Specialist short courses for development professionals and practitioners

Discover our range of professional development courses.

We provide world-class, short courses on a range of specialist themes to help you grow professionally and develop the skills and knowledge needed to realise more equitable and sustainable societies.

We work with individuals and organisations at the forefront of social change. Our clients include governments, UN agencies, philanthropic organisations, non-governmental and civil society organisations, universities and independent consultants.

Our courses cover a wide range of themes and geographies relating to international development. For example, social protection, digital development, impact evaluation, policy influencing, participatory methods, and trade policy. Each course is informed by research conducted by IDS and our worldwide partner network.

We can also develop bespoke training to meet your individual needs and those of your organisation.


We are accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) who provide a comprehensive quality assurance scheme for independent further and higher education in the UK. BAC accreditation is recognised the world over by students, agents and government officials as the clearest mark of educational quality in the private sector.

All BAC-accredited institutions, including the Institute of Development Studies, are rigorously inspected, with the latest reports available on their website.

Find out more

To find out more, get in touch with our Short Course Programme Manager or browse the upcoming courses and case studies below.

In-person short courses

If you are attending an in-person short course, please visit our contact page for information on how to get to IDS. Please also check the building accessibility information if required.

Upcoming courses

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Specialist short course

Rethinking Accountability Strategies for a Changing World

This course will help you gain an understanding of how to improve the design, legitimacy and appeal of your citizen-led accountability claiming work in international development.

From 18 September 2023 until 22 September 2023

Specialist short course

Making Trade Policy Inclusive (online)

This course provides a comprehensive package to advance understanding of inclusion in international trade and trade policy – covering poverty, gender, human rights, sustainability and power asymmetries.

Specialist short course

Pathways to Sustainability (online)

Explore critical approaches to sustainability, with theories and methods that can help you to discover and support alternative and diverse pathways and perspectives.

From 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2026

Specialist short course

Social Protection: A Primer (online)

Join our free online course to learn about the basics of social protection and its implementation around the world.

From 30 June 2020 until 28 February 2023

Specialist short course

Pastoralism and uncertainty (online)

Gain an introduction to to pastoralism, uncertainty and resilience, with lessons for global change.

From 24 June 2020 until 1 December 2023

Specialist short course

Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation for Learning

Develop your skills to more effectively design and improve monitoring and evaluation systems supporting participatory and adaptive practice with our in-person course in Mallorca.

From 22 May 2023 until 26 May 2023

Specialist short course

Shaping Policy with Evidence online course SOLD OUT

This six-week online policy course will equip you with the theories and practices required to operate effectively at the interface between policy and research.

From 18 April 2023 until 25 May 2023

Case Studies