Development Studies



Welcome to the homepage of the Department of Development Studies at the St Joseph’s Theological Institute (RF) NPC, Cedara, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This Department was initiated and formally created in June 2010 following the needs assessment results to “Open New Doors of Catholic Higher Education and Training”. The department is the youngest of the three departments at SJTI. It has grown to provide students with the basic knowledge and understanding of:

  • The main concepts and theories in Human and Social Development;
  • The empowerment of communities and societies for Human and Social Development;
  • Enabling students to pursue further studies in disciplinary areas of Human and Social Development;
  • Enabling and pursuing responsible and sustainable work life in Human and Social Development organizations in African communities and societies.


The department offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Human and Social Development programme.


Human and Social Development Study programme

The Department of Development Studies is making a specific academic contribution through two broad disciplinary areas of study:

  1. Human Development – This is a people-centred disciplinary area focusing on enhancing responsible knowledge, religious formation skills and training through modules that cover two key thematic areas:
    • Principles of human development (Emotional and Social Intelligence) providing social, cognitive, emotional and physical development.
    • Community and societal leadership providing management, guidance, direction and creating vision. This is for taking on managerial and leadership position in the parish communities and related communal and societal organising and organisations.
  1. Social Development – This is a change-making disciplinary area focusing on enhancing responsible knowledge, understanding, skills and training for improved livelihoods in communities and society through modules covering seven key thematic areas:
    • Community development.
    • Social advocacy, dialogue, mobilization and communication.
    • Humanitarian, social cohesion and community rebuilding.
    • Social, economic and Environmental justice.
    • Gender justice.
    • Education development.
    • Ancillary health care.


For whom is This Programme?

The Bachelor of Arts in Human and Social Development programme is designed for persons who wish to engage, or who are already engaged, in contexts of the public sector, non-governmental and private institutions as development practitioners. This programme aims to produce graduates who are academically competent to pursue postgraduate studies or to work within the fields of the humanities and social sciences.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human and Social Development is a 3 year NQF level 7 qualification, with a Minimum of 360 Credit component.


Target Group and Viability

Male and female candidates in Africa interested in serving African societies and beyond as community and organization leaders and practitioners for people-centred social change.


Admission Criteria

Applicants must meet the minimum entrance requirements, which are a score of 16 points in the National Senior Certificate, or the equivalent. Thus, to be admitted into the BA degree programme, candidates should have attained:

  1. A National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by Umalusi, Senior Certificate or equivalent (especially for students from outside of South Africa).
  2. The NSC/SC should have a minimum rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50%-59%) or better in four subjects.
  3. The student must have obtained at least 40% in English, which is the medium of instruction in the Institute.
  4. All students must undergo and pass adequately an English proficiency test administered by an expert in TOEFL.
  5. Other considerations assessed through RPL and CAT processes:
    • Advanced Certificate in Human and Social Development (NQF Level 6)
  • Diploma in Development Studies



Programme Duration

The BA programme is offered to students on a minimum duration of three years, i.e., a minimum of six semesters for full-time contact. Students are usually required to attend lectures on a full time basis. Students are offered this programme on a part-time basis. Thus they may be admitted with the necessary adjustments to the programme for a minimum duration of no more than six years, i.e., twelve semesters.


Credit Components

The BA degree programme has minimum credit component of 360 credit points. Students are expected to successfully complete all the modules that are offered and attain this minimum credit component. However, because of the fact that some students do not complete their studies in an unbroken sequence, because others come from institutions where they have done part of their studies, and because the sequence of modules taught at the Institute changes from time to time due to unforeseen circumstances, it is accepted that not all students will be able to take all the possible modules.


Programme Exit Level Outcomes

At the end of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competence in applying the basic knowledge of theoretical principles of human and social development by identifying, problem solving and reflecting on current affairs in the field of development studies.
  • Demonstrate effective knowledge competence by engaging different role players in human and social development discourses and development studies.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate human and social development scenarios and develop meaningful suggestions and advice to the designing and writing of a full development plan in the field of development studies.
  • Organise and coordinate resources and opportunities in the field of development studies by applying the relevant theoretical aspects of human and social development.
  • Practice acceptable social sensitivity with others and work effectively in self-directed human and social development teams by reflecting on and implementing relevant theories of leadership and teamwork in the field of development studies.
  • Make use of appropriate e-World technologies in expanding human and social development attention in the field of development studies.
  • Advocate for and promote responsible local and global citizenship by applying the holistic human and social development approaches in the field of development studies.
  • Merge personal and academic development with employability in the field of development studies.

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