Development studies is a multidisciplinary branch of social science which addresses issues of concern to developing countries. It has historically placed a particular focus on issues related to social and economic development, and its relevance may therefore extend to communities and regions outside of the developing world.
The Development Studies Association is a major source of information for research on and studying in development studies in the UK and Ireland. Its mission is to connect and promote those working on development research.
Development studies is offered as a specialised Master's degree in a number of universities, and, less commonly, as an undergraduate degree. It has grown in popularity as a subject of study since the early 1990s, and has been most widely taught and researched in the third world and in countries with a colonial history, such as the UK, where development studies originated.
Students of development studies often choose careers in international organisations such as the United Nations or the World Bank, non-governmental organisations, private sector development consultancy firms, and research centres.