MA Globalisation, Business and Development

The global economy has experienced unprecedented shifts in economic power from West to East and rapid technological transformation, amid increasing turbulence and deep inequalities between and within countries. Businesses and the private sector are key in examining the impacts of globalisation in development. 

China - Loaded barges tied up on Suzhou Creek with the Pudong

As globalisation evolves, the private sector is emerging as a critical actor in development. Businesses are the driving force for the economy and can help to promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty. Understanding the key challenges of globalisation, the role of businesses in achieving sustainable development and how development agencies should engage with them, are the key objectives of this MA course.

This MA examines the key elements of business and international development and private sector development. The course emphasises the management of the main globalisation challenges, the micro interactions between business and development and the different strategies to enable countries to compete effectively in the global market.

The course encourages independent thinking while providing the analytical and practical skills needed to understand globalisation processes, the role of business in development and how policymakers can interact with the private sector to promote development and the reduction of poverty.

Who is it for?

If you are a student with relevant experience, a private sector consultant, business analyst, NGO desk officer, policy or research officer, civil servant or other development professional, this course will provide the grounding for you to progress your career in this area.

You will want to gain a deeper understanding of globalisation and the relationship between business and international development and will be asking questions such as:

  1. What are the impacts of globalisation, both locally and regionally?
  2. What can be done to successfully manage the potential outcomes of these impacts?
  3. What strategies can countries employ in order to effectively engage in the global economy?
  4. How do businesses and policymakers approach the issues affecting private sector development and economic growth?
  5. How can I identify the policies needed to promote private sector growth?
  6. How can I engage with policymakers in both the private and public sectors?

Career Opportunities

This course has given our students the opportunity to work in a variety of international organisations and in a wide range of roles. Multilateral and bilateral organisations, the private sector, private consultancy firms and NGOs are all potential employers. Organisations that have previously employed MA Globalisation and Development graduates include:

  • African Development Bank
  • World Food Programme
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Technoserve
  • Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
  • Muslim Aid
  • Small States Network for International Development
  • Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre.

Some of our graduates have also continued their research as PhD students.

"I chose IDS because it offers a unique academic environment compared to other universities. It has a great working atmosphere and you feel part of a community that shares the belief that hard work and innovative thinking are key in the fight against poverty. Studying for this Masters has been one of the best decisions of my life!”
Alvaro Valverde, MA Globalisation and Development student

Further information

You should have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in the social sciences or a related subject. And you should preferably have one year's development-related work experience, which can be made up of voluntary work and vacation-based activities. 

Each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and applicants must submit a detailed two-page personal statement, explaining why you are applying for the degree and the relevance of previous development related experience.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section. Pearson's Test of English (Academic) 67 overall, with at least 62 in all four skills.

For entry in September 2018, fees are £8,500 for Home UK/EU, Channel and Isle of Man students; £15,500 for Overseas students. For sources of funding please see the advice on funding on the University of Sussex website.

One scholarship is available for applicants from African members of the Commonwealth through a joint scheme between IDS and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. Please contact IDS for further information.

Course Convenors:


is a list of IDS researchers who contribute to this course:

Key contacts

Course information

Fees per year: £8000 for UK/EU, £15,100 for Overseas students
Start date: 25 September 2017
Based: University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
How to apply: Visit the University of Sussex website