregation and apartheid, ethnicity and national identity, the nature of imperialism and of colonial science.

Professor Mick Dunford China, regional and urban economic development.

Dr Nigel Eltringham Rwanda, anthropology of rights and reconciliation.

Professor James Fairhead West and central Africa; environmental anthropology; conflict, violence, health.

Dr Anne-Meike Fechter Ethnographies of aid workers, gender, South-East Asia.

Professor Katy Gardner Mining, livelihoods and social development in Bangladesh; transnational migration and development.

Dr Elizabeth Harrison Partnership and participation, development discourses, UK and sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Pamela Kea Gender relations, agrarian change and development.

Dr Evan Killick Poverty, development and social relations in Amazonia.

Dr Mark Leopold Conflict and political violence in Uganda.

Professor Alan Lester Colonial origins of humanitarianism, imperial networks in Africa and Australia.

Dr Julie Litchfield Poverty and development.

Dr Peter Luetchford Central America, fair trade and development.

Dr Kamran Matin Processes of modern socio-political transformation in the Middle East.

Dr Lyndsay McLean Hilker Conflict and violence, reconciliation, ethnicity, Rwanda.

Professor Peter Newell Environment, development and climate change.

Dr Filippo Osella Social relations, migration, masculinity in South India.

Dr Fabio Petito International political theory, international relations of the Mediterranean.

Dr Rebecca Prentice Health, gender and the politics of labour.

Dr Dinah Rajak Corporate social responsibility and development.

Dr David Robinson Impacts of development; environmental change; soils, coasts.

Dr Ben Rogaly Political economy of migrant work in India.

Dr Pedram Rowhani Climate change and food, GIS, East Africa.

Dr Jan Selby Peace processes and water politics in the Middle East.

Dr Ben Selwyn Export production and development in Brazil.

Professor Ronald Skeldon Professorial Fellow. Population migration in the developing world, especially Asia.

Dr Anna Stavrianakis Global arms trade, civil society, imperialism.

Dr Maya Unnithan India, reproductive rights and development.

IDS Fellows and research interests

The range of faculty research activities is illustrated below. More information is available at the Institute of Development Studies.

Dr Jeremy Allouche Access to water and sanitation and pro-poor regulation, water security, transboundary water conflicts.

Inka Barnett Nutrition.

Dr Christopher Béné Socio-economic, governance and policy issues related to natural resources.

Dr Evangelia Berdou Implications of information communication technologies for work, livelihoods, learning and collaboration.

Dr Marc P Berenson Public policy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Dr Gerald Bloom Finance, performance of markets for health-related goods and services, the changing role of government.

Professor Danny Burns Participatory methods, systemic action research, community development and action.

Terry Cannon Rural livelihoods, disaster vulnerability and climate change adaptation, especially at community level.

Dr Deepta Chopra Managing and designing livelihoods programmes and poverty policies in India.

Dr Xavier Cirera The impact of different regional and preferential trade agreements.

Professor Richard Crook Governance and administration, state-civil society relations, public-service reform and access to justice.

Dr Stephen Devereux Economist working on food security, rural livelihoods, social protection and poverty reduction.

Jerker Edstrom Gender and masculinities, the informal economy of sex, HIV-related citizenship and policy, children affected by HIV and AIDS.

Dr Rosalind Eyben Feminist, social anthropologist with extensive experience in international development policy and practice.

Dr Marzia Fontana Gender inequalities, employment, unpaid work, international trade.

Professor John Gaventa Citizen participation: power, participatory governance.

Dr Martin Greeley Aid and public policy, agricultural development, programme and project impact evaluation, poverty measurement.

Dr Jing Gu Issues of governance and accountability, international trade disputes settlement, aspects of trade policy-making.

Dr Jaideep Gupte Economist with research interests in violence, vulnerability and conflict with a particular geographic focus on South Asia.

Professor Lawrence Haddad Director of IDS. The intersection of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition; women’s empowerment.

Dr Blane Harvey Critical exploration of knowledge production, validation and dissemination processes within climate change.

Professor Spencer Henson Applied economist and expert in agri-food standards and developing countries.

Naomi Hossain Political effects of discourses of poverty and governance, social change in gender and childhood.

Dr Peter Houtzager Analysis of political empowerment strategies and democratisation processes.

Professor John Humphrey Global concentration in retail and its impact on developing country manufacturers.

Dr Anuradha Joshi Public policy and experience in institutional analysis of development programmes.

Dr Patricia Justino The micro-level causes and effects of violent conflict, the role of social security and redistribution on economic growth.

Dr Akshay Khanna Anthropologist, lawyer and queer activist currently working on continuities between eroticism and violence.

Professor Melissa Leach Social and institutional dimensions of environment and health; knowledge, power and policy processes.

Professor David K Leonard Political scientist specialising in governance and organisation theory. Conflict and governance in Africa.

Dr Jeremy Lind Livelihoods in contexts of conflict and violence, the delivery of aid in difficult environments.

Dr Dolf te Lintelo Political scientist with research interests in the governance of agri-food systems.

Dr Michael Loevinsohn Issues of natural resource management in contexts of social and environmental change.

Dr Matthew Lockwood Sociologist interested in the politics of climate policy and low-carbon innovation.

Henry Lucas Health sector, social protection and health Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) monitoring.

Dr Hayley MacGregor Medical anthropology. Human rights discourses and citizen mobilisation in the context of health provisioning.

Dr Edoardo Masset International development in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Rural development, child poverty, food consumption.

Dr Rosemary McGee Institutional transformation, southern ownership and partnership in development cooperation.

Professor J Allister McGregor Economist and anthropologist. Governance and development policies’ impact on poor people.

Dr Lyla Mehta The politics of water and scarcity of water, forced migration; linkages between gender, displacement and resistence.

Dr Andrés Mejía Acosta The impact of natural resource revenues on budgetary politics and state capacities in Latin America.

Professor Mick Moore Political economist working on political and institutional aspects of ‘good government’, taxation and accountability.

Dr Lars Otto Naess Social and institutional dimensions of adaptation to climate change at local and national levels.

Dr Lizbeth Navas-Aleman Governance and upgrading issues in clusters, value chains and local systems of innovation.

Dr Andrew Newsham Environment and development in Southern Africa and South America.

Dr Alan Nicol Water security and international river basin management in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Dr Nick Nisbett Nutrition policy.

Dr Robert Nurick Livelihoods and adaptation to climate change, economics and environment, community participation and engagement.

Dr Stephen Petersen Public finance management.

Jethro Pettit Design and facilitation of learning, creative approaches to reflective practice.

Dr Ana Pueyo Climate change, low-carbon development, techonology transfer.

Keetie Roelen Poverty, poverty reduction policies and social assistance and protection policies.

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler Comparative law, post-socialist transition, the gendered implications of newly acquired land.

Professor Hubert Schmitz Industrialisation and employment, industrial clusters and collective efficiency.

Dr Patta Scott-Villiers Public conversation and its influence on discourse, how research affects bureaucratic and political subordination.

Dr Markus Schultze-Kraft Democratisation, conflict prevention and resolution; civil-military relations; security system reform.

Professor Ian Scoones Links between ecological dynamics and local resource management in Africa.

Dr Alex Shankland Social scientist working on democratisation and citizen-state engagement in health system reform.

Dr Stephen Spratt Development finance, global and national financial sector reform and regulation.

Dr Jim Sumberg Small-scale farming systems and agricultural research policy in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Andy Sumner Poverty reduction strategies, childhood poverty, the politics of policy-making and research influence/accountability.

Dr Mariz Tadros Research and teaching interests in gender empowerment; advocacy, participation and development.

Dr Thomas Tanner The policy and practice of adaptation to climate change. Climate risk management, child-centred approaches.

Dr John Thompson The political ecology and governance of agri-food systems, community-based natural resource management.

Dr Linda Waldman Dimensions of poverty; racial classification, ethnicity, identity, ritual and gender in South Africa.

Dr Noshua Watson Private-sector governance and codes of conduct, labour standards, corporate social responsibility.

Joanna Wheeler Participatory research on topics including citizenship, gender, urban poverty, rights, and violence.

Dr Dirk Willenbockel Experience and publications in quantitative economic policy modelling.

IDS research associates

Professor Robert Chambers Development knowledge in perceptions, concepts and realities of poverty and well-being.

Carlos Fortin The relationship between the emerging international trade regime and human rights.

Professor Sir Richard Jolly Long-run trends in global inequality and the history of UN contributions to development.

Richard Longhurst Development aid policy, rural poverty, agriculture, food and nutrition policy, gender.

Robin Luckham Legal systems and the legal profession; Third World and African military institutions, disarmament and development.

Careers and perspectives

Career opportunites for Global Studies graduates

Many of our graduates find employment in the development world, within which we have strong international networks, or go on to do further research.

Career opportunities in IDS

Many of our graduates have gone on to careers in further research.

For more information, visit Careers and alumni.

School and contacts

School of Global Studies

The School of Global Studies aims to provide one of the UK's premier venues for understanding how the world is changing. It offers a broad range of perspectives on global issues, and staff and students are actively engaged with a wide range of international and local partners, contributing a distinctive perspective on global affairs.

School of Global Studies,
University of Sussex, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9SJ, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877107
International development

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a leading global charity for international development research, teaching and communications.

Teaching, IDS,
University of Sussex, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RE, UK
T +44 (0)1273 606261
F +44 (0)1273 621202
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

Discover Postgraduate Study information sessions

You’re welcome to attend one of our Discover Postgraduate Study information sessions. These are held in the spring and summer terms and enable you to find out more about postgraduate study and the opportunities Sussex has to offer.

Visit Discover Postgraduate study to book your place.

Other ways to visit Sussex

We run weekly guided campus tours every Wednesday afternoon, year round. Book a place online at Visit us and Open Days.

You are also welcome to visit the University independently without any pre-arrangement.

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