Best Universities to Study Development Studies in Canada

最終更新: 14 June 2023 Canadian Course Guide Development Studies

Developmental Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the social, economic, cultural, and political factors that shape human development at the individual and societal levels. It draws on theories and methods from sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, and other disciplines. This provides students with a broad range of skills and knowledge that can be applied in various contexts in many different work settings across industries. 

Developmental Studies is a growing field in Canada, with many universities offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the subject. Graduates with a degree in development studies can work in various fields, including international development, public policy, education, healthcare and environmental management. The subject can inspire students to make a positive social impact by contributing to policies and programs that promote social justice, equality, and sustainable development.

If you are interested in studying a development studies course in Canada, learn more about the best Canadian universities in the subject below (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023). Book a free consultation with SI-Canada today to start your application.

development studies degrees canada

What is International Development Studies?

International development studies draws on various disciplines such as economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, geography, and environmental studies to analyze the complex interactions and factors that influence development outcomes. It explores issues like poverty, inequality, education, healthcare, gender equality, governance, human rights, environmental sustainability, and global cooperation. Students learn to critically analyze development theories, policies, and practices, and explore alternative approaches to development that prioritize local empowerment, participatory decision-making, and sustainable development.

Best Universities in Canada for Development Studies

1. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is known worldwide to provide high-quality education in various disciplines. It offers various courses in Development Studies that have been designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the social, economic, and political factors that shape human development. These courses are offered through various departments, including Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology, and offer students the opportunity to engage with development issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. Major courses that students can choose from include Global Development Studies, International Development Studies, and other programs from the political science departments, geography and planning, anthropology and sociology. 

2. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is highly regarded for its academic excellence and research achievements and is recognised as one of the top universities in the world. The Faculty of Arts and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC offer programs that provide students with a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the social, political, and economic factors that shape human development. The programs include internships or field placements, allowing students to work with organisations that are actively engaged in development projects and apply the skills and knowledge they have gained in the classroom to real-world situations.

3. McGill University

McGill University is among the most prestigious public research universities in the country; that is located in Montreal and is known for its academic excellence, diverse student body, and vibrant campus life. The educational institution has a strong commitment to social justice and sustainable development, which is reflected in its Development Studies degrees, which are interdisciplinary programs that give students a comprehensive understanding of the economic, social, and political factors that shape developmental topics. The program is offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with various courses and modules, providing students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to contribute to positive social change, whether through careers in international development, non-profit organisations, government agencies, or the private sector.

4. University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual public research university in the world that is located in the heart of Canada's capital city, Ottawa. It offers several programs in multiple disciplines in both English and French languages. Through the School of International Development and Global Studies, the university offers the subject at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a variety of courses and modules. These draw on theories and methods from various disciplines, including anthropology, economics, geography, political science, and sociology, to provide students with a broad range of skills and knowledge in both English and French languages. The study programs have practical aspects to enable students to engage in fieldwork during their university years.

5. York University

York University is a public research university located in Toronto. It was founded in 1959 and is now the third-largest university in Canada, with a diverse community of over 55,000 students from around the world. The university is known for its commitment to social justice, innovation, and interdisciplinary research. The Development Studies program at York University is an interdisciplinary program that explores the economic, social, and political aspects of development in today's world. The subject is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has practical aspects in the curriculum to enhance the learning experience of students. 

Universities featured in this article:

  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Toronto
  • McGill University
  • York University
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Amanpreet KaurInternational Business Management (May 2024 intake)