Taught course

Science, Society and Development

University of Sussex · Institute of Development Studies - IDS

Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in the social sciences or a related discipline, and preferably two years' development-related work experience. Applications must be accompanied by a detailed, two-page personal statement.

Months of entry


Course content

You are based in IDS.

Sustainability is one of the key issues facing a world with an increasing population and environmental change. This MA looks at science, society, sustainability and development, focusing on the key areas of agriculture, environment, and health. You are invited to address complex policy issues including water and sanitation, epidemic disease, the African Green Revolution, biodiversity and genetically modified crops.

What makes this MA unique is its emphasis on the ways that politics permeates policy processes at all levels, and plays out through competing framings, narratives, knowledge and networks. Starting with a solid grounding in development studies and society-sciencetechnology relations, the course then puts the dynamics of policy processes at centre stage.

The course provides you with a theoretically informed understanding of debates in development, sociological studies of science and technology, and governance and policy processes, while promoting a people-oriented approach. It equips you with the ability to critically examine and reflect on the role of science in environmental, health and agricultural issues within development, using an interdisciplinary perspective; engage in an informed and critical way with other professionals; apply practical methods and frameworks to research problems; and advance policy debates on key issues relating to food and agriculture, health and disease, water and sanitation, and agricultural research problems.


Assessment is primarily through term papers of 3,000-5,000 words, coursework assignments, presentations, practical exercises and, for some modules, examinations, as well as a final 10,000-word dissertation.

Course structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience.

Autumn term: Ideas in Development and Policy, Evidence and Practice • Science, Knowledge and the Politics of Development • Science, Power and Institutions.

Spring term: Sustainability and Policy Processes and two 15-credit modules from a range of options, which may include Aid and Poverty • Analysing Poverty, Vulnerability and Inequality • Climate Change and Development • Decentralisation and Local Government • Emerging Powers and International Development • Global Governance • Impact Evaluation • Management of Public Finance • Nutrition • Politics of Implementing Gender and Development • Poverty, Violence and Conflict • Reflective Practice and Social Change • Unruly Politics.

Spring and summer terms: you take the 15-credit module Introduction to Research to help you prepare for your dissertation.

Summer term: you work on your dissertation.

Information for international students


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 visit:www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 606261