Top 7 Universities for Development Studies

Top 7 Universities for Development Studies

Would you like to make a difference in the world? Are you interested in community development around you? Therefore, Development Studies can be an ideal subject for you to study. In this article, I am going to uphold the top 7 universities around the world for Development Studies.



Development studies define multidisciplinary subject that focuses on the evolution of nations from political, cultural, geographical, and socio-economic perspectives. It appeared as an academic discipline during the late part of the 20th century. Intending to establish oneself against amid growing concerns for third world economies struggling in the post-third world economic era, it emerged as an academic branch.

Recently, academics have studied their cultural and political development and focused on the Western states to solve the most important issues of today. In other words, development studies are about understanding the current political landscape by examining its origins. Thus, it enables academics, politicians, and world charity organizations to make better plans for the future.


Why is it important to study?

Let us bring light to the key points about why this field of study is important.

  1. This academic discipline has become a popular choice for undergraduate as well as graduate students.
  2. It looks at the world’s inequality and tries to find solutions to improve the lives of citizens of developing countries.
  3. It helps in getting ready to tackle real-world problems.
  4. To discover more about how poverty, globalization, conflict, and the environment.
  5. Plenty of career opportunities.


Where to study?

A number of reputed universities across the world offer a bachelor’s or specialized master’s degree in Development Studies. I will only highlight the top 7 universities for Development Studies according to QS World University Rankings.



University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

The University of Witwatersrand offers a degree in Development Studies(DVS) so that students can explore practical ways of improving the human condition. The DVS Programmes of this university include:

  • Bachelor of Arts Honours (including Joint Honours with International Relations or Political Studies)
  • Master of Arts by Coursework and Research Report
  • Master of Arts by Research Report
  • Doctor of Philosophy

However, courses provide a lot of scope and career prospects. Students under this discipline taught by high-rated staff from multiple branches in the School of Social Sciences and the School of Economics and Business Sciences. Know more.



University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The University of Amsterdam launched The Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) in 2015. CSDS is a bottom-up initiative supported by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) and the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). Further, it gathers scholars from different sections of the social and behavioral sciences and establishes bridges with scholars in other disciplinary fields as well. Know more.

Some core purposes of the CSDS is to:

  • Enhance the scholarly exchange of knowledge on sustainable development issues.
  • Promote joint research work on sustainable development issues at multiple scale levels between the Global North and the Global South.
  • Advance university education that provides a critical and state-of-the-art understanding of sustainable development problems as well as relevant governance opportunities.
  • Prepare policy briefs based on scholarship, as well as,
  • Take part in societal and political debates on sustainable development issues.



Uppsala University, Sweden

Development Studies at Uppsala University is inspired by the subject’s inherently interdisciplinary character while maintaining a clear political science profile. Several courses in Development Studies are taught in English. Besides, students can study Development Studies at the undergraduate level by taking free-standing courses or by taking courses within the structure of different Bachelor’s Programmes.

In addition, study Development Studies at the advanced level within the Master’s Programme in Political Science. Development Studies at Uppsala University is inspired by the interdisciplinary character of the subject, but at the same time, it has a clear political science profile, with a focus on political development and policy analysis. Know more.



University of Sydney, Australia

The University of Sydney offers several degrees in Development Studies to provide a critical and multidisciplinary perspective on challenges in the achievement of sustainable solutions to poverty and deprivation in the developing world.

Master of Development Studies: To be awarded the Master of Development Studies in this university, students must have completed 72 credit points including:

  • A minimum of 24 credit points of core units of study.
  • A minimum of 6 credit points from elective units of study.
  • A maximum of 36 credit points from elective units of study, which can include an optional specialization.
  • A minimum of 6 credit points from capstone units of study, as well as,
  • An optional specialization.

Besides, there are more two degrees including a Graduate Diploma in Development Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Development Studies under the University of Sydney. Know more.



University of Toronto, Canada

International Development Studies (IDS) programs at the University of Toronto provide students with a critical understanding of international development issues through exposure to a variety of academic disciplines, cultures, and, in the case of the Specialist Co-op program options. Moreover, Students of IDS programs take initiatives, seek empowerment, are guided to address social and environmental problems.

Moreover, they are inspired by the department faculty to understand the importance of teamwork and coordination. They have a wide range of interests that broaden social science, humanity, and environmental science, all of which are felt by the sense of social responsibility. The University of Toronto basically offers two degrees in IDS which are: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. Know more.



Harvard University, United States

Harvard University offers a master’s degree in Public Administration in International Development. This two-year program designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in international development. Further, it is an economics-centered, multidisciplinary program.

As a result, graduates from this department hold influential policy and management positions in a range of international organizations, national governments, central and regional banks, nonprofit and research organizations, and private sector companies. Know more.



University of Sussex, United Kingdom

Above all, University of Sussex is the first university in the world for Development Studies. Based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), students will learn how to approach development problems with creativity, confidence, and the ability to work collaboratively. The university likewise makes all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services, and facilities.

However, IDS course modules are usually full-time and part-time. Students have to choose the module to fit around his/her work and personal life. There are three semesters in a year. For instance, Autumn teaching, Spring and summer teaching, and Summer teaching. Admission starts usually September each year. Scholarship opportunities are also available for international students.


Final Words

Hope you enjoyed the reading. Above all, any of these top 7 universities for Development Studies can be your higher academic destination. You can visit here to learn more about the best universities and scholarship information from developed countries. If you find this article informative, then you can also share it with your friends. It may help them as well to get important information regarding higher studies. Good Luck!

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