International Development

Why International Development at Sussex?

Study in a department ranked first in the world for Development Studies for seven years running (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023). You’ll learn from world-leading academics who are committed to social justice and challenging global inequality, marginalisation and exclusion.

At Sussex, we support you every step of the way – from succeeding in the classroom to gaining practical experience for your future career.

Hear from former staff and students about what it is like to study International Development at Sussex in the short video above. 

"We have a lot of say in how and what we learn. I see that as a life skill. If you don’t know how to think critically, you don’t know how to live.''

International Relations and Development BA
International Development courses to suit you

As an ID student at Sussex, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage with diverse readings and resources on development, solidarity and justice from authors and organisations around the world
  • Create your own learning journey – starting from a solid foundation and then specialising your studies on the issues that matter most to you

Undergraduate study

If you do an undergraduate International Development course at Sussex, you can focus exclusively on International Development, or combine it with one of a number of language options, or as a joint honours degree with Geography, International Relations, Anthropology, Economics or Sociology. Whichever degree you choose, you will be able to develop a pathway that matches your interests and passions.

See our undergraduate International Development courses

Postgraduate study

If you are a postgraduate student, we offer both Masters courses and PhD degrees. Our courses can be studied part-time, allowing you to fit your studies around your work and life commitments. We also have research and postgraduate teaching links with the Institute of Development Studies, the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU), the Centre for International Education and the School of Business, Management and Economics.

See our postgraduate International Development courses

Development beyond the binaries

At Sussex, we challenge dominant understandings of what development is, who it is for and who it is done by. Moving beyond simplistic hierarchies and binaries of North and South, we examine the uncertainties and complexities of how issues affect people around the world in different ways, engaging with critical questions about where we are, how we got here and where we are going.

As an ID student at Sussex, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Challenge outdated ideas of development which categorise the world into more vs less developed countries
  • Understand global flows of people, resources and ideas and how these affect different societies and populations
  • Reflect on structural and interpersonal dynamics of power and privilege

Learn more about our research and approach to development here 

World-leading teaching and learning

Understanding the world requires engagement with it, whether that be through working in close collaboration with those we study or in how we organise our learning spaces. We believe that learning shouldn’t only happen in a lecture hall and are empirically grounded and action-oriented in how we teach and research.

As an ID student at Sussex, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage with activists, policymakers and practitioners who work directly on issues of social and environmental justice
  • Tackle practical and skill-based tasks in and outside of the classroom that give you a taste of different kinds of work
  • Undertake your own research project on issues you are interested in and care about

Learn more about our student experience here 

Gain skills to change the world 

We seek to understand the world in order to change it. This means keeping a balance between critically understanding the greatest challenges facing this world and stoking the fire that fuels us to fight for social and environmental justice. As an ID student you will equip yourself with the mix of critical analysis, determination and optimism to make a positive difference in the world, preparing you for any number of career opportunities.

While our courses help to prepare you for jobs in a number of different areas, many of our graduates go on to work with development work in agencies, such as:

  • The Department for International Development (DFID)
  • UN organisations
  • International non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including Oxfam or Amnesty International
  • Charities
  • Government agencies
  • Community work.

Visit this page to learn more about development careers.