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The MSc/MPhil Development Studies Programme was designed to provide students with the range of skills necessary for a career in urban planning. The programme aims at graduates who wants a career in development studies and planning, either in the public or private sector. 

The programme also provided students with the core knowledge, competencies and skills necessary to become a planning and development professional. Currently, the programme has been revised to include more taught courses thus providing graduates with an understanding of the full range of professional skills relevant for practice, as well as specialist competencies.

PDS 551 Development Theories and Strategies

This course is designed to help students analyse the shifting “development” paradigms and policy prescriptions designed to bring about positive change and thereby developing the human potentials. In addition, it seeks to equip students with the skills to evaluate the degrees of success and failures of the development strategies emanating from development thinkers to guide development. Students of the programme will be able to evaluate the applicability of these theories and the associated strategies to developing countries particularly Ghana.

PDS 553 Governance and Development

At the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to analyse and evaluate the shifting nature of the role of the state in development;
  • An ability to analyse theoretical and policy understandings of the role of the state and governance in development;
  • An understanding of the political context in which development policy is formulated and implemented at the national and international level; and
  • An understanding of the various levels of international and national institutions involved in global and national governance.

PDS 555 Project Analysis and Appraisal Methods

The role of projects in the development process. Techniques of project identification and preparation and preparation, feasibility studies, forecasting techniques, choice of technology, scale and location, cost estimation. Financial and commercial appraisal, discounting and investment decision criteria, risk and sensitivity analysis, social and cost benefits analysis, project financing and promotion, Environmental Impact Assessment, Social Impact Assessment, Implementation and Management-network analysis, project monitoring. Ex-post evaluation.

PDS 557 Political Economy of Development

This course is primarily concerned with various issues bothering the interaction between politics, economics as well as society and culture. It deals with current empirical reality, theory, concepts, history and the current governance and policy problems of development, poverty, and inequality. The course introduces participants to a range of contemporary issues in development. It takes a critical and political economy approach to the processes of economic and human development, emphasizing the interaction of politics with the economy, as well as society and culture. The course introduces participants to different strands of development theory and the debates between these different stands. The course focuses upon the way these different theoretical approaches have shaped development relations, processes, institutions, and policies; the trends and assessment of poverty, inequality and development; and the politics of interaction between the developing and developed world. The course will equip students with the skills to appreciate the interactions and the linkages between politics, the economy, society and culture and how these linkages shape development.

PDS 559 Gender and Development

By the end of this semester, students should know the genealogy of gender and development. In addition, students will be exposed to the key analytical concepts in the study of gender and development such as gender, empowerment, patriarchy, identity, public private spheres, feminism, essentialism, informality, reproduction, subjectivities, discourse, governmentality, feminisation of poverty, intersectionality. Students taking this course will know how to locate these concepts in a critical discussion of gender and development in a particular country.

PDS 561 Quantitative Methods

This course is designed to equip students with the basic analytical and statistical skills relevant to the formulation, implementation, management and evaluation of nation and sectoral measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation and regression analysis, estimation of parameters and various computer software like EXCEL, SPSS for comprehensive statistical analysis and the presentation of data and macro-economic model building and design shall be emphasized.

PDS 563 Development Planning Process

The nature of planning, private and public planning, planning by governments. The historical development of national planning. The meaning and basic characteristics of the planning process. Stages of the planning process. Grassroot planning, the concept of participation. The role of the planner, the planning process at the national, regional and district level in Ghana, the role of the planning agencies at the district level. The policy of decentralization of the planning system. Fiscal implications of planning at the different levels of government. The implications of the new planning system for administration.

PDS 550 Planning Surveys and Research Methods

The course exposes students to principles and techniques for conducting scientific research. It assumes that students have basic knowledge in research methods and therefore builds on that foundation. Students are further exposed to some practical issues in research design and management, the emerging challenges of participatory research and the increasing role of computers in the processing and management of data. It covers different types of research, principles of research design, major schools of thought regarding research approaches, determination of data needs and collection methods, analysis and synthesis of data, report writing and preparation of research proposals.

PDS 552 Financing Development

This course studies the roles of finance and financial systems for economic growth in developing countries. Students will be exposed to past experiences in various parts of the world in relation to the relationship between rapid and efficient growth paths and stable financial systems. This course reexamines these experiences systematically in order to acquire deeper insights into the interrelationships between finance and economic development. Students will be equipped with a comprehensive overview of economic development finance practices in the United States and develop a knowledge base and skills to either be a development finance practitioner or apply economic development finance approaches to other fields of planning and community development. 

PDS 554 Development Economics

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with some central themes and issues of economic development
  • Demonstrate the understanding of the difference between growth and development, major growth theories, the measurement of inequality, significance of agriculture in developing countries, poverty and population issues facing the world, international trade, and importance of foreign aid.
  • Analyse empirical evidence on the patterns of economic development
  • Read critically the journal literature in the area of economic development.

PDS 556 Social Policy Analysis

The nature of social policy analysis, the process of analysis in social policy formulation involving the analysis of issues particularly relevant to social policy formulation; Measurement techniques for social policy analysis (income distribution, Lorenz Curve and Gini Coefficient, Real and Money incomes. The problem of international comparisons, the concept of levels of living, the concept of poverty and poverty alleviation strategies. The concept of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness. Employment and under employment. The role of women; women as producers and reproducers. The meaning and use of social indicators, the search for meaningful measures of development, different types of indicators. The Physical Quality of Life Index, the role of social policy division of the NDPC.

PDS 558 Climate Change and Development

This course provides students with an understanding of the science, politics and developmental implications of climate change and disasters, focusing on the perspectives of poor households, communities and developing countries. Students will assess the overlaps between disasters, climate change and poverty, focusing on climate change adaptation and disaster risk-reduction approaches, critically analysing options to reduce negative effects and harness opportunities.  Students will also examine the social, political and economic drivers of vulnerability, considering how policy processes at different scales influence risk management activities and local coping strategies.

PDS 560 Methods of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

This course aims at providing students with the basic understanding of the EIA process as it is used for research, planning, project or program evaluation, monitoring, and regulatory enforcement. It also seeks to introduce students to the legal, economic, social, administrative and technical process of preparing and/or evaluating environmental impact documents. Students will able to relate the uses of scientific research to practical situations in project planning and decision making. Students will be provided with the experience and training in environmental planning and related professions.

PDS 562 Introduction to GIS for Development Policy Planners

This course introduces the concepts and components of a geographic information system (GIS). It also teaches the essential skills of spatial data management, analysis, and visualization using the ArcGIS software package. Upon completion of this course, students will understand the fundamental concepts of a GIS including spatial data models, spatial analysis, and cartographic principles. They will also gain hands-on training in spatial data collection, editing, transformation, and mapping, as well as spatial analysis operations such as location-based query, address geocoding, terrain and watershed analysis, spatial interpolation, best site selection, least cost path delineation, and a number of other GIS modeling techniques. 

PDS 564 Dissertation (MSc Students Only)

This guided research on planning and development issues is aimed at building the capacities of MSc students in carrying out independent research. The students are expected to apply the knowledge acquired in other courses by defining, researching and addressing an issue related in a recognizable framework of development planning theory and practice. The candidate is expected to liaise with staff for direction and subsequently work closely with their thesis supervisors.

PDS 651/652 Thesis (MPhil Students Only)

This guided research on planning and development issues constitutes the core of the Master of Philosophy programmes. It is intended to build the capacities of the students in carrying out advanced and independent research. The students are expected to apply the knowledge acquired in the courses they took in year one by defining, researching and addressing an issue related in a recognizable framework of development planning theory and practice. The candidates are expected to liaise with staff for direction and subsequently work closely with their thesis supervisors.