Sign In

Courses

The Institute for Social Development offers four post-graduate programmes.

 i.e. (1) Honours in Development Studies; (2) Structured Masters in Development Studies; (3) Masters by Thesis in Development Studies; and (4) PhD in Development Studies.​

1: Honours in Development Studies​

The Honours in Development Studies programme is usually completed in one academic year (full time study) and must be completed in two years.  Students must be resident in Cape Town for the coursework component. The Honours requires passing five 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.

Research Project: 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 Electives for the Honours Programme are:

Development Management and Planning: The course is designed to enable student to acquire management skills that can be used to promote development in a range of organizational contexts, including NGO’s, government agencies and private sector firms. 

Community Development in Theory and Practice: 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 for Developing Countries: 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 Southern Africa. It then sets about exploring the answer to the question: what social policies can governments in developing countries adopt to alleviate poverty. 

On completion of the Honours degree, you should be able to demonstrate competency in the theories and research methodologies of development studies, critical social theory and development economics, and basic specialisation in one sub-field. You should be able to understand how to apply and adapt this knowledge. You should have developed the ability to apply knowledge of specialised skills to identify, investigate and assess complex or abstract problems relevant for development studies and beyond. You should also be able to apply, in a self-critical manner, learning strategies for on-going learning needs and have developed intermediate research methodology and academic writing skills.

2. Structured Masters in Development Studies​

The structured Masters in Development Studies is usually completed in 18 months (Full time study) and must be completed within three years. Students must be resident in Cape Town for the coursework. The Masters 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.

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 electives for the structured Masters Programme are:

Development Management and Planning: The course is designed to enable student to acquire management skills that can be used to promote development in a range of organizational contexts, including NGO’s, government agencies and private sector firms. 

Community Development in Theory and Practice: 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 for Developing Countries: 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 Planning: 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.

Poverty and Inequality: Poverty reduction and the narrowing of social and economic inequalities are key themes in current debate in development studies. On completion of the course, you should have a detailed understanding of concepts, causes and measures of welfare and poverty (reduction) and a detailed understanding of, be able to critically discuss and to apply relevant economic theories in the field of public economics and development economics to problems related to public finance, development and poverty alleviation.

Social-economic problems and policy: Real-world case studies are an important component in the teaching and learning of development studies. This module makes use of contemporary examples of complex socio-economic situations in which policies are implemented with specific objectives.  Independent study is used to investigate the intention and theories of change being adopted by the policy instrument, and this is compared to alternative policy options.  Identifying and taking account of the unintended consequences of development interventions forms part of the learning for this module.

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)   

On completion of the structured Masters degree in Development Studies, you should be able to demonstrate a command of the theories and epistemology of development studies and show knowledge of critical social theory and development economics. You will have acquired knowledge of at least one sub-field of development studies and should have developed the ability to independently design, implement, analyse and interpret a research project. On the basis of your mini-thesis, you will acquire specialist knowledge to engage with, critique and apply current research, policy and practices in development studies. You should have the ability to develop learning strategies which sustain independent learning and have acquired advanced research methodology and academic writing skills.

3. 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.  

4. 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”. 







UWC Supports Sustainability
© 2013 UWC | Disclaimer | Sign-in

Contact Centre

University of the Western Cape,
Robert Sobukwe Road,
Bellville, 7535,
Republic of South Africa

info@uwc.ac.za | +27 21 959 2911

Location