Our Aims and Objectives
We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issuesFind Out More
Through development studies, we seek to bring a critical perspective to applied real world problems, and the policies, programmes and practices behind these. Historically, our focus was on poorer countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This now extends to development issues worldwide. We particularly aim to understand the interconnections between global, regional, national and local processes of change.
Because real life is complex, development studies brings together diverse disciplines. With roots in anthropology, economics, sociology, politics and geography, it may also combine with others such as psychology, law, management, natural science, history, agriculture or engineering.
Development research aims to build partnerships between the people most directly affected by social, economic, technological and environmental change, and academics, policy-makers and practitioners. Equitable collaboration between those based in the global South and global North is particularly important. Working in partnership leads to more insightful and creative theory and more sustainable and equitable practice.
The roots of development lie in colonialism. Development studies still bears the marks of this history. As such, the broader moves to decolonise the curriculum have a particular resonance for us. But it is not only our curriculum that needs to be decolonised, but our institutions, procedures, practices, and default ways of thinking and acting. The commitment to equitable research partnerships is one way we aim to move this agenda forward.
The DSA is actively committed to decolonising development studies. If you would like to get involved, contact DSA Council member, Rama Dieng.
If these are the kinds of questions that interest you, then development studies might be the subject for you.
You can study at both undergraduate and masters level. Alongside straight development studies, you will find a wide range specialisms, such as media, conflict, sustainability, economics, education, management, social justice, global health or climate change.
Jobs in international development span NGOs and charity organisations, social enterprises, international companies, local and national government, aid agencies, policy think tanks, United Nations organisations, global and regional development banks, and regional bodies like the European Union or the Economic Community of West African States.
Search our institutional members’ page for more ideas of development studies courses available in the UK