Centre for Global Development


In this section:

Taught Programmes: Taught Development Programmes

The University of Leeds offers a range of undergraduate and taught Masters programmes in various aspects of global development through different Schools and Faculties. Please see below for a list of what is offered.

Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development

Postgraduate courses in International Health

For over thirty years, the Nuffield Centre has been successfully training health professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in health systems around the world. We have an international reputation for high-quality teaching.

Intercalated BSc in International Health

The Intercalated BSc in International Health is a year-long, full-time degree for UK medical students committed to international health. The degree provides students with opportunities to explore issues of global health, health care delivery and health policy. Students develop the critical and analytical skills to assess, implement, and evaluate health and health care interventions in their future medical career.

School of Civil Engineering

MSc Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering (WASH)

This course provides engineers and public health specialists with an in depth understanding of the application of public health theory to engineering and development. It has a strong focus on the development of practical and policy skills for application in countries of the global south.

School of Earth and Environment

BA Environmental Sustainability

This programme sits at the interface between the natural and social sciences where students explore issues of sustainable development at local, national and global levels in order to understand complex real-world sustainability problems and develop appropriate pathways for action.

MSc Sustainability (Environment and Development)

This programme provides interdisciplinary training on issues where the need for economic development and environmental conservation meet. Specifically, it provides training in theoretical and practical issues relating to the ideal of sustainable development at a range of scales from the global to the local in a range of different contexts. Students on this programme have priority access to the optional Environment-Development Overseas Field Course to Tanzania.

Other Sustainability Masters Programmes

The School of Earth and Environment offers a suite of sustainability masters programmes that are highly integrated but also offer a different subject specialism or disciplinary perspective. Each of the programmes is structured to offer a common sustainability foundation. Many of the modules across the suite of programmes focus on the particular challenges facing developing countries and the process of global development, and, depending on the pathway through a programme, many have a strong ‘global development’ component.

School of English

MA Theatre and Development Studies

This MA programme is an interdisciplinary degree taught by staff from The Workshop Theatre and the Centre for Development Studies. The programme responds to a perceived need for development personnel engaging with the arts to understand how to use creative processes within development and educational contexts, and for arts practitioners working with development partners to understand the theories and methodologies behind development practice.

School of Geography

MA in Activism and Social Change

This innovative and original interdisciplinary course brings together the worlds of academia and radical social campaigning. It is led by academics working and researching with social movement organisations and communities struggling for autonomy.

School of Politics and International Studies

BA International Development

This course examines major world issues from the viewpoint of the people and nations of the South. It allows students to combine a breadth of interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of International Development with a disciplinary specialisation, such as Geography or Politics, or a regional specialism, such as East Asian Studies.

MA Global Development

This course is an introduction to the cross-disciplinary field of global development. It provides an overview of alternative theoretical approaches in the analysis of development, and examines their differing policy and practice implications, with a particular focus on low and mid-income country contexts.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

MA Disability and Global Development

This course provides a comprehensive insight into the changing and challenging nature of disability theory, policy and research, and gives students the knowledge and skills to meet those challenges. It combines a broad interdisciplinary insight into development theories and strategies with knowledge and skills relating to disability studies.

School of Theology and Religious Studies

MA Theology and Global Development; MA Religious Studies and Global Development

These are two well-established and popular programmes, taught jointly by Theology and Religious Studies and the School of Politics and International Studies. They aim to foster critical reflection on the religious dimensions and theological and ethical implications of development.

PhD Research degrees

Proposals for research degrees can be made in any area where our faculty have expertise. Joint supervision is available with supervisors with development studies expertise from across the University.

For information about a research degree, please contact each School, Faculty, or Institute directly.

Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies

The department offers MA by research, MPhil and PhD. Supervision is available in a variety of areas.

East Asian Studies

East Asian Studies has a long tradition and a broad range of expertise in supervising PhDs, both within East Asian Studies and on an interdisciplinary basis.

Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

At LUBS, you will be part of an energetic research environment with opportunities for dynamic interaction with students and faculty members from across the globe.

Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development

The University of Leeds and the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences have an excellent reputation for the quality of its research degree training. For thirty years, the Nuffield Centre has been a major international resource for education, research and technical assistance in health and development.

School of Earth and Environment, Sustainability Research Institute

Research degree students within the Sustainability Research Institute are integral to the activities and success of this rapidly expanding centre of excellence that currently has a dedicated team of over thirty interdisciplinary researchers working on the different dimensions of sustainability.

School of Education

As a research student in the School of Education, you will be involved in an academic culture which provides expert supervision and research training in a wide range of subjects. We welcome research proposals from anyone wishing to pursue a particular area of interest within the broader field of education.

School of English

The School of English offers supervision for research degrees in all areas of English literature and culture, including English Language and Theatre Studies. Additionally, the School of English works closely with other Schools in the Faculty of Arts to offer interdisciplinary research supervision in History, Modern Languages and Humanities, and extending beyond the Faculty to collaborate with, for example, Music and Politics.

School of Geography

The School of Geography was ranked among the top six Geography departments in the UK for the quality of its research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, with 70 percent of research activity considered to be world leading or internationally excellent. With over forty academic staff, twenty-five researchers and some sixty research postgraduate students, the School offers a vibrant and diverse research community with a strong international profile.

School of History

Research degrees in the School of History offer you the ability to pursue independent historical inquiry and to produce new historical knowledge. You will be researching new avenues of historical inquiry, and coming up with your own analysis and conclusions based on your personal study of primary and secondary source materials.

School of Law

The School of Law offers a successful and thriving collection of research degrees programmes. We have over sixty registered postgraduate research students and an excellent record of completed research degrees. We are well placed to continue to deliver excellence to research students, bringing together high quality teaching with world-leading research.

School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

POLIS promotes excellence in research in the core disciplines of politics and international studies, and is particularly committed to promoting interdisciplinary research. In terms of defined interests, POLIS can provide supervisory support across a wide range of specialist fields and cross-cutting topics.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

The School of Sociology and Social Policy at Leeds offers an array of opportunities for graduate research work. Throughout its existence, the School has been a major centre of research and graduate training. PhDs from Leeds can now be found at senior academic levels throughout Britain and the world.

Theology and Religious Studies

The Department offers both taught courses and research degrees at postgraduate level. It has particularly strong postgraduate traditions in the study of Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism in Britain, in African religious traditions, in modern theology, and in religion and social theory.

Student Profiles

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    Nicholas Loubere

    I was immediately drawn to Leeds because of the outstanding reputation of the Department of East Asian Studies and the enthusiasm of my supervisor. The fact that Leeds is home to the National Institute of Chinese Studies (NICS), the White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC), and the Centre for Global Development (CGD) also contributed to my decision to apply to the University.

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    Francis Attah

    Any study around the subject of public health will definitely revolve around honing your skills around the basic principles of epidemiology, disease mapping/surveillance, statistical tools, public health research and interventions. But at NCIHD, it’s a lot more than that, it’s an integration of classroom experience and practical experience of those who have been on the frontline of public health research and interventions, preparing you for a real world experience.

  • alexa-bingham

    Alexa Bingham

    As compared to my undergraduate course, I have found my fellow students more passionate and focused. The fact that everyone is full of energy and ideas has meant a year of exciting debate. These interactions and friendships have been a great motivation for following aspirations to work in international development abroad.

  • oliver-godsmark-web

    Oliver Godsmark

    There is a really inclusive feel to studying at Leeds at the postgraduate level. My best memories include developing friendships with like-minded people and getting to know my peers both intellectually and socially. Excellent research seminars on South Asia, and Imperial and Colonial Studies, also stand out as another highlight.

  • grace-munisi

    Grace Verankira Munisi

    Having worked with Gender department in the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children in Tanzania, I wanted a programme that could integrate gender issues and development and found POLIS to be the best place in fulfilling my objective and ambition.

  • gloria-namande-web

    Gloria Namande

    The lecturers in my school were very supportive throughout my course. They were so approachable and at any time they would be willing to help out. This helped me easily understand the fundamental principles of my course and to successfully complete it. The cultural diversity in my class was also such a memorable experience. I was able to learn from my fellow students who came from different cultural backgrounds, and how cultural diversity influences sustainable development

  • emily-preston-web

    Emily Preston

    I have many great memories from my time at Leeds and I am sure more to come. What was nice about studying a difficult language like Chinese at undergraduate level was that class sizes were quite small and contact hours long. This meant that students got to know each other and develop friendships quickly.

  • andrea-wilkinson

    Andrea Wilkinson

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leeds studying for an MA in International Development. The teaching staff were extremely interesting and had a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of International Development, but, more than that, they were incredibly supportive and encouraging.

Creating Opportunities


The Centre focuses on bringing together global development postgraduate students from across the university so students can form supportive networks that last both during the period of study and into working life beyond.

We encourage students to take part in a number of events, such as workshops and seminars, so they can build interdisciplinary connections that relate to their specific interests.

In the past, our events have included a Scarborough residential where staff and students at the Centre for Global Development have spent two days in a Bed and Breakfast guest house in the sea-side town of Scarborough.

During these two days, staff members held workshops that introduced topics and methods for development in an interactive manner. The trip was not only informative, but also a fun opportunity to get to know fellow students as well as staff members.

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