About the Department

The Department of International Development promotes interdisciplinary postgraduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change.

Our students come from all over the world and have successfully found employment in a wide variety of government, non-government, UN, academic, and private sector organisations

Our history

History of ID screenshot with play

Click on the video above to watch the brief history of the Department of International Development at LSE and its achievements in the last 30 years, featuring voices from past and current faculty, as well as notable alumni. This video was filmed in 2019 in celebration of the department's 30th Anniversary.

Our research and teaching

The department is dedicated to understanding problems of poverty and late development within local communities, as well as national and international political and economic systems.    

Research and teaching in the department is concerned with the causes of poverty, social exclusion, economic stagnation, humanitarian crises and human security. We aim to provide our students with an understanding of why and how some late developing countries have succeeded in overcoming these problems while others have not or have seen their progress derailed by disasters and conflicts. 

We currently offer four taught MSc programmes. Students in our MSc and research programmes come from all over the world and upon graduation have successfully found employment in a wide variety of government, non-government, UN, academic, and private sector organisations working in the developing world.                

There are also research units that operate through the department. Our staff have considerable experience in living and working in the developing world and most have engaged in policy-relevant research and consultancy work with international development agencies or non-governmental organisations.                        

The department conducts research and teaching across six broad themes.           

Climate Policy

The Department seeks to implement transformative changes to reduce the climate and ecological impact of its activities, in recognition of the urgency of responding to the climate emergency. As such, staff are taking steps to reduce the number of flights they take per year and may turn down invitations for speaking appointments which require air travel in favour of virtual presentations, for which the LSE has specialist video-conferencing facilities.

Other initiatives within the Department include membership of the Green Impact initiative, reduction in single-use plastics and serving only vegetarian food at our weekly research seminars. The Department also supports more ambitious emissions-reducing initiatives at the level of the School, including, among other things, divestment from fossil fuels and reducing provision of carbon-intensive meats at LSE catering outlets.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at LSE

LSE is committed to building a diverse, equitable and truly inclusive university. LSE believes that diversity is critical to maintaining excellence in all of our endeavours. We seek to enable all members of the School community to achieve their full potential in an environment characterised by equality of respect and opportunity.

The School’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is one of its six strategic priorities, as highlighted in the LSE Strategy 2020, and ‘equality of respect and opportunity’ is one of the core principles set out in the School’s ethics code. The EDI Office acts to promote and further LSE’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion for all members of the School community. 

More information on how to report an incident (sexual violence, bullying and/or harassment) in the school can be found here.

To provide some examples of our work

  • Athena SWAN is a national charter mark – run by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) – that recognises the advancement of gender equality in higher education: representation, progression and success for all. The School has been working towards an institutional bronze Athena SWAN award.

  • In 2017, LSE will be convening a self-assessment team to work towards the ECU’s Race Equality Charter Mark.  The Race Equality Charter is focussed on improving the representation, progression and success of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff and students in Higher Education.

  • LSE is a Stonewall diversity champion and is part of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

  • LSE has also worked closely with AccessAble to develop online access guides to all the School’s buildings, and route maps around campus. View guide.


Contact us


+44(0)20 7955 7425


General Enquires

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Department of International Development, Connaught House, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE

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