Development Studies at Sussex

First in the world for Development Studies for the eighth consecutive year.

Number one for Development Studies

In partnership with the Institute of Development of Studies (IDS) we have been named best in the world for Development Studies in the (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024) for the eighth year in a row.

This ranking reflects our international reputation for excellence as well as the strength of teaching and research relationships between Sussex, IDS, our staff, students, alumni and partners globally. It has been achieved through the work of IDS and our Schools of Global Studies, Education and Social Work, Media, Arts and Humanities, and the University of Sussex Business School.

Being ranked number one in the world for the eighth year in a row is a fantastic achievement for the University and a world-wide recognition of our commitment to research and teach the most pressing global development issues of our times.” gEERT DE NEVE
Head of School of Global Studies

What’s behind our continued success?

Over the last 60 years, our thinking and research in development studies has challenged prevailing assumptions about geopolitics and north-south relations, while continuing to engage, advise and ask difficult questions. Whose voices are being heard? What does this tell us about power and inequality? How can justice be fostered locally, nationally and globally?

This reputation is at the root of our continued number one ranking.

We are witnessing a shift in global power centres and increasing threats to democratic spaces, citizen voice and rights. Conflict, security, global health, climate and environmental changes are taking new forms, and discussions on issues of race, gender, and decolonization are becoming increasingly mainstream. The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the world, with long-lasting social, economic and political consequences.

To respond to these changing contexts, Sussex and IDS have introduced courses in areas such as:

  • climate change and sustainable development
  • food and development
  • migration and global development

These are alongside our existing undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Our research expertise

Our research continues to focus on globally significant areas, including those that are new and emerging. We are helping to shape debates on issues such as:

  • access to vaccines and preparation for future pandemics
  • the regulation of global financial flows
  • equity in international tax regimes
  • achieving climate justice whilst respecting local knowledge
  • supporting food security amidst crises
  • understanding and addressing gender, race, and religious violence.

Teaching and research at Sussex and IDS are closely integrated. Active researchers lead lectures, classes, and seminars. They bring theory and evidence to their teaching, as well as firsthand experience – asking questions and presenting dilemmas in meaningful ways.

Our international partnerships are at the core of all that we do. Our research is geared towards making a difference. We engage with:

  • policy-makers and development practitioners
  • businesses
  • social movements
  • communities.

We’re seeking to enable positive change, whilst challenging the power relations that often work against this.

We also know that global development is as much about issues of inequality and social justice in the Global North, including the UK, as it is anywhere else.

Our staff and research students collaborate with national and international policymakers, practitioners and industry to carry out research that makes a difference. We’re always searching for innovative and transformative solutions to emerging global issues across disciplinary boundaries.

As we face urgent global challenges we will keep working together, building the skills and knowledge for more equitable and sustainable development across the world.” melissa leach
Director, Institute of Development Studies

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