Student Opinion

Top five things students love about studying at IDS

Published on 24 January 2023

We sat down with a group of our current students to find out what they liked most about studying at IDS. Here are the top five reasons they gave!

It only takes a year to get a Master’s degree in the UK

The quicker timeframe for achieving a Master’s degree is a big plus, as it helps to keep the cost of study down. However, the year does pass quickly so make the most of every minute you get! There are a wealth of additional lectures and events, such as the IDS Annual Lecture and the Sussex Development Lectures, that you can attend and the time you get to spend with your peers, who come from all over the world, will be truly invaluable.


Brighton is an interesting, vibrant and welcoming place to live, with a diverse population. It has the best of both worlds: lots to see and do in the city, whilst being on the edge of beautiful countryside and the South Downs National Park. Close to London, Brighton is next to the sea, is a less expensive place to live than the capital.


IDS is truly a global community – we currently have Master’s students from over 50 countries. The diversity of cultures, experience, and perspectives that our students and staff bring is part of what makes learning at IDS unique. IDS students get to hear and debate diverse perspectives, from both IDS faculty and their peers. It is a place for people to share lived experience. Our students felt that, through their experiences, views, opinions, and knowledge, they were able to make important contributions to classroom discussions and to understandings of development .

Additionally, we want to ensure our building is a truly welcoming space for everyone, so we have also put together information for visitors who may have accessibility needs.


We are always delighted to hear that students who join IDS enjoy feeling like part of the IDS community. The students we spoke to said that the following things helped engender this sense of community:

  • The mix of large and small class sizes mean you have opportunities to meet lots of students and get to know your fellow students very well
  • The friendly and efficient Teaching Office are always happy to answer enquiries from prospective and current students.
  • The IDS building, the canteen and the great Student Study Space is a great space to learn and socialise. Students are invited to a mix of book launches, guest lectures, walks, parties, art exhibits and other events held at IDS.
  • After you finish your studies, you become part of the 4000+ strong IDS alumni network around the world.
    Studying at IDS not only builds your professional networks but can help you make life-long friends.

Bringing action research to the classroom

The multi-disciplinary approach to IDS courses is something that makes IDS unique, along with an interest in blending the practical with theoretical in order to bring about positive social change.

Our lecturers are also IDS researchers – working at the cutting edge of their own research programmes and projects, so that what goes on in seminars and classrooms is directly shaped by frontline research, work and development expertise.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IDS.


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