Research course

Development Studies Research Programme (IDS)

University of Sussex · Institute of Development Studies - IDS

Entry requirements

A Masters degree in any relevant social science. In exceptional circumstances, candidates with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants must submit an outline research proposal of two to three pages indicating the nature, ambitions and primary questions of the project. Applicants must have substantial professional work experience in a developing country or in development- related work

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

IDS runs a PhD for research in areas aligned to our research clusters and Fellows. Prospective applicants, and those applying for the MSc in Social Research Methods with a view to subsequently enrolling for a doctorate, are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the research priorities of our research teams and Fellows, and to enter into dialogue with them, prior to application.

Information on research priorities can be obtained at Institute of Development Studies: Research. Alternatively, a current annual report can be obtained from the IDS teaching team:

T +44 (0)1273 606261
F +44 (0)1273 621202/691647

For more information, visit Institute of Development Studies


Research training needs are assessed at the time of application and admission. You may be required to undertake coursework on research skills. You are allocated two academic supervisors with whom you work for the duration of your studies.


Research degrees normally require fieldwork, usually in the second year of your programme of study.

Recent thesis titles

Looking at risk with both eyes: health and safety in the Cerro Rico of Potosi (Bolivia)

The power of perceptions: elites, opinion polling and the quality of elections in sub-Saharan Africa

The Party-state, business and a half kilo of milk: a study of the dynamics of regulation in China’s dairy industry

Negotiating an uncertain future: a multi-sited study of narratives of Kenyan agricultural climate change adaptation Community policing through local collective action in Tanzania: Sungusungu to Ulinzi Shirikishi

Understanding the drivers of change in sexual and reproductive health policy and legislation in Kenya

Citizen voice and bureaucratic responsiveness: FM radio phone-ins and the delivery of municipal and local government services in Accra, Ghana

Rights on the Edge: the right to water and the peri-urban drinking water committees of Cochabamba

Information for international students

See link for international students' entry requirements:

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please

Qualification and course duration


full time
24-48 months
part time
36-72 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 606261