Development Studies

We are located at the Alice campus, in Henderson Hall, one of the buildings overlooking the historically significant Freedom Square. The Department of Development Studies is principally focused on teaching and training of postgraduate programmes, and research and development support programmes designed to meet the challenges faced by the developing world and southern Africa in particular. The Department is one of the leading departments at the University of Fort Hare, in the Faculty of Management and Commerce, that concentrates on the study of development as a process of socialising development.

The social aspect of development thus does more than a mere focus on economic growth, or an understanding of society as something that marches towards a pre-determined end-goal. Rather, it is grounded in an appreciation of shared values and norms, and the ability to evaluate attempts to improve people’s lives based on this. We understand development as involving policy formulation, local and regional economics, rural development, poverty alleviation and participatory governance.

The Department of Development Studies offers a full range of post-graduate degrees, namely; a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) based on course-work and a research project; a dissertation-based Masters of Commence; and a thesis-based PhD. The department also offers undergraduate courses in undergraduate programmes based in the social sciences.

Our staff are actively involved in research and community engagement and we have a number of national and international links, including the South Africa-Sweden University Forum. In the past few years we have done research commissioned by the Mnquma Municipality, the Water Research Commission, we have trained traditional leaders in the principles of development, we have offered research methodology workshops, and we regularly run postgraduate seminars. Our students are members of a Development Studies Student Society.