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Institute of Development Studies PhD in Development Studies (by Research)
Institute of Development Studies

PhD in Development Studies (by Research)

Brighton, United Kingdom

3 Years


Full time, Part time

21 Jun 2024*

Sep 2024

GBP 21,500 / per year **


* 21 June 2024 for international students, 21 July 2024 for UK/EU students

** The fee for international students is £21,500. Fees for Home/EU students are not yet set for entry for the upcoming academic year. Fees will become available once set by United Kingdom Research and Innovation.


Realise your potential to transform the world

Study with the world leaders in development studies and realise your potential to transform the world with our PhD by Research.

The PhD in Development Studies by Research is IDS’s advanced research degree. It is awarded to candidates after a minimum of three years study, based on completion of original and significant research in the field of Development Studies – which is assessed through a written thesis.

*Please note: It is not possible for international students to take a part-time PhD due to UK Home Office visa restrictions, and IDS does not have a distance learning mode of its PhD Programme.

World leaders in development studies

Ranked first in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023) – the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally, through our world-class research, learning and teaching.

As a PhD researcher, you will join a thriving research community comprising more than 70 research staff and 50 postgraduate researchers. You will have access to research and teaching opportunities, as well as a substantial series of seminars presented by leading development professionals and practitioners.

Areas of study

We welcome submissions from researchers who share our commitment to:

  • upholding climate and environmental justice
  • reducing extreme inequities
  • fostering healthy and fulfilling lives
  • nurturing inclusive, democratic and accountable societies.

We are particularly interested in work that shows originality in addressing topics related to the work of our research fellows based across our ten research clusters: business; cities; digital; governance; health and nutrition; impact and policy; participation; power; resource politics; and rural futures.

Find out more about our current PhD Researchers
Find out more about our Research Fellows and their interests


Supervision & assessment

Each PhD researcher has a minimum of two supervisors. The number of hours of formal supervision will vary over the course of the PhD depending on the student, supervisor and type of research. IDS publishes a detailed PhD handbook which sets out expectations and responsibilities regarding supervision.

During the course of your PhD, you are required to give two seminars to the IDS community. The first, at the end of year one is called the Research Outline Seminar and this provides an overview of your PhD plans prior to beginning fieldwork. The second occurs halfway through year three. This is called the Work in Progress Seminar and it focuses on the research findings and overall arguments made in the dissertation.

Your PhD work is examined by dissertation and viva. Your thesis must be no longer than 80,000 words. These limits includes footnotes and bibliography but excludes any appendices.

Program Tuition Fee

Career Opportunities


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