You're here Skip Navigation LinksHome

Welcome to Development Studies & Population Studies

Development Studies and Population Studies aim to be world leaders in the study of the political economy of development and demography, and in the pursuit through research, training and activism of social and economic justice, both locally and globally.

What is Development Studies?

Development Studies addresses key economic, political and social concerns - inequality and poverty, uneven or inadequate economic growth, maldistribution of resources and institutional failures. Development Studies critically examines the role and efficacy of state policies, and interventions by other social actors, in addressing these problems. The field of Development Studies focuses especially, but not exclusively on these concerns, as they apply to developing countries.

What is Population Studies?

 Population Studies is a broad social science discipline concerned with the study of human populations in relation to their size, composition and geographical distribution, the changes which occur in these over time and the factors associated with these changes. The discipline emphasises the empirical investigation of population processes, including the conceptualisation and measurement of these processes and the study of their determinants and consequences. Population studies is also concerned with the broader nature of social and economic change, and with the impact of demographic change on the natural environment. The concepts of population studies have an important role to play in understanding of social change. Population Studies is an essential component of many activities, social and market research, physical and environmental use planning, administration, and in particular people-centred development planning.


 


Degrees offered

Specialising in critical, interdisciplinary analysis of development theory, policy and practice, we offer several post-graduate degrees - by coursework and research - with the rigour, flexibility and currency matching any comparable  programme.  Programmes offered are a course-work or dissertation Masters degree in Development Studies or Population Studies. In addition, the School  has a thesis-based PhD programme. For an on the ground glimpse at what it is like to study in our programmes, see our YouTube clip.

With expertise in political economy, political ecology, population studies, social policy and civil society, Population Studies and Development Studies staff are positioned to critically engage in  debates and strategy over development theory and practice, as well to provide critique and alternatives to current orthodoxies. Our orientation to engaging state agencies, NGOs, labour and social movements, business and international  institutions makes us one of the world's strongest educational sites  for development studies, with unprecedented opportunities for the  professional and advocacy training required to engage the world's major problems.


Research

A leading centre for research and teaching on development in South Africa, it  historically holds an international reputation for the quality of its work and the intellectual rigour with which it applies academic skills to policy challenges.

For further information about our research, see research themes and Centre for Civil Society

 


History

Our antecendents date to the Institute for Social Research established in 1954. In 2004 we celebrated our 50th anniversary by hosting a major international conference on South African development challenges.

As part of a larger re-organization of academic schools in 2012, the then ‘School of Development Studies’ was incorporated into the School of Built Environment and Development Studies together with the schools of Community Development, Architecture Planning and Housing.

A large percentage of the reports produced here, including  the most recent publications series (Research reports and Working Papers)  is available online at British Library of Development Studies Digital Library http://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/123456789/1662 These can be downloaded at no charge under  a Creative Commons License.

Applications for Masters in Population Studies and Masters in Development Studies for 2017 are still OPEN!

  News
  • Durban Firm Survey Research results discussed

    Mr Glen Robbins and Dr Myriam Velia.

    [02 Jun, 2016] UKZN academics Dr Myriam Velia and Mr Glen Robbins recently reported the research results from their study on manufacturing firms in greater Durban to local business leaders and those who participated in the survey.

    Full story

  • Study on relationship between co-operatives and privately owned businesses in uMgungundlovu

    Dr Andrew Okem.

    [28/Apr/2016] A UKZN researcher recently presented his work investigating the networking activities or the lack of them between co-operatives and privately owned businesses in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Full story

  • UKZN academic addresses conference on social protection for informal workers

    Professor Frances Lund.

    [28/Apr/2016] Professor Frances Lund of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies addressed the topic of extending social protection to informal workers when she spoke at the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) World Labour Congress and Labour Conference in Cape Town.

    Full story

  • Master’s graduate focuses on homelessness

    Ms Mbalenhle Dube graduates with a Master’s Degree in Population Studies

    [11/Apr/2016] Homelessness was the focus of Ms Mbalenhle Dube’s Master’s Degree in Population Studies.

    Full story

  • Nutrition for HIV/AIDS sufferers in Zimbabwe central to graduate’s research

    Ms Nobuhle Moyo.

    [11/Apr/2016] Research on nutrition for people living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe led to Ms Nobuhle Moyo graduating with a Master’s degree in Development Studies.

    Full story

  • Women’s use of skin bleaching creams examined

    Ms Ayanda Tshabalala.

    [11/Apr/2016] ‘As a young black woman, I’ve always seen education as the key to empowerment and independence.’

    Full story

  • Public employment programmes discussed at Seminar

    Public employment programmes discussed at Seminar

    [31-Mar] A paper titled: Public Employment Programmes: A Comparative Analysis of their Impact on Socio-Economic Welfare of Households and Individuals in Argentina, India and South Africa, was presented by an Associate Professor in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, Professor Oliver Mtapuri, as part of the School’s seminar series.

    Full story

  • Assessments of life expectancy among Durban youth discussed at seminar

    Assessments of life expectancy among Durban youth discussed at seminar

    [31-Mar] The relationship between hope and subjective assessments of life expectancy among a group of young people in Durban were discussed during a public seminar by micro-economist, Dr Gerard Boyce.

    Full story

  • Assessments of life expectancy among Durban youth discussed at seminar

    Assessments of life expectancy among Durban youth discussed at seminar

    [24-Mar] The relationship between hope and subjective assessments of life expectancy among a group of young people in Durban were discussed during a public seminar by micro-economist, Dr Gerard Boyce.

    Full story

  Events
  • Open Day

    07 May 2016 Pietermaritzburg Campus College
  • Open Day

    14 May 2016 Westville Campus College
  • JL Dube Lecture

    15 Sep 2016 Pietermaritzburg Campus College

Contact Webmaster | View the Promotion of Access to Information Act | View our Privacy Policy
© University of KwaZulu-Natal: All Rights Reserved