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.

These image has 3 IDS rankings in it. Number 1 for development studies in the World; 2nd in international development think tanks; 4th in university affiliated think tanks.

World ranking

1st in the world for development studies: The QS University Rankings 2018 ranked the University of Sussex first in the world for development studies. This is the second consecutive year that the University has been ranked first, and the fourth consecutive year that it has been ranked in the top two universities globally for development. 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.

Think Tank ranking

2nd in international development think tanks: IDS was ranked second out of 132 international development think tanks in the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, moving up two places from its ranking in the 2016 index.

4th in university affiliated think tanks: IDS was ranked fourth out of 90 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.