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About Us

​About us​

The Institute for Social Development is a research and post-graduate centre providing teaching and research work in development studies. The Institute offers four degree programmes: Structured course-work Honours and Masters in Development Studies, Masters by thesis in Development Studies and PhD by thesis.

The honours programme admits majority of our students’ population who get expose to the field of critical inquiry concerning contemporary dynamics of social, economic, political & population change. The masters’ programmes focus on training students on the use of inter-disciplinary conceptual frameworks and methods to identify and examine development programs and strategies that are relevant to drive desirable change in societies. The PhD by thesis is a research-led programme which require students to adopt rigorous and extensive research on development topic.

The institute equip students and researchers with the skills and expertise needed to be effective in their future endeavours.  Every year, close to 50 students and 30 students from different countries graduate from the Honours and Masters/PHD programmes respectively.

Our approach

At ISD, we do not only provide teaching services but also create opportunities for students to develop their working and leadership skills to enhance their future prospects. We provide interactive environment for students, scholars and professionals to combine thoughts on how to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

Our values

Commitment to diversity and inclusion

We embrace diversity and participation of all members regardless of race, gender, ethnicity and age. Guided by the equity principle, our services are delivered in a way that ensures equal access and opportunity for all. As an institute, we thrive on the strength of our global community of students and professional staff. We acknowledge that in the pursuit of knowledge in development studies, excellence could only be achieved if we allow participation of all and sundry. We seek therefore to unlock the potential of every individual.

Commitment to building transformational leaders

At ISD, we prioritise value creation.  Our motivation does not rest on producing graduates with just certificates, rather we strive to develop our students into becoming transformational leaders equipped with the skills and knowledge to inform positive change in their communities.

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Contact Centre

University of the Western Cape,
Robert Sobukwe Road,
Bellville, 7535,
Republic of South Africa | +27 21 959 2911