Change the world

Development Studies




MODULE CODE:         MODULE NAME:                         CREDITS: 

DEVE 500                     MA (Development Studies)                    180


The General Rules for Masters reseach degrees shall apply.
Refer also the relevant pages of the General Prospectus.


Admission requirements


  • A cognate honours degree, postgraduate diploma, 480-credit bachelor’s degree or an equivalent qualification at NQF Exit Level 8, with all major modules passed with at least 60% or attained at an equivalent grade and level.
  • Included in the above will be a level appropriate externally examined and/or moderated research project, mini-dissertation or treatise of at least 8,000 to 10,000 words and a module in research methods/ methodology, each passed with at least 60% or attained at an equivalent grade and level. 
  • Candidates considered for admission on the strength of a qualification that does not include a module in research methods/methodology and a research project, mini-dissertation or treatise of at least 8,000 – 10,000 words will be required to complete and pass such additional modules at the appropriate level, each with at least 60% prior to acceptance for registration for the master’s degree.
  • Students in possession of a cognate Bachelor of Technology degree (BTech) may be admitted with the understanding that additional requirements as a condition for admission may be recommended by the HOD for approval by the RTIC of the relevant School within the Faculty. Such additional requirements may include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Register for and pass, with at least 60% or attain at an equivalent grade, an additional module or modules at the appropriate level;
    • Obtain a further 120-credit qualification at the appropriate level (e.g. a cognate postgraduate diploma or an honours degree);
    • Submit and orally defend a draft research proposal.

Conditions that apply

  1. Timeous application is required to allow for a thorough adjudication of applications.
  2. Applicants, as part of their application, need to present a document outlining the focus and nature of the intended research and their full curriculum vita.
  3. Upon application, candidates, who have not previously studied at Nelson Mandela University, will be required to submit an official, verified transcript of their academic record that, where applicable, includes the syllabus of each module passed in their preceding degree programme together with a copy of the research project, mini-dissertation or treatise.
  4. The acceptance of an application is subject to the availability of the implied supervisory capacity, both in terms of time and expertise.
  5. International students who have completed previous qualifications in a language other than English must submit proof of English language proficiency reflecting minimum adequate scores as follows:

v  IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score with                                          minimums of 6 in each section;

v  TOEFL: 

  • Paper-based (PBT) – 580 minimum overall scorewith minimums of 53 in listening, 52 in reading and 59 in structure/written;
  • Computer-based (CBT): 237 minimum overall score with minimums of 19 in listening, 19 in reading and 25 in structure/written;
  • Internet-based (IBT): 92 minimum overall score with minimums of 18 in listening, 17 in reading, 22 in writing and 22 in speaking.


Duration of the programme

The programme of study shall extend over a minimum period of one year and a maximum period of four years (General Rule G4.2 applies).


The Research Dissertation is a substantial research report of 50 000 words based on primary research conducted by a student with supervision. Research degrees are encouraged, where the field of research is clearly defined, the student wishes to concentrate on a specific research topic, and has demonstrated the ability to do so.

Learning Outcomes

Identify, design and conduct research in a relevant Development Studies area resulting in a research dissertation. 

Core Content

·         Identifying Research Problem/s

·         Research Proposal approved by RTI

·         Research Design and Methodology

·         This knowledge must be generated through rigorous scientific methods

·         Research Dissertation



Formal Examination of the dissertation by promoter/s and a minimum of one external examiner




No prerequisite module required however the student must show some level of research ability from their previous degree.


No prerequisite module required however the student must show some level of research ability from their previous degree.

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


Contact information
Ms Amanda van den Berg
Tel: 27 41 504 4275

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