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

Using ethical images in the WASH sector

This training offers participants new approaches and insights that they can use to tell more compelling and respectful stories that amplify the messages needed to achieve water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

Specialist short course

Contribution Analysis for Impact Evaluation

Short course to equip individuals and organisations to more effectively design impact evaluations using a contribution analysis framing.

From 13 January 2025 until 17 January 2025

Specialist short course

Empowering community engagement and involvement in global health research

This new in-person course offers an opportunity for participants to work through the thorny questions and challenges that arise when undertaking Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) in practice. Find out more and apply now.

From 9 September 2024 until 13 September 2024

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.

Specialist short course

Shaping Policy with Evidence online course

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.

Why learn with us.

In an extraordinary time of challenge and change, we use more than 50 years of expertise to transform development approaches that create more equitable and sustainable futures. The work you do with us will help make progressive change towards universal development; to build and connect solidarities for collective action, locally and globally. The University of Sussex has been ranked 1st in the world for Development Studies for the past five years (QS World University Rankings by Subject).

Case Studies