Participation, Power and Social Change, M.A.

Participation, Power and Social Change, M.A.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months
University rank #147 (WUR) ,
Explore how people participate in society in pursuit of social justice. Designed for experienced practitioners, this MA combines coursework with work-based learning and action research.


You’ll gain:

  • knowledge of different conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches to participation
  • an understanding of how to apply these approaches to development and governance challenges
  • practical skills in participatory process and research
  • abilities of critical thinking, analysis and reflective practice
  • personal development of values and attitudes useful in pursuing participatory approaches.

At IDS, our work is part of a global research collaboration. We work to identify and implement alternative approaches to social change. You’ll learn how to respond to local situations, and bridge operational practice with research and policy change.

Key facts

  • Development Studies at Sussex ranked 2nd in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.
  • Rated as one of the top five best university-affiliated think tanks in the world (University of Pennsylvania: Global Go To Think-Tanks Report, 2015).
  • Distinct theoretical perspective and strong working relationships with many alumni, collaborators and partner organisations around the world.


Our graduates work in:

  • conservation
  • agriculture
  • food
  • finance
  • state ministries
  • UN agencies such as UNESCO
  • government departments such as DFID
  • NGOs including ActionAid.


This course is IAC/EADI accredited. Sussex is proud to be the first UK university to gain this accreditation.

The International Accreditation Council for Global Development Studies and Research wishes to influence proactively the process of quality assurance for global development studies and has developed a state-of-the-art accreditation system.

Programme Structure

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

  • Designing Critical Enquiry into Practice
  • Dissertation Participation, Power and Social Change
  • Foundations of Participation: Concepts and Approaches
  • Ideas in Development and Policy, Evidence and Practice
  • Professional Skills for Development

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

  • Aid and Poverty: the Political Economy of International Development Assistance
  • Analysing Poverty, Vulnerability and Inequality
  • Climate Change and Development
  • Competing in the Global Economy
  • Decentralisation and local government
  • Democracy and Public Policy
  • Emerging Powers and International Development
  • Empowering Society
  • Global Governance
  • Governance of Violent Conflict and (In)security
  • Health and Development
  • Impact Evaluation
  • Key Issues in Gender and Development
  • Law, Rights and Development
  • Nutrition
  • Politics of Implementing Gender and Development
  • Poverty Policy and Programmes: Issues in Social Policy
  • Poverty, Violence and Conflict
  • Public Financial Management
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • Sexuality and Masculinity in Gender and Development
  • Sociology, Anthropology and the Development Conundrum
  • SOUR - unruly politics
  • Sustainability and Policy Processes: Issues in Agriculture, Environment and Health

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 12 months
    • Average part-time duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Credits
    180 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    C1 Advanced is a Cambridge English Qualification. It reports on the Cambridge English Scale between 142 and 210. You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and for Use of English. These five scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam. Universities and colleges may ask you to achieve a specific score, either overall or for a particular skill.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in the social sciences or a related discipline, and preferably two years' development-related work experience. Applications must be accompanied by a detailed, two-page personal statement.

Applicants are responsible for arranging where and with which host organisation they will conduct their Critical Enquiry into Practice (May - August).

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    15100 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15100 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    8000 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8000 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Brighton

  • 815 - 1390 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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