Institute of Development Studies, IDS

MA Science, Society and Development open for applications

Press Release   •   Nov 24, 2011 08:49 GMT

IDS is now accepting applications for the MA course in Science, Society and Development commencing October 2012.

Sustainability is one of the key issues facing a world with an increasing population and environmental change. This MA looks at Sustainability and Development, focussing on the key areas of environment, agriculture and health.

This course will provide the grounding for students to attain senior level positions within their organisation or help them progress towards a PhD, and is taken by established or early career professional with a background in social or health sciences, development studies or natural science.

Sustainability is a key issue for many development professionals,' said Dr Jim Sumberg the course convenor. 'Ideas around sustainability, food production and health are becoming ever more contested and controversial. To thrive in the international development community it's essential to have a strong grounding in these key areas. We equip students to rise to the very top of their chosen profession, or progress towards a PhD, and its exciting to open the applications process and immediately begin to form an idea of what next year’s cohort will look like.'

Once on the programme students are invited to address complex policy issues including water and sanitation, vaccines and epidemic disease, the African Green Revolution, biodiversity and genetically modified crops.

The course focuses on how development policy can more effectively address issues of poverty, social justice and sustainability and students will be asking questions such as:

  • How do development policy processes, contribute to or constrain sustainable development?
  • What will future health and agricultural systems look like?
  • Who is likely to benefit from genetically modified crops or new vaccines?
  • Will there be enough water for people, agriculture and industry in the twenty-first century?
  • What are the development implications of global pandemics including HIV/AIDS and bird flu?
  • How can science and technology generate pro-poor economic growth?
  • What does the global knowledge economy mean for development and social justice?

Potential students are advised to get their application in as soon as possible.

Find out more about the course on our website: MA Science, Society and Development 
Or contact course convenor Jim Sumberg by email:

Photo: Panos / Mikkel Ostergaard