MA Poverty and Development

Poverty reduction is the ultimate measure of development effectiveness. This one-year MA course is designed to examine thinking, policy and practice on vulnerability and poverty. It provides students with the knowledge and skills to engage professionally with the design, implementation and assessment of national and international efforts to reduce poverty.

At the end of the course students will be able to approach issues in poverty reduction and development with confidence, having gained:

  • Knowledge of the main theories, concepts and debates of development in their historical and contemporary context with specialised knowledge on poverty reduction.
  • A practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge.
  • The ability to engage in an informed and critical way with other professionals from diverse social science backgrounds concerned with poverty reduction and development.
  • The ability to use commonly applied research methods and skills, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Why IDS?

We are a research institute that teaches, with unparalleled formal and informal learning opportunities. We consider students members of IDS and encourage them to contribute to the overall learning process with their experience. A distinct feature of the MA Poverty course is the focus on policy and practice, drawing upon the latest research carried out by IDS faculty, students, and research partners from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, to enrich the curriculum of the MA.

Who is an MA Poverty student?

Most MA Poverty students are experienced professionals, having worked in government, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donor and lending agencies, UN programmes, the private sector, or civil society organisations. Many students also come to study on the course after a period of voluntary work or an internship. Our expanding alumni network has over 180 members from Gaza to Gujarat, and London to Lima.

Further information

IDS truly offers a world-class, rigorous and interdisciplinary training in Development Studies, with a focus on both teaching and research within an inter-disciplinary environment.”
Zuki Mqolomba MA Poverty and Development student 2010/11

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 one year's 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, explaining why you are applying for the degree and the relevance of previous development related experience.

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 2018, fees are £8,500 for Home UK/EU, Channel and Isle of Man students; £15,500 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.

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