MA Governance and Development

The MA Governance course provides students with theoretical and practical understanding of debates on governance and political change, enhancing their capacity to develop and implement policies in NGOs and public organisations.

A Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) member, wearing orange.

Foundational modules provide the theoretical frameworks and concepts for the other modules that are designed to apply these concepts to a wide range of development issues, with a focus on equipping students with the methodologies and tools to assess and critique different policy options.

The main objectives of the course are to enhance the ability of students to:

  • Critically assess competing theories of the role of State and non-State actors in social and economic development
  • Understand the significance of current globalisation processes for local, national, and international institutions
  • Develop policies for improving the effectiveness, accountability, and legitimacy of governance structures in specific settings

Why Governance?

Good governance is one of the most important and enduring new areas of policy and practice in development studies. A critical policy issue has been how to reform or rebuild states, focusing on two key areas: the creation of more effective and legitimate legal, administrative, financial and policymaking institutions; and the promotion of social justice and empowerment for poor people by harnessing an active civil society.

Why IDS?

We are a research institute that teaches, with unparalleled formal and informal learning opportunities. We consider students members of IDS and encourage them to contribute to the overall learning process with their experience. A distinct feature of the MA Governance is the focus on Policy and Practice, drawing upon practical case studies, faculty, students, and research partners from Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and South Asia, to enrich the curriculum of the MA.

Who is an MA Governance student?

Majority of MA Governance students are experienced professionals, having worked in government, private sector, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donor and lending agencies, as well as UN agencies. Our 'Governance' alumni network has over 300 members; originally from 64 countries, they work(ed) in more than 150 countries.

Related resources

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 2017, fees are £8,000 for Home UK/EU, Channel and Isle of Man students; £15,100 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.

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