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We currently offers two course-work Masters Degrees, in Development Studies and Population Studies, as well as a research-based PhD programme, and a research-based Masters programme. Full-time or part-time study is catered for but no distance learning is offered.

Students are offered the opportunity to study development in a world class School in a developing country setting. This enables them to match what they learn in the classroom with what they experience on the ground. The School welcomes mature international students  and students from the rest of Africa with different experiences of the world since they add another dimension to discussions. 

Our students have varied experience, some are already working in the development field while others have recently completed a relevant degree. Studying in this discipline provides an opportunity to share your experiences with an interesting group of students who have a wide range of skills and knowledge.

Population Studies and Development Studies on YouTube

To find out what Students and Staff have to say about the Masters programmes in Development Studies and Population Studies watch our YouTube clip.

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.
International experience shows that studying development problems, and devising appropriate policies to overcome them, requires marshalling knowledge across disciplines and creating an interdisciplinary ethos. The post-graduate programme in Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban, adopts such an interdisciplinary approach, embodying a wide range of development and policy related skills. The curriculum incorporates problem-solving and management skills as well as critical analysis.
Our post graduate programme is a comparative one that does not pertain only to South Africa. Comparative international problems and policies are dealt with, equipping students with the ability and skills to operate on an international level. We combine teaching and research with a strong focus on Development Research, and is regarded as the premier development institution in South Africa. Students study in a developing centre with a world class infrastructure. Our senior researchers are not only regarded as experts and specialists in their fields in this country, but have extensive regional and international links. Research collaboration is conducted at a global level.
To read further see: Padayachee, V. Development Issues for the Future: A South African Perspective. European Journal of Development Research 21(1) February, 2009, 15-20.

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.

Career Opportunities:

Our students go on to work in a wide variety of situations - in South Africa, and internationally. Some work for local NGOs, research institutes or local and national government, others for international NGO's or government think-tanks. A proportion go on to study further, locally and abroad.

Population Studies

Employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of professional settings. Employers include national and local government, universities, non-governmental organisations and private consulting firms. Graduates work in public sector areas such as census taking, educational planning, labour market analysis, health administration, immigration, urban planning, and social policy. The organizations in South Africa that employ our students include:

  • Statistics South Africa
  • Human Sciences Research Council
  • MatCH
  • National & Provincial Population Units
  • Medical Research Council
  • Municipalities
  • National and international NGOs

Development Studies

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