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MA in Poverty and Development

Course Description

The experience of the financial crisis has sharpened our sense that we live in a time of increasing insecurity and instability. But life has been insecure and unstable for the world’s poorest people for many years. This degree aims to provide you with a solid grounding in the concepts and theories and analytical and practical skills needed to engage critically in current debates on poverty and development issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

You will gain an understanding of the main theories of development in their historical and contemporary context, with specialised knowledge of the treatment of poverty reduction within the development discourse. You will approach issues in poverty reduction and development with confidence through a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and inquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge.

You will engage in an informed and critical way with other professionals from diverse social science backgrounds concerned with poverty reduction and development issues. You will use commonly applied research methods and skills, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Course structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 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 tab.

Autumn term: Ideas in Development and Policy, Evidence and Practice • Poverty and Development: Disciplinary Perspectives • Poverty and Inequality.

Spring term: Vulnerability and Social Protection 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 • Law and Development • Management of Public Finance • Nutrition • Politics of Implementing Gender and Development • Poverty, Violence and Conflict • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods • Reflective Practice and Social Change • Sexuality, Masculinity and Development • Unruly Politics.

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

Summer term: you work on your dissertation.


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.


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

Visit the MA in Poverty and Development page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

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Student Profiles

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.Overseas entrance requirements: View Website

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Recipient: University of Sussex
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