Press release

University of Sussex world’s best for development studies for third year running

Published on 27 February 2019

The University of Sussex is number one in the world for development studies for the third consecutive year in the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

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 ranking reflects the quality, impact and range of international development research and courses offered across the Sussex campus – in the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and the University’s School of Global Studies, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and Centre for International Education (CIE).

Head of the School of Global Studies, Elizabeth Harrison said:

“It’s fantastic that the excellent work in development studies carried out at Sussex and IDS has once again been recognised. Our concern for global inequalities and social justice is reflected in our wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and in our world-class and engaged research.”

IDS Director Melissa Leach said:

“Achieving the number one ranking for development studies for the third year running is testament to the strength of the Sussex and IDS partnership, and our fantastic and committed staff and students who continue to deliver the high-quality research and leadership needed to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place.”

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

“The unique relationship between the University of Sussex and IDS has established us as the world-leading centre for development studies.

“Our students and researchers are working around the world to address the major challenges of our time.”

Sussex offers several degrees in development studies, at both undergraduate and Masters level. Two of the Masters degrees are offered jointly with IDS, with IDS offering a further six Masters degrees and a PhD Research programme.

Graduates have gone on to take up senior positions in global organisations such as the World Bank and the United Nations, and in leading civil society organisations, as well as become Ministers and officials in national governments across the world. In 2018, alum Carlos Alvarado Quesada was elected as President of Costa Rica.

New for 2019, the University with IDS has launched an MSc in Sustainable Development that is taught entirely online, opening up a world-leading education in development studies at Sussex to people around the world.

Sussex and 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.

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

For example, the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme, a partnership between Sussex and IDS, is contributing critical new knowledge and evidence to meeting the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and convening debate at the highest levels with events last year in UK parliament and at the UN General Assembly.

The University of Sussex is in the world’s top 100 universities for six other subjects – including all four of the disciplines in the School of Global Studies – the latest rankings reveal:

  • Anthropology
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • English Language and Literature
  • Geography
  • Politics and International Studies
  • Sociology