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Centre of Development Studies


To donate directly to the Centre of Development Studies, please click here.

The University of Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the commitment and generosity of its friends and supporters. The University’s 800-year history is synonymous with a history of benefaction, and the same is as true in the 21st century as it has ever been.

The tradition of research and teaching on development at Cambridge goes back at least to the 1930s, when some of those who were later to be the founding fathers in the field studied here as graduate students under John Maynard Keynes. Since then research and teaching in the subject has taken place across many faculties and departments, including: Economics, Social and Political Sciences, Social Anthropology, Geography, Land Economy, the Judge Business School, and the Centres of African, South Asia and Latin American Studies.

For several decades prior to 2012 the MPhil in Development Studies had been governed by the Development Studies Committee. In recognition of the many achievements of the Development Studies Committee and its MPhil, in January 2012 the University established the Centre of Development Studies, along with a new PhD in Development Studies, and provided dedicated space for the Centre within the Alison Richard Building. This new building has been designed to promote increased interaction and collaborative thinking between the Centres of African Studies, Latin American Studies, South Asian Studies and Development Studies and the Department of Politics and International Studies.

Over the past years the Centre has gone from strength to strength, each year attracting more applications from students keen to benefit from an inter-disciplinary training the content and style of which have kept abreast with both the changing realities of the developing world, and the changing requirements of men and women seeking to make a career in the development field either professionally or academically.

One of the hallmarks of the Centre is its particularly diverse student body, with roughly equal numbers of students coming from regions throughout the developed and developing world. Particularly in the field of development studies, this diversity of experience and insight is invaluable in ensuring a successful course because it forces the students as a whole to consider the practical, on-the-ground application of theories of development, and the Centre’s top priority is to secure studentships so that talented students from around the world can complete its MPhil and PhD programmes without regard to personal circumstances.

The Centre prides itself on the dedication of its staff and the nurturing learning environment it creates. To ensure the highest quality of teaching across the full spectrum of disciplines relevant to Development Studies we employ a large number of affiliated lectures and visiting fellows, both those who have become, and those who are becoming, preeminent in their fields. To continue to be able to fund the quality of teaching our students deserve we depend not a little on the generosity of benefactors.

The University has now made it easy to donate directly to the Centre through its Campaign website. If you would like to donate to the Centre, you can do so here.