Taught course

Social Development

University of Sussex · School of Global Studies

Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in the social or natural sciences. Applicants with other degrees or relevant practical work experience will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

You are based in the School of Global Studies.

The MA in Social Development addresses the increasing focus on social aspects of development in policy, planning and practice. Official donor agencies as well as governments and NGOs now see much of what they do as being concerned with social development, and many important concepts in development –
such as the sustainable livelihoods approach, empowerment, participation, partnership and the rights-based approach to development – are rooted in the tradition of social development.

Taught by active practitioners and research faculty within the School of Global Studies, this course provides you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to become a social development practitioner. If you have some experience in the field, it provides opportunities to expand and deepen your knowledge.

We draw on a range of innovative teaching methods, including interactive lectures, workshops and one-to-one supervision. As part of our interdisciplinary student community you will benefit from expert teaching, a choice of options and a connection to a global network of research partnerships, alumni and professionals in the public, private, consultancy and not-forprofit sectors.

The course is open to students with a first degree in any social science or humanities field, but some prior work experience is desirable.

Course Structure

We draw on a range of innovative teaching methods, including interactive lectures, workshops and one-to-one supervision.

You are assessed by term papers, a research proposal and your dissertation (or dissertation with placement).

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2017 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules list. Modules may be subject to change.

Autumn term: you take two core modules: Concepts of Social Development • Theories of Development and Underdevelopment.

Summer term: you choose two options from The Architecture of Aid • Critical Debates in Environment and Development • Refugees and Development • Globalisation and Rural Change • Poverty and Inequality in the Global Economy • Activism for Development and Social Justice • Migration, Inequality and Social Change • Sexualities and Development • Women and Human Rights • Fair Trade, Ethical Business and New Moral Economies • The Global Governance of Education and Conflict • Education Policy, Planning and Development • Society and Economy in South Asia • Knowledge, Power and Resistance • Anthropology of Childhood • Cultural Understandings of Health and Healing • Transnational Migration and Diaspora.

You also take the core Research Methods and Professional Skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops, including one that prepares you for your dissertation.

Over the summer you will undertake supervised work on a dissertation (or dissertation with placement).

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/2017/global-studies/social-development-ma

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters Scholarships

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 877686