Why study at IDS


IDS degrees are delivered in partnership with the University of Sussex who support and accredit our teaching and learning programmes. See how we both perform in league tables, rankings and impact evaluations.

IDS Rankings 2020

World rankings

Best in the world for development studies: The QS University Rankings 2020 ranked IDS, together with the University of Sussex, first in the world for development studies for the fourth year running. The rankings once again put Sussex top, above Harvard and Oxford. Sussex has now been number one for development studies for four out of the past five years. The result reflects the quality, impact and range of international development research and courses offered across the Sussex campus that includes IDS’ research and teaching programmes.

Best international development policy think tank: IDS was ranked first out of 131 international development policy think tanks in the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. rising from second place in the 2018 Index. IDS was also ranked third in the Report’s category of university-affiliated think tanks, a reflection of our important and long-standing partnership with the University of Sussex.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Sussex is a leading research university, as reflected in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Over 75 per cent of research activity at Sussex is categorised as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

The next REF is scheduled for 2021.

UK League Tables ranking

The University of Sussex is ranked in the top 20 of UK league tables:

Graduate prospect rankings

3rd for graduate prospects: The University of Sussex is ranked 3rd for graduate prospects:The Guardian University league tables 2018.

Student survey and guide ratings

In the National Student Survey 2016, results for the University of Sussex included:

  • 89% for student satisfaction
  • 92% said staff are good at explaining things
  • 90% said they have been able to contact staff when they need to
  • 91% said the library resources and services are good enough for their needs.

In The Which? University Guide, the University of Sussex was rated:

  • 87% (highly rated) for student satisfaction
  • 87% (highly rated) for diverse local nightlife
  • 87% (highly rated) for rich political scene.

In a survey by accommodation providers Student Living by Sodexo, Brighton was ranked the happiest city in England for students, with 93 per cent of University of Sussex and University of Brighton students surveyed saying they’re ‘very happy’ with their education and city life.