MA Participation, Power and Social Change

The MA in Participation, Power and Social Change (MAP) combines academic study, practical experience and personal reflection. Students explore the challenges of power relations, participation and citizen engagement, and what it means to facilitate change processes. Each student designs and carries out an action research project related to their work.

IDS research around the themes of participation, critical citizen engagement, power and social change, is part of a global research collaboration that explores how people participate in society and engage with other people, institutions or structures in pursuit of social justice. Citizens and their organisations, policymakers, development workers and researchers increasingly appreciate that standard recipes for managing the complexity of our inter-connected world have not worked.

Students come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, including community organisations, NGOs, social movements, governments, businesses and consultancy firms. They work on diverse issues such as agriculture, health, HIV-AIDS, natural resources, climate change, youth, gender, community development, education, governance, communication, planning, evaluation and policy-making, among others.

A core component of MAP is the 4-month period of work-based action learning for which students attach themselves to a host organisation or social process. Students examine their own practice and that of the host, and seek to apply their learning to the benefit of the host.

Further information

This MA allows me to put theory into practice on a daily basis. I have experienced a paradigm shift in my career.” 
Tamara, USA

You should have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in the social sciences or a related subject. And you should preferably have three years' development-related work experience, which can be made up of voluntary work and vacation-based activities. 

Each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and applicants must submit a detailed two page personal statement from you outlining: your academic and career interests; your ideas about possible host organisations, locations and/or focal issue(s) for your  work-based action learning; and your hopes for how the MA in Participation will help you achieve your goals. While you may not have firm plans yet for the Enquiry, please describe your interests and hopes for this part of the MA.

We may also consider professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing when making offers.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section. Pearson's Test of English (Academic) 67 overall, with at least 62 in all four skills.

For entry in September 2017, fees are £8,000 for Home UK/EU, Channel and Isle of Man students; £15,100 for Overseas students. For sources of funding please see the advice on funding on the University of Sussex website.

One scholarship is available for applicants from African members of the Commonwealth through a joint scheme between IDS and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. Please contact IDS for further information.

Below is a list of IDS researchers who contribute to this course:

Course information

Fees per year: £8000 for UK/EU, £15,100 for Overseas students
Start date: 25 September 2017
Based: University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
How to apply: Visit the University of Sussex website