Change the world

Development Studies

No second semester intake



Programme name:

Bachelors of Arts Honours in Development Studies (Qualification Code: 40520)

NQF Level 8: 120 credits

Programme purpose

The programme purpose is to provide candidates with the opportunity to access and acquire contemporary knowledge and develop competences through active engagement with the field of study known as Development Studies and its theories, principles, discourse, practices and policies of promoting integrated and holistic human development.

Programme outcomes

Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of contemporary development theory and the competence to identify, analyse, evaluate and address complex socio-economic development problems, review issues, offer and communicate creative insights, make decisions and use resources accountably and ethically with emphasis on strong community acceptance and ownership.

Admission requirements:

A Bachelor’s Degree or an equivalent NQF Level 7 qualification with a major in Development Studies passed with at least 60%.

Consideration will also be given to applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree or an equivalent NQF Level 7 qualification with a major in one of the following fields:  Anthropology, Geography, Sociology, Environmental Sciences, Economics, Economic History, Public Administration, Political Science, Social Development or Human Settlements. The qualification should be obtained with a cumulative aggregate of at least 60% in the final year of the qualification.

Selection criteria

Because of restrictions in respect of student numbers, candidates will be selected based on the following criteria:

Applicants with a major in Development Studies with a final mark of 60% or more will be given preference and will be selected based on academic performance.

The remainder of qualified applicants will be selected based on the following:

  • Presentation of a 3-page curriculum vitae (CV) that highlights the applicant’s previous engagement in socio-economic development-related activities, nationally, provincially and/or locally;
  • A cover letter of no more than 100 words attached to the above-mentioned CV, motivating why the candidate should be considered for selection to the Bachelor of Arts Honours in Development Studies;
  • Only candidates with demonstrated levels of digital literacy will be considered for admission.

Selection will take place early in December of the year of application and successful candidates will be informed not later than 20 December of that year.


Applicants who do not meet the direct admission requirements as stipulated, but who can demonstrate experiential or work-based learning at an equivalent level (NQF 7) may be considered for RPL provided a proper structured assessment of the prior learning is conducted in terms of the NMU RPL Policy. Such candidates may be required to broaden their knowledge base by enrolling for identified preliminary modules prior to admission or parallel modules after admission.


Except as otherwise provided below, the degree of Bachelor of Arts Honours degree shall be awarded in accordance with the General Rules for Honours Degrees as published in the General Prospectus and the Postgraduate Research Policy.

Duration of Study

The minimum duration for completion of the BA Honours Development Studies is one year of full-time study and two years of part-time study.


Rule G3.7 applies. Students who have not completed the BA Honours Degree in Development Studies after two years of full-time or four years of part-time study must apply for re-admission to the degree. Should such students be readmitted, the retention of credits already obtained towards the qualification shall be subject to departmental approval.

Module Code

Module Name

First Semester 2018

DEV 401

Development Theory

DEV 406

Project Management for Development Practitioners

DEV 408

Selected Issues in Economic Development

DEV 403

Research Methodology

Second Semester 2018

DEV 402

Development Policy

DEV 403

Research Methodology

DEV 414

Local Economic Development

DEV 404

Rural Development Practice


Not all modules may necessarily be offered in a particular year. Please consult the timetable.

Please refer to the Application Procedure page and the link below for application details

Contact information
Dr Samantha Leonard
Tel: 0415041331