Why study at IDS

Join the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton

The seaside town of Brighton is a thriving centre for the arts, festivals and concerts, while the South Downs National Park, which surrounds the Sussex campus and Institute of Development Studies, offers a glorious landscape and outdoor pursuits.

IDS is only an hour away from Central London by train and 30 minutes from London Gatwick, one of the UK’s major international airports.

Brighton – the UK’s famous city by the sea – is officially the happiest city in England for students*!

Brighton beach

One of the top-10 city beach destinations in the world (Lonely Planet), Brighton’s seafront is the ideal place to soak up the sun in the summer, or take bracing walks to clear your head on winter days. Along the prom you’ll find cafés, bars and nightclubs, as well as beach and water sports.

The Lanes

The Lanes is a maze of alleyways crammed with quirky boutiques, antique jewellery shops and tempting cafés, bars and restaurants. North Laine has one of the largest selections of independent shops on England’s South Coast and is a perfect spot to grab a coffee and watch the world go by.

University of Sussex


Throughout May the city hosts England’s biggest arts festival. Brighton Festival features theatre, music, art and visual media by leading names from around the world. And all year round there are plays, art exhibitions, gigs and events at many of the theatres, pubs, museums and galleries in the city.

Brighton is a hub for the performing arts. Venues range from small theatres above pubs to The Theatre Royal, featuring West End productions.

Brighton is also home to the Duke of York’s Picture House, an art house cinema, which is claimed to be the oldest in the country. There are also two multiplex cinemas in the city.

Other major arts events include:

Food and drink

Brighton is crammed with cafés, restaurants and coffee shops. Whether you want to dine in style or grab a cheap deal, take afternoon tea or try an award-winning curry, you’ll find something to suit your taste and your budget. Brighton also has some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country.



If you’re the sporty type, or just a spectator, the city has plenty of opportunities to get involved:

  • The Amex Stadium, close to our campus, is home to Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, newly promoted to the English Premier League for the 2017/18 season
  • Watch cricket at Sussex County Cricket Club in nearby Hove
  • Join 18,000 other runners through the streets of Brighton for the Brighton Marathon – there’s also a half marathon in February
  • Ride the London to Brighton Bike Ride, where 30,000 cyclists complete the 50-mile course from the capital to Brighton.

The seafront is also a great place to get active, with sea swimming, windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, sailing and paddle boarding.

The University of Sussex campus also has fantastic sports facilities and lots of teams to get involved with.

An international city

Grab some Mexican street food, try Pan-Asian fine dining or buy ingredients from an Afro-Caribbean or Asian supermarket. Brighton’s international community and culture means you are never far from home comforts or trying something new.

You can go to a range of events that celebrate Brighton’s diversity, including:

  • CINECITY, which showcases films from all over the globe
  • Brighton’s range of expat groups, which host formal and informal events.

There are also three mosques and an Islamic centre, Catholic and Anglican Churches, a Buddhist centre, four synagogues, and Greek and Coptic Orthodox churches in Brighton and the local area.

Find out about life in Brighton as an international student


* 93% of students in Brighton say they are ‘very happy’ with their education and city life. This information is taken from the Student Living Survey by Sodexo. The Student Living Survey is carried out annually by Sodexo, the student accommodation provider. The survey ranks the UK’s best university towns and cities and contains information provided by over 2,000 students from 148 higher education institutions.