International Development BA (Hons)

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
UCAS code:
L900
Start date:
September 2025

The world is shaped by global challenges such as climate change, new conflicts, changing migration patterns and deepening inequalities.

At Sussex, you’ll explore these issues. You’ll look at the institutional legacies and structures of power that shape them, and you’ll examine what’s being done to address them. You’ll learn from specialists in areas such as climate justice, markets and finance, gender and sexuality, social justice and rights, health and new technologies. Building on our expertise, you’ll develop the critical knowledge and practical tools to be part of the change you want to see in the world.

On your course, you’ll take an interdisciplinary view. You’ll learn about global challenges from different perspectives including Anthropology, Geography, International Relations, Education and Economics. Throughout your studies, you’ll:

  • learn about the root causes of poverty and inequality from a global perspective of social justice
  • challenge simplistic understandings of what development is, who it is for and who it is done by 
  • understand how development practitioners, policy-makers, social movements and affected communities around the world are responding to new challenges
  • collaborate with fellow students to design creative and innovative responses to work towards alternative futures
  • take electives from other subjects – from philosophy to law and modern languages – to open your mind to other disciplines and tailor your degree to your interests.

You’ll become a part of a vibrant and welcoming community of staff and students passionate about achieving greater social and environmental justice.

When you graduate, you’ll have the knowledge and critical hope you need to participate in creating just and equitable change. You’ll have the skills and confidence to start a rewarding global career in areas such as development policy, practice or advocacy.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Everybody on my course knows they are lucky to be here since Sussex is the best place in the world to be doing Development Studies.”Rebecca Melody Lin
International Development BA
Read Rebecca’s story

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are currently under review – please check back in early March 2024.

Modules

This is a single-honours course, allowing you to focus in depth on your core subject.

Find out about our types of undergraduate degrees, their structure, modules and credits

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.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

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. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you

If your application to study abroad is successful, you’ll have to meet the academic requirements at Sussex and also at the partner university. Find out more about studying abroad as a Sussex student

Placement (optional)

To help you gain experience and increase your employability, you can apply for an optional placement as part of your course. You’ll be responsible for applying for and securing your placement. Our dedicated careers team can provide you with information and advice. If you’re successful in obtaining a placement, this will form part of your course.

Find out more about placements and internships

I’m really glad I did the placement. I met great people and I got the chance to see my work published.Hannah Clifton
Computing for International Development BA
Sightsavers

Please note that if you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of your course with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA if the number of credits for the placement/internship exceeds 25% of the total credits for your course. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Options

You choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Practical skills and applied learning

In addition to your lectures and seminars, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in:

  • practice-based modules that foster learning by doing
  • creative workshops to apply your learning to re-imagining development
  • guest talks by development practitioners and activists, as well as visits from alumni to learn from their work.
Studying Development at Sussex exceeded my expectations. I left with new knowledge, skills, connections, experiences and opportunities. Alongside the course material, I loved the freedom and encouragement to explore my own interests. I’d recommend this University to anyone!Montana Walcott
International Development BA graduate

What is International Development?

  • Video transcript

    When I came to the Open Day with my dad, he turned to me at the end and said, “Gosh, If I could go to university again, I’d really want to do this course!”

    I think I first heard the term ‘Development Studies’ when I was doing my A-levels. I found it quite difficult being able to find a mix of everything that I was interested in because I think I was quite broad in what I wanted to do. I would describe Development Studies as kind of a mix between looking at politics, sociology, anthropology. It is very diverse, and it’s all kind of how those interlink and how they affect each other and the ways in which we can create positive global change.

    First year was very much an introduction to everything that you needed to carry on studying International Development. When you then move into second year, it gets more specific. You get to choose a couple of the modules that you want to do. As soon as you get into third year, it’s what you want the course to be, it’s what you want International Development to be. You’ve got so much room to explore, so much room to be creative with what you look at.

    I chose modules to do with conflict, gender, development, and that’s the way that I drove my dissertation as well. My friends who have done the course have gone exactly the same route as me, but looked at something completely different. I’ve specifically been looking at the Democratic Republic of Congo. I’ve been looking at how men as victims of sexual and gender-based violence have been excluded from policy, and what that means for both men and women and how the gender dynamics really affect that, and how that policy is inadequate. I'm going to fast now! I think I’m getting too into it!

    [On screen text – 1st in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)]

    Yes, it obviously looks very good on the website!

    And I think you can definitely see it in the work that comes out from the lecturers. And I think you can also see it reflected in the students because they see how passionate people are about what they're teaching. [laughs] Well... I cut all my hair off, that's quite a big difference! I think that came from confidence that I got from being at Sussex. I don't think I would have done it if I went to another uni. More seriously, I think that I am able now to really look at a topic and really understand every single aspect and facet of it, look at all of the arguments and critically evaluate it, and come to my own conclusions and not just take something for face value or what I've been told.

TEF 2023 silver

Silver

The student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality.
This rating was awarded in 2023, for four years.
(Teaching Excellence Framework 2023)

Find out more about our approach to teaching and supporting you to thrive

Our staff

I am working on a project with the University of Bergen, Norway, investigating issues of corporate social responsibility in the global oil industry.Dr Dinah Rajak
Reader in Anthropology and International Development

Fees

Fees are not yet set for the academic year 2025/26 – please check back in September 2024. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2025/26.

Careers

You gain transferable skills such as being intellectually flexible and an independent learner. You also develop organisational, communication and interpersonal skills.

You can use your International Development degree for careers in:

  • environment and international development
  • the charity, voluntary, social and welfare sectors
  • the Civil Service, politics and social research.

We support and stay in touch with our graduates – you can attend specialist careers events and receive careers advice from Sussex, even after when you have completed your studies.

Graduate destinations

Recent International Development graduates have started jobs as or in:

  • global change and deployment specialist, Save the Children International
  • consultant, UN Industrial Development Organisation
  • communications and administration officer, Bhopal Medical Appeal.

(International Development careers database)

Working while you study

Our Careers and Entrepreneurship team can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Sussex has given me the skills and expertise to get involved in field work and research in my home country of Palestine.”Bushra Khalidi
International Development BA 
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