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Courses

The Institute for Social Development offers  Honours and Masters Degree in Development Studies as well as PhD programme by thesis. These course are designed for those planning a career in the field of economic and social development as policy-makers, activist, administrators, developers, researchers or teachers.

Honours in Development Studies

The Honours in Development Studies degree is earned in one year full time and two years part time. The programme consist of four compulsory modules and two elective modules designed to equip students with knowledge and competencies in  theories and research methodologies of development studies, critical social theory and development economics, as well as basic specialisation in a sub-field. The programme prepares students to understand the concept of knowledge application to identify, investigate and assess complex or abstract problems relevant for development studies and beyond. Students are expected to master the ability to apply knowledge in a self-critical manner, as well as to adopt new strategies for on-going learning needs. By the end of programme students are required to develop intermediate research methodology and academic writing skills. Students must be resident in Cape Town for the coursework component. The programme requires passing five modules of which four are compulsory.

The compulsory modules are:

Economics for Development Studies (DVS722/822): In this course students are exposed to key economic debates by discussing theoretical foundations within development economics. The focus is integration of this theoretical grounding with the developmental challenges faced by developing countries in their pursuit of poverty eradication and welfare enhancement. The overarching goal is to present critical past and present development debates, policies and prospects from an Applied Economic perspective.

 

Theories of Social Transformation (DVS721/821)​: This module is concerned with the key debates regarding social and economic transformation. It provides the broader context alongside the Economics for Development Studies  module within which development takes place. 

 

Research Methodology (DVS749/850): Students are provided with both relevant theory and practical guidelines and capacities on various research methods and measurement procedures that enable students to undertake empirical research. This module has a strong practical focus and is of value to researchers, policy makers and NGO staff.

 

Research Project (DVS720): The research paper will be based on the analysis of secondary data and will develop a research problem relevant to a developing country, propose a conceptual framework based on a review of the literature through which this problem can be examined, identify the appropriate data sources, access, collate, interrogate and synthesize these data, demonstrate critical engagement with the conceptual framework and the literature, and report findings from the study, applying the findings to current development policy and practice.

The elective modules are:

Development Management (DVS724/824): The module  is designed to enable students to acquire management skills that can be used to promote development in a range of organizational contexts, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies and private sector firms.  The course is intended to expose students to situations they will encounter in ‘the real world’ and to offer them experience in tasks which they will be required to perform as leaders in development organizations and initiatives.

 

Migration and Development (DVS750): The course is designed in a comprehensive way that equips students with the necessary competences to better understand the relationship between ethical aspects of migration and human rights and to identify important legislative/policy frameworks which affect migration and development policies. The course is also envisioned to expose students to situations they will encounter in ‘the real world’ and to offer them experience in tasks which they will be required to perform as leaders in development organizations and initiatives. Finally, the course aims at providing students with an understanding of theories and practices which animate the debate around on migration and development.

 

Community Development in Theory and Practice (DVS726/826): This course provides students with an overview of community development theories, concepts, approaches and strategies in the context of developing countries. It is intended for students planning careers in public service, either in government or non-governmental organizations. Students planning careers at the state and local level learn to approach community problem solving holistically.

 

Social Policy and Development (DVS726/827)​: Social policies are among the suite of public policy options used to achieve human development. This course evaluates the different approaches to social policy in comparative context. It then sets about exploring the answer to the question: what social policies can governments in developing countries adopt to alleviate poverty.

 

Urban and regional development (DVS723/823): This module introduces students to the theory and practice of contemporary urban and rural transformations. It investigates the political and economic factors that drive urbanisation processes and critically evaluates the implications of these processes for both urban and rural development in South Africa and other developing countries.

 

Structured Masters in Development Studies​ (MDS)

The M.DEV STUDIES (1827) is a two-year full-time programme consisting of a four compulsory and two elective modules. The program emphasizes practical and applied dimensions of policy design and implementation and evaluation. It prepares students to acquire knowledge and develop the skills to engage with, critique and apply current research, policy and practices in development studies. On completion, students are expected to demonstrate a command of the theories and epistemology of development studies and show knowledge of critical social theory and development economics. They must equally develop learning strategies which sustain independent learning and have acquired advanced research methodology and academic writing skills. The programme requires passing six modules of which four are compulsory.

The compulsory modules are:
 

Economics for Development Studies:  In this course students are exposed to key economic debates by discussing the experience of a wide variety of countries.  The focus is on the different economic policy options available to countries, and on the relevance of the developmental experience of other countries for the process of socio-economic transformation in Africa.The overarching goal is to present critical past and present development debates, policies and prospects from an Applied Economic perspective.

Theories of Social Transformation: This module is concerned with the key debates regarding social and economic transformation. It provides the broader context alongside the Comparative Economics module within which development takes place.

Research Methodology: Students are provided with both relevant theory and practical guidelines and capacities on various research methods and measurement procedures that enable students to undertake empirical research. This module has a strong practical focus and is of value to researchers, policy makers and NGO staff. Masters students are provided with training in the use of STATA.

Mini-thesis:  The mini-thesis requires independent study which is used to investigate a development research problem that you have chosen. A research proposal is developed which provides a literature review, design, methodology and analytical framework.  Independent research is conducted using qualitative or quantitative methods, or mixed methods. Data are analysed and recommendations are suggested for development policies.  The mini-thesis is usually 20 000 words in length.

The elective modules are:

Development Management (DVS724/824): The course is designed to enable students to acquire practical management skills in order to promote development effectively in a range of organizational contexts, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, and private sector firms.  The course is intended to expose students to situations they will encounter in ‘the real world’ and to offer them experience in tasks which they will be required to perform as leaders in development organizations and initiatives.

Migration and Development (DVS 861): This course examines the relation between migration and development by firstly reviewing some of the most relevant theories on migration to ensure a better understanding of its conceptual and theoretical overview; secondly it provides a critical analysis of key topics in migration and development including remittances, transnationalism and return migration. Finally, the course aims at providing students with an understanding of theories and practices which animate the debate around on migration and development.

Community Development in Theory and Practice (DVS726/826): This course provides students with an overview of community development theories, concepts, approaches and strategies in the context of developing countries. It is intended for students planning careers in public service, either in government or non-governmental organizations. Students planning careers at the state and local level learn to approach community problem solving holistically.

Social Policy and Development (DVS726/827): Social policies are among the suite of public policy options used to achieve human development. This course evaluates the different approaches to social policy in comparative context. It then sets about exploring the answer to the question: what social policies can governments in developing countries adopt to alleviate poverty.

Poverty and Inequality (DVS 828): This module develops understanding of the extent and nature of poverty and inequality, and provides framework against which different policy options can be identified and assessed.

Urban and Regional Development: To better understand the development challenges faced by governments, this module introduces students to the theory and practice of contemporary urban and rural transformations in South Africa. Furthermore, it investigates the political and economic factors that drive urbanization processes, and critically evaluates the implications of these processes for both urban and rural development in South Africa.  Finally, the module exposes students to case study material that critically investigates why urban and rural development policies and projects in some countries have succeeded, and assesses what lessons, if any, these cases hold for South Africa.

 
One elective can be taken from either the
 
•    Master of Public Administration offered by the School of Government (http://www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/EMS/SOG/Pages/default.aspx)
 
•    M. Phil in Land and Agrarian Studies provided by The Institute for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) (http://www.plaas.org.za),
 
•    Master of Public Health offered School of Public Health (www.uwc.ac.za/Faculties/CHS/soph/Pages/default.aspx)  
 
Masters by Thesis

The Masters by Thesis requires extended independent study which is used to investigate a development research problem that you have chosen. A research proposal is developed which provides a literature review, design, methodology and analytical framework. Independent research is conducted using qualitative or quantitative methods, or mixed methods. Data are analysed and recommendations are suggested for development policies.  The thesis is usually 60 000 words in length. The Masters by thesis does not require that you be resident in Cape Town for the full duration of study, but you should plan to spend at least three months in residence during your studies. 

PhD in Development Studies

The PhD in Development Studies requires significant independent study which results in a unique contribution to knowledge in the field of development studies. This research is used to investigate a development research problem that you have chosen. A research proposal is developed which provides a literature review, design, methodology and analytical framework. Independent research is conducted using qualitative or quantitative methods, or mixed methods. Data are analysed and recommendations are suggested for development policies. The thesis is usually 80 000 words in length. The PhD does not require that you be resident in Cape Town for the full duration of study, but you should plan to spend at least six months in residence during your studies. Please kindly note that different regulations might be relevant for DAAD scholarship holders of the Centre”.





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