What will I learn?

This degree provides you with a theoretical and practical understanding of debates on political change and how public authority is created and exercised. Based at IDS, you’ll build your critical and analytical skills, and improve your ability to develop and implement policies across state and non-state organisations.

World-leaders in development studies

IDS is a global research and learning organisation for equitable and sustainable change. In partnership with the University of Sussex, IDS is ranked first in the world for development studies by the QS University Rankings.

Who is the degree for?

We welcome applicants with a broad range of career trajectories. Successful applicants will have some practical experience in development alongside an interest in critical academic enquiry. The majority of MA Governance, Development and Public Policy students are experienced professionals, having worked in government, private sector, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donor and lending agencies, as well as UN agencies. Our students bring a vast diversity of cultures, experience and perspectives - alumni from this course have come from over 70 countries and work or have worked in over 150 countries.


You’ll be assessed through term papers, coursework assignments, presentations, exams, practical exercises, and a 10,000 word dissertation.


Our graduates go on to work as legal and policy advisors on governance and human rights for:

  • government ministries
  • UN agencies
  • bilateral and multilateral agencies, including international finance institutions
  • national and international NGOs
  • professional services networks

Some also go on to work in academic research.

Graduate destinations

Recent IDS students have gone on to jobs including:

  • senior adviser, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
  • assistant director Foreign Service, Department of International Relations and Cooperation
  • consultant, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Which department am I in?


Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
£18,500.00 (US$ 24,867) per year
Fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

This is a fixed fee
Start date

Expected September 2022


Institute of Development Studies

Library Road,


Brighton and Hove,

BN1 9RE, England

Entry requirements

For international students

Successful applicants will have a first or upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree in the social sciences or related subject, and preferably at least one year of development-related work experience. Applications must be accompanied by a CV and detailed two-page personal statement, explaining why you are applying for the degree, the relevance of your previous experience, and what will you contribute to the cohort. The minimum requirement is, for example: an IELTS grade of 7.0 overall and no less than 6.5 in each section of the IELTS test; TOEFL 95 overall, including at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing.

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