Women in pink saris march holding sticks and shouting, in a protest against corruption and violence against women © Sanjit Das / Panos Pictures

MA Gender & Development

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and vital fOr a sustainable world.

Key information

Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, the Masters in Gender Studies is one of the longest running degrees on gender and development.

You’ll gain a solid understanding of debates in feminist thinking, and link them to gendered policy and programming. You develop in-depth knowledge and capacity for gendered analysis using an inter-sectional lens on specific issues such as:

  • women’s economic and political empowerment;
  • political economy, environment and feminist mobilisation for social justice;
  • sexuality, masculinity and disability.

Our groundbreaking work challenges ideas about gender. We work with nuanced, fluid perspectives on gender and sex, and the ways they interact. You’ll gain the skills required to participate effectively in gender- and development-related research, policy-making and programme implementation.

This degree is based at IDS, which has been at the cutting edge of debates on Gender and Development for the last 50 years. You’ll benefit from our international research faculty’s sector-specific expertise and our strong working relationships with partner organisations around the world.

Your course teachers are all active in the field, working on high-level policy-oriented programming and cutting edge academic research funded by UK and European Research councils, and philanthropic organisations from across the world.

World-leaders in development studies

The University of Sussex is ranked first in the world for Development Studies. This QS World Ranking reflects the strong reputation and quality of research and course offerings at IDS, and the School of Global Studies.

IDS delivers world-class research, learning and teaching that transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally.  The School of Global Studies is world leading in the field of development studies and offers the opportunity to learn from critical and engaged academics who are making a difference to global communities through research, teaching and activism.

Who is the degree for?

We welcome applicants with a broad range of academic and career trajectories. Successful applicants will have some practical experience in gender and development alongside an interest in critical academic enquiry.

Course content and structure

The academic year commences in September. Three terms run as follows: autumn term (September to December), spring term (January to March) and summer term (April to June).

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.

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.

In the summer term you will research and write a 10,000 word dissertation under the supervision of a faculty member.

The most rewarding experience of studying at IDS was the fact that I had amazing classmates from all over the world who shared different experiences in regards to gender and development. It was so rewarding and nourishing to discover commonalities and particularities in our personal and professional experiences. This has stayed with me throughout my career because it has made me a more open-minded professional, with a wider definition of the concept of ‘development’.
- Nayelli Torres Salas, MA Gender and Development
IDS holds the perfect blend of knowledge and practice. Having professors who are professionals in the field they teach brings in a rich content of practical knowledge inside the classroom itself which creates the perfect learning atmosphere.
- Sahara Basnet, MA Gender and Development
Studying at IDS equipped me with the practical skills much needed in tackling real life problems in my future work in development. The experience empowered me to initiate social change in my home country and made me believe that the change I want to see begins with me.
- Tariro Rachel Masaraure, MA Gender and Development

Learn more

A slide with the word 'Feminism' and the definition 'The radical concept that women are people'

Key information

Full time duration
One year
Part time duration
Two years
Home fees (UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands & Isle of Man)
Overseas (including EU)

Meet us at Sussex

Come to one of our Open Days

Find out more

Meet us in your country

Our International Team are here to help

Find out more

Key contacts

Image of Leah Plati

Leah Plati

Programme Officer (MA) Programme Manager (Short Courses)


+44 (0)1273 915832

Related links

Why study at IDS First in the world for development studies Development Studies Scholarships and Funding Responding to Covid-19

We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, we may need to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to Covid-19.