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Master of Development Policy and Practice

The closing date for the Master's in Development Policy and Practice for the 2021 academic year is on Sunday, 15 November 2020


The degree is offered part-time

Entrance requirements:  

Applications are invited from candidates with an NQF level 8 qualification from a wide range of disciplines who wish to develop specialised knowledge in Development Policy and Practice. Candidates must have at least five years’ professional experience, preferably in the public sector. 

Programme description:

Graduates of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance Master’s programme will have an enhanced professional and leadership capability, underpinned by an integrated, well-rounded understanding of the challenges of development policy and practice, and of the need for evidence-based research to inform policy design and implementation, grounded in applied research methodologies.  This will prepare them to lead in the public sector in a way which:

• Takes an holistic view of development challenges, especially in the African context, based on specialist knowledge which enables them to address these complex challenges both systematically and creatively and understand the consequences of their problem solving;
• Is based on a command of relevant methods, techniques, processes and technologies which facilitate enquiry and the making of sound judgements in specialised contexts;
• Is anchored in cutting edge comparative global knowledge and experience, as well as exploring African continental knowledge and experience, enabling graduates to critically evaluate current and historical knowledge and identify appropriate methodologies for enquiry and action;
• Recognises the difficult ‘balancing acts’ associated with development policy formulation and implementation (e.g. difficult technical and ethical choices,  and balancing the needs and demands of competing stakeholders in particular contexts) and directly addresses these in policy formulation and implementation, and develops significant insights;
• Enables them to design, implement and manage policy processes with a strong focus on communication with a range of audiences and the engagement of relevant stakeholders;
• Develop their competencies as motivated, self-regulated, lifelong learners in today’s technological age, who can devise their own learning strategies for sustained, independent learning, in both formal and informal learning contexts, for academic or professional development.

Prescribed curriculum structure:

The degree is offered on a part-time basis over a two-year period. Each semester will commence with a two-week intensive period in residence in Cape Town, followed by interactive distance learning, organised around practical problems from participants’ workplaces.


Code Course
GPP5001F Strategic Policy Making for Development: Analysis & Practices
GPP5002S Policy Implementation & the Regulation of Markets
GPP5003W Leadership I
GPP5004W Topics in Development Policy
GPP5006S Research Design and Methods
GPP5007F Leadership II
GPP5008W Issues in Economics development in Africa
GPP5009S Research Design and Proposal Development
GPP5010S Research Project

Further specific administrative requirements:

Applications should be submitted by 30 September of the preceding year.

Who to contact:

Postgraduate Programme Coordinator:
Ms Zikhona Sikota (Contact: zikhona.sikota@uct.ac.za)