Our Aims and Objectives
We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issuesFind Out More
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 of 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
Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community. To support this new generation of development scholars, we:
We have two student representatives on Council, and our student members are very welcome to contact them with any suggestions or concerns. There is also a DSA student group on Facebook with over 1,500 members.
At the 2022 virtual DSA conference we held two sessions on getting published, one focused on journals and one on books, aimed primarily at PhD students and Early Career Researchers. You can view the recordings of these sessions here.
Since 2015, the DSA has awarded an annual dissertation prize to Masters’ students working in the field of international development, development studies and development economics. This annual prize is awarded to the best masters’ level dissertation in these fields of study.
Nominations by Development Studies and Economics Departments in the UK are accepted during the autumn months. Departments are invited to submit one MA or MSc dissertation each for consideration. We ask all the Heads of Centres of DSA affiliated institutions in the UK to nominate the highest scoring masters’ dissertation (MA or MSc) awarded on their “international development” or related subject programmes. We are happy to accept nominations of extended essays but these needed to be of exceptional quality to win when compared to longer dissertations. Nominations are evaluated by an academic panel from the DSA. Decisions are given by February in the following calendar year, when the winner and their department are notified.
Winners receive a cash prize and free attendance to the DSA Annual Conference, where they are also invited to present their research.
The 2023 winner of the Masters Dissertation prize is Lisa Eitinger from the Department of International Development at LSE for her dissertation entitled: Ignorance for relevance? A critical assessment of the World Bank’s higher education policy.
Highly commended in 2023 was:
In 2022, the DSA unveiled a new thesis prize for PhD students working in the field of international development, development studies and development economics. This is an annual prize awarded to the best PhD thesis in these fields of studies from across current DSA Institutional Members.
All Development Studies and Economics departments in the UK that are Institutional Members of the DSA are invited to submit one PhD thesis, each, for consideration. Heads of Centres can nominate the highest scoring/ most promising PhD thesis the field of international development, or related subject, by a student who graduated* from their department the previous year. Only PhDs by monograph or papers are eligible for consideration, not PhDs by publications or professional doctorates.
The call for nominations is open from January to March. Nominations are evaluated by an academic panel from the DSA and decisions made by May. The winner, those highly commended, and their departments are notified shortly after and the winner and highly commended and their departments notified.
Winners receive a cash prize and are invited to present their research at the DSA annual conference.
Winner: Owen Frazer, International Development Department, University of Birmingham: “The Theory and Practice of Mediation as Framing: Breaking Impasses in the El Salvador Peace Negotiations.”
Highly commended: Kaveri Medappa, Department of International Development, University of Sussex: “Chasing Targets, Making Life : An ethnographic study of platform-based cab drivers and food delivery workers in Bengaluru, India.”
Please note * The point at which a graduate is officially allowed to call themselves ‘Doctor’.