Birds eye view of flooded streets and devastation after massive natural disasters in Bekasi, Indonesia. © syahrir

PhD in Development Studies by Research

Realise yOur potential to transform the world.

Key information

Study with the world leaders in developments studies and realise your potential to transform the world with our PhD by Research.

The PhD in Development Studies by Research is IDS’s advanced research degree. It is awarded to candidates after a minimum of three years study, based on completion of original and significant research in the field of Development Studies – which is assessed through a written thesis.

World leaders in development studies

Ranked first in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020) – the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally, through our world-class research, learning and teaching.

As a PhD researcher, you will join a thriving research community comprising more than 70 research staff and 50 postgraduate researchers. You will have access to research and teaching opportunities, as well as a substantial series of seminars presented by leading development professionals and practitioners.

Areas of study

We welcome submissions from researchers who share our commitment to:

  • upholding climate and environmental justice
  • reducing extreme inequities
  • fostering healthy and fulfilling lives
  • nurturing inclusive, democratic and accountable societies.

We are particularly interested in work that shows originality in addressing topics related to the work of our research fellows based across our ten research clusters: business; cities; digital; governance; health and nutrition; impact and policy; participation; power; resource politics; and rural futures.

Find out more about our current PhD Researchers
Find out more about our Research Fellows and their interests

Studying at IDS can potentially transform your view of the world – you grow a lot learning from this very rich and diverse community.
- Jorge Adrian-Ortiz-Moreno, IDS PhD graduate

Key information

Full time duration
Three to four years
Part time duration
Six years
Home fees (UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands & Isle of Man)
Fees for the academic year 2021/22 are not yet set. Fees will become available once set by United Kingdom Research and Innovation.
Overseas (including EU)
£18,500 per year for full-time students

Open days and events

Find our more about our PhD Open Evenings, information sessions, virtual PhD events and campus tours

Find out more

Key contacts

Related links

PhD researcher, Jorge Ortiz-Moreno, explains what it’s like to study at IDS Why study at IDS First in the world for development studies Development Studies Scholarships and Funding

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.