The Centre for International Education (CIE) has a long and proud history of providing high-quality, research-led taught courses to students and practitioners from around the world in a truly international and multi-cultural environment.

BANNER: Buddhist teacher

Our graduates have gone on to careers in a wide variety of professions in international organisations, national education ministries, educational institutions, NGOs and universities.

CIE faculty lead a number of courses and modules at all study levels in the field of International Education and Development based within the Departent of Education withn the School of Education and Social Work

Undergraduate teaching

Undergraduate Pathway in International Education and Development: 60 credits

Open to single honours undergraduates in disciplines across the University. It comprises four modules of 15 credits each - two taken in each of the first two years of a degree course. The pathway focuses on the educational issues faced by governments and people in the Global South, as well as the effects of education on the social and economic development of the individual, their families and society.

See Sussex Choice for details of the following undergraduate elective modules:

First year modules:
Education for Development: Aid, Policy and the Global Agenda
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Second year modules:
Access, Equity and Gender
Education, Peacebuilding and Conflict
Decolonising Education: Knowledge, Power and Society

Postgraduate teaching

International Education and Development MA (MAIED)

A one-year (or two-year part-time) course with core modules on theories and policy issues in international education and development, as well as optional modules. The course involves research methods training and a dissertation. This flagship course has expanded greatly over recent years: this year's cohort comprised 47 students from more than 17 nationalities.

MAIED core modules

  • Academic and Research Skills

    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:

    • theories of knowledge production, decolonisation and power
    • 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

    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

    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.

Optional postgraduate modules

  • Gender and Identities: Education, Citizenship and Youth

    The Gender and Identities: Education, Citizenship and Youth module addresses the production of citizenship identities within and through education in the Global South. It has a particular focus on youth identities, the ways these are gendered, and the intersections with other dimensions of identity including ethnicity, nationality, religion and socio-economic status. The module critically engages with contemporary international education and development policy agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals and international policy conventions related to gender and youth. It explores in depth different theories of gender and identities and the particular insights they afford for international education and development agendas. Their insights and methodological implications will be further illuminated throughout the module through close engagement with relevant research literature related to a wide range of Global South contexts.

  • Refugees, Education and Development

    The Refugees, Education and Development module brings together the fields of refugee studies and education policy and practice in both formal and non-formal settings, and at all stages in the life cycle. It considers the conceptualisation of ‘the refugee’ and associated concepts (asylum seekers, Internally Displaced People, forced migrants etc.), and how this relates to the modern nation state and institutions of global governance. It explores the international policy environment relating to refugees and different theoretical perspectives for understanding their diverse experiences in both the geographical north and south. The module draws on postcolonial perspectives to critique western-centric approaches to humanitarianism and education.

    Assessment consists of two linked parts: a ‘creative piece’ aimed at a non-academic audience, and a short academic piece explaining the research underpinning the creative section. 

  • Curriculum, Learning and Society

    The aim of the Curriculum, Learning and Society 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.

  • Quantitative Analysis International Education

    The aim of the Quantitative Analysis International Education module is to introduce students to the use of quantitative techniques in the field of international education, with a particular focus on available data sources for the Global South, the use of analytical concepts and research methods to enhance their analysis of key issues in the international educational field. The module provides students with an array of quantitative research skills and software exposure to prepare them for further research by linking those techniques with contemporary international education and development policy agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals. The module offers tools for students to critically analyse and engage with educational data as used in the international education context.

  • The Global Governance of Education and Conflict

    The Global Governance of Education and Conflict module seeks to critically explore the relationship between education and conflict in low income countries.

    The complex relationship between education and conflict has risen up the international policy agenda since the 1990s. This coincides with the post-Cold War rise in humanitarian and peacekeeping interventions by UN and NATO, and a subsequent expansion of educational aid and development activities in conflict and post conflict environments. The module seeks to problematise the complex and multidirectional ways that education and conflict affect each other, and the role that education can potentially play in both the production and prevention of violent armed conflict. More specifically, it seeks to understand the global architecture, policies and practices of major international institutions as they intervene with education in conflict and post-conflict states.

    You will gain insights into the key issues and development agencies that are shaping the global education and conflict agenda and develop the skills to critically analyse policy and practice.

  • Foundations of Education Policy, Planning and Development

    The changing roles of government in relation to education services have multiple implications for stakeholders in education. The Foundations of Education Policy, Planning and Development 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.


International Education and Development PhD

This course gives doctoral researchers the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge in the field of development and education, and to hone advanced research skills in methodologies appropriate for contexts in low-income countries. It also provides the support and resources necessary to complete a substantial piece of research - in most cases with a significant empirical component. Each researcher is allocated two dedicated supervisors.

Researchers taking this course come from a wide variety of countries, educational settings and backgrounds: classroom teachers, further and higher education lecturers, teacher-educators, middle and senior managers and administrators, tutors and trainers in other professional fields such as the health services and industry. Many are (or have been) practising educators in schools, colleges and universities and are undertaking research on themes related to their personal and professional development. This can be to develop deeper understanding of the complexities of contemporary professional environments, or to open up alternative career horizons.

See details of our current doctoral researchers