Development and Social Change: Creating Better Futures

Loughborough University London brings together expertise and fresh thinking from across key disciplines to address the global challenges facing current and future generations.

Complex challenges such as climate change and environmental justice, global economic and social inequalities, migration crises, disaster risks, achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and global politics and peace, require thinking differently and in more interconnected, interdisciplinary, and intercultural ways about international or ‘world development’.

By studying international development and social change at Loughborough University London you will learn from world-leading researchers, approaching global challenges and social change from a range of innovative, critical, and contemporary perspectives. This includes scholars with expertise in media and communication for development; international management and socio-economic development; sport and development; geopolitics and peace; and disaster risk reduction and resilience. Our programmes collaborate on areas of climate change, sustainability, and disaster resilience with the world-renowned Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) located on the Loughborough University Midlands campus.‌

Image of a 5 students sitting on around a table with one leading the conversion and the other 4 listening and looking at him.

Our research and curriculum benefits from contributions from a prestigious Development and Social Change Advisory Board, which includes global partners and high-level individuals working in organisations including UNICEF, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Practical Action, as well as activist organisations, and think tanks. Our students have opportunities to engage with our global partners through guest lectures, Collaborative Dissertations, careers advice and mentoring, and support to access internships.

These cross-Institute programmes contribute to the Loughborough University 2030, ‘Creating Better Futures. Together’ strategy, to provide life-shaping student experience that develops individuals who have a positive influence across diverse communities, improving society and enriching cultures.

Graduates of our programmes are highly qualified for careers in international development and UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, development consultancies, foundations, government aid departments, and academia.

Student testimonials

My course at Loughborough University London, has made me a better person. I think that is truly powerful. It is as if it changed my vision of social action, what effective communication is, and what is happening in this landscape across the globe.

Aarti Nair, MA Global Communication and Social Change alumna

Loughborough University offers opportunities to learn from some of the UK's leading professors and innovators. I was convinced that I could obtain the perspectives, skills, and network that will allow me to help my nation address regional security issues as well as the local conflicts.

Danilo Jr Vidad, MSc Security, Peace-Building and Diplomacy alumna

Our research

Our cross-cutting research tackles a range of contemporary global challenges, achieving real-world impact. Our academics are currently involved in projects on issues of refugees and migration, youth visions of the future in Amazonian riverside communities, Paralympic sport as a vehicle to address stigma in Malawi, populism and democratic backsliding in Europe, the legacy of Paulo Freire, multinational companies, social innovation and inequality, education, training and employment in Mexio and Turkey, Romaphobia, gender and intersectionality in disaster contexts, and more.

Master's degrees

Our development and social change master's degrees offer a both specialised and interdisciplinary perspectives on today’s global challenges:

Scholarships and Bursaries

There are a range of scholarships and bursaries available to support you during your studies at Loughborough University London. This includes the: Creating Better Futures Masters Scholarship for African Students (20% fee reduction); the Inspiring Success Scholarship for selected unemployed and underemployed graduates from Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham or Waltham Forest (100% fee reduction); and the Dean's Award for Enterprise, which is open to social entrepreneurs and social changemakers (90% fee reduction); Loughborough University Alumni Scholarships; and more. If you have obtained a first-class or a second-class degree (or the international equivalent) you will be eligible for a fee reduction on all of our programmes as part of our UK and International Scholarships.

Additionally, these programmes are well suited to scholarship schemes that support studies in areas compatible with the Sustainable Development Goals, such as the Commonwealth Masters Scholarships, Saïd Foundation scholarships, Chevening scholarships, and many national government schemes.

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PhD degrees

We welcome proposals for cutting edge, multi- or interdisciplinary research contributing to our research strengths on international development and social change. As a research student with us, you will have the opportunity to work with leading researchers and other professionals in order to gain first-hand experience of real-life problem solving.

Our doctoral researchers receive a comprehensive package of training and support tailored towards careers in academic research and in many other professional roles.

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