Master Of Social Science In Development Studies

About the Programme

The Master of Social Science in Development Studies will offer solid and balanced expertise in the study of development in Africa. It is targeted at those wishing to start or continue their professional careers in development or to pursue their studies at PhD level. With Africa as its main area of focus, the programme is designed with four specific aims in mind:

  1. To offer high quality advanced academic training in development studies grounded in Africa’s historical context,experiences and aspirations.
  2. To equip students with critical analytical skills so that they can understand the relationship and gaps between development theory and practice by questioning why development has been a failure in Africa.
  3. To offer critical examination of theoretical and conceptual knowledge and the way this has been applied to practical issues of development and social change in Africa.
  4. To developand nurture critical skills in development research methodology.

It is also desired that through this programme, students develop, reinforce, and value such basic learning skills as self-discipline, as applied to study habits, meeting deadlines, and completing assignments timeously as well as independent and critical thinking.

Entry requirements:

A good first degree (at least a 2.2 division)in an appropriate discipline in the humanities and social sciences (for example sociology, anthropology, development studies, gender studies, psychology, economics, administration or political science).

Year One Semester One

  1. MDS 501 Current Theories and Paradigms in Development Studies
  2. MDS 503 The Political Economy of African Development
  3. MDS 505 Ethics and Principles of Development
  4. MDS 507 Critical Social Policy in African Development
  5. MDS 508 Urbanization and Citizen Struggles in Contemporary Africa
  6. MDS 511 Critical Issues in African Development and the International Economy
  7. MDS 514 Advanced Studies in Culture, Politics and Development in Africa
Total Credit Hours: 12 hrs

Year One Semester Two

  1. MDS 502 Advanced Research Methods
  2. MDS 504 Critical Gender and Development Studies in Africa
  3. MDS 506 Current Discourses and Practices in Development Studies
  4. MDS 509 Mobilities: Perspectives on Development, Forced and Voluntary Migration in Africa
  5. MDS 510 Civil Societies, Non-Governmental Organisations and Development in Africa
Total Credit Hours: 12 hrs

Year Two Semester One

  1. Internship (6 credit hours)

Year Two Semester Two

In the final semester of the programme students will be primarily engaged with their research and writing up their dissertations. Whilst the dissertation will be submitted in year two, students are expected to begin planning for their individual research at the outset of the programme.
All students will be assigned faculty advisors for individual supervision in their dissertation research. Students must defend their proposals before a Faculty select committee, which will approve of the proposal. The Faculty will organise this defence in consultation with the supervisors concerned. All research proposals must then be formally cleared by Africa University Research Ethics Committee (AURec).

Career and Job Opportunities