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International Development Studies

A woman with a backpack on staring into a lake-filled gorge in a mountain range

International Development Studies


International Development Studies (IDST) at Trent offers both single and joint major honours degrees, as well as a joint major general degree. It also offers two year abroad programs in Ecuador and Ghana which are fully integrated into the IDST curriculum. Additionally, there are opportunities to obtain an IDST degree with Specialisations in African or Latin American Studies. 

Small Group Teaching

The Department of International Development Studies at Trent is committed to small group teaching and individual attention to students. Professors know most students by name and provide personalised support for assignments and related work.  Enrollment in upper year courses usually does not exceed twenty students which allows for a vibrant learning environment where students interact closely with their instructors and peers.  

Theoretical and Experiential Learning Combined with Critical Thinking

IDST courses are theoretically grounded and at the same time address real world policy initiatives. Our aim is to reach a balance between theory and practice, while challenging students to rethink conventional wisdom about international development. Several upper year courses include an experiential learning component which provides hands-on experience and an entry point into the job market.Through such an approach, students acquire critical thinking skills that serve them well not just in the Department of International Development Studies, but in their other courses as well.

Thematic Focus

The Department offers core courses at the first and second year, which provide students with the necessary historical and theoretical grounding. Students can pursue particular international development themes through other courses offered by faculty in the Department, such as globalization, food and agriculture, the environment, cultural change, identity and ethnicity, human rights, social transformations, international political economy, gender issues, and courses focused on particular regions of the world, to name but a few.