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Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Development Politics Development Economics

Course type


Course Summary

IDS is a leading global institution for development research, teaching and learning, and impact and communications, based at the University of Sussex. The University of Sussex is ranked first in the world for development studies. This QS World Ranking reflects the strong reputation and quality of research and course offerings across campus, including by IDS.

Doctoral research is a vital part of IDS, with about 50 PhD students at any time exploring a range of topics in Asia, Africa, the Balkans, Latin America and the Middle East. Students work under the supervision of two Research Fellows and have access to the thriving community of research centres, knowledge programmes, postgraduate courses, training, lectures and seminars.

IDS is dedicated to research on processes of social, political and economic development and change in order to understand problems of poverty and development-related issues in local, national and global realms. Through our research we seek to achieve our vision of equal and sustainable societies, both locally and globally, where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from poverty and injustice.

Our research is shaped by our distinctive ‘engaged excellence’ approach. This means that the quality and impact of our work depends upon us collaborating with governments, international NGOs, local civil society, citizens, in-country researchers, donors, businesses and many others to achieve positive change, strategically informed by high quality – and operationally relevant – research and evidence.

We are looking for PhD researchers interested in working on projects that respond to the following global challenges and their intersections: reducing inequalities; accelerating sustainability; building inclusive and secure societies.

Different course options

Full time | Institute of Development Studies | 4 years | SEP-19

Study mode

Full time


4 years

Start date


Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

UK/EU, Channel and Isle of Man student fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2019/20. Fees will become available once set by Research Councils UK

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

You should have a strong academic record and graduate training demonstrating a high standard of achievement, combined with substantial professional work experience in a developing country or in development-related work. Only in exceptional circumstances will candidates with other backgrounds may be considered. You’re normally expected to have a merit (an overall average of 60 per cent) in a masters degree. As well as having methodological and theoretical grounding in one of the social science disciplines, you will have the language skills necessary for the proposed research. Students must be proficient in English. 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.