Sussex ranked first in world for development studies

Published on 7 March 2017

The QS University Rankings 2017 have ranked the University of Sussex first in the world for development studies. This is the third consecutive year that the University has been ranked in the top two universities globally for development.

Sussex ranked first in world for development studies

Long-standing partnership between IDS and University of Sussex

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.

IDS Director Melissa Leach said:

“We’re delighted that development studies at Sussex that includes IDS’ postgraduate teaching programmes has been ranked first in the world once again. This has been made possible by the strength of the partnerships across Sussex-based institutes and schools. Together we are delivering world-class research and evidence on tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges, as well as nurturing the next generation of global leaders.”

Head of the University of Sussex’ School of Global Studies Andrea Cornwall said:

“Sussex’ world-leading reputation for international development gives us much to celebrate. It’s thanks to the concentration of expertise that spans the University and brings us together with our close colleagues and partners, the Institute of Development Studies. Our critical, engaged research on the global issues of our times infuses our teaching in the School of Global Studies, from our undergraduate programmes in International Development to a dynamic portfolio of postgraduate degrees that include long-standing and new cross-campus collaborations with IDS, SPRU, CIE and Brighton and Sussex Medical School. We’re really pleased to be recognised in this way.”

Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said:

“Sussex has become the most important institution in the world for international development over recent decades. “Our work is reshaping how governments, aid organisations and NGOs address the major issues of our time.”

Nurturing the next generation of global development leaders

IDS’ offers seven general and specialised MA degrees and a vibrant PhD programme. Some of which are offered jointly with the University of Sussex. Graduates have gone on to take up senior positions in global organisations such as the World Bank and the United Nations, as well as become Ministers and officials in national governments across the world.

Read more about studying at IDS and what our graduates have gone to do.

Working in partnership to tackle global challenges

IDS degrees are taught by some of the world’s leading development experts, many of whom are active in the field as researchers and practitioners and who bring this valuable experience of applied research into the classroom.

As with all of our work, IDS’ teaching and learning is shaped by our distinctive ‘engaged excellence’ approach. This means working in partnership with those at the heart of progressive change, including policymakers, civil society, activists and practitioners, to produce and mobilise rigorous and operationally-relevant research and evidence. At IDS, teaching is seen as an extension of engaged excellence, a way of working with individuals and organisations from across the globe who aspire to bring about progressive change.

The ground-breaking evidence and knowledge that IDS researchers are generating in collaboration with partners at the University of Sussex and globally are making a significant contribution to real-world problems such as disease, climate change and conflict and violence.

For example, in 2016 staff from the University of Sussex and IDS were part of a team that won the prestigious Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Outstanding International Impact Prize for helping to improve the effectiveness of the global response to the Ebola outbreak, and ultimately bringing an end to the disease more quickly and saving lives.

Key contacts

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Hannah Corbett

Head of Communications and Engagement


+44 (0)1273 915640