MS (Development Studies)

MS (Development Studies)

MS in Development Studies is a professional degree aiming to produce development specialists with hands-on-practical knowledge on the emerging development challenges.

The program offers two specializations in very important and globally recognized thematic areas–
(i) Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Management; and
(ii) Livelihood & Sustainable Development.

The program is structured in a way that helps students to acquire the requisite skills and practical knowledge of development sector in systematic manner. In 1st semester, the students will build their theoretical foundation by taking well designed courses along with software applications and put their hands in development workshop. In 2nd Semester, the students will continue to embrace themselves with practical aspects of the program by opting a specialization and undertaking the hands-on-development workshop. In the last semester, the students will get chance to apply the learned development and analytical tools and techniques in real life. They will enroll in a supervised internship program to gain experience in the development sector before formally going into the job markets.

Distinguishing Program Features

Producing development experts in the specialized field

The Program offers the following two specializations to help students equip themselves with their area of interest and meet the industry demand

1. Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management

i. Climate Change from Theory to Practice
ii. Emergency Management and Disaster Risk Reduction
iii. Resilience and Vulnerability Assessment
2. Livelihood & Sustainable Development

i. Participation and Community Mobilization
ii. Cities and Development
iii. Rural Development and Agrarian Change

Students have to opt for one specialization and inform the program manager within two weeks of the start of the 2nd semester.

Enhancing the practical knowledge and skills through actively participating in the Hands-on-Development Workshops

Two courses titled “Hands-on-Development Workshop-I” and “Hands-on-Development Workshop-II” will be offered in the first & second semesters of the program. Under Workshop-I, students will foster expertise in making and managing a development proposal & portfolio along with their financial, operational, and implementation plans. Whereas, Workshop-II will develop expertise among the students in in-depth systematic assessment of development activities.

A resource person will be invited from the development sectors like international development agencies, NGO sector, and public sector organizations for advancing planning, executing, managing, monitoring, and evaluating skills among students through putting hands-on-development understanding, preparing, and evaluating development documents, and handling relevant monitoring and evaluation tools. The resource person will evaluate students’ performance by giving development projects wherein students demonstrate their skills by converting a development idea into practice. At the end of each workshop, the students will be required to present and submit a final activity/project report to the course coordinator for evaluation.

Providing opportunity for gaining field experience – A Supervised Internship Program

In the third semester, a supervised internship program of 03 credit hours will be offered to all students. The objective is to acquaint the students with the practical world and gain experience in the development sector before formally going into the job market. To have a wider and more diversified experience, the students have to spend one semester in four different organizations (for three days per week and a maximum of three weeks in an organization) under the supervision of a faculty member. The placement of students will be recommended and arranged by the department with collaborating partners i.e. International Development Agencies (IDAs), NGO sector, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Public Sector Organizations (PSOs). The students are required to share their learnings with the course supervisor as well as with their classmates after completing the internship in every allocated organization (i.e. three weeks in an organization). In the end, the students will present and submit a final activity/project report to the course supervisor for evaluation.

Offering professional and specialized courses

To equip students with the requisite theoretical knowledge and analytical skills, the students have to enroll in the following core courses:

i. Tools and Techniques in Development
This course enhances students’ analytical skills for analyzing development interventions. It will expose students to various available analytical tools like stakeholder analysis, problem, and situation analysis, developing a logical framework, and monitoring & evaluating the development interventions. It also provides an opportunity to develop influencing and negotiating skills, team working, and building partnerships skills. This course will develop the necessary theoretical understanding for actively participating in the hands-on-development workshops and supervised internship programs offered by the University.

ii. Development Project: Planning, Appraisal & Implementation
This course seeks to orient students about the approaches, strategies, and techniques that are key to development activities It is designed to provide students with the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities that is necessary for planning, appraising and implementing the development initiatives.

iii. Application of GIS & Remote Sensing in Development
This course is designed to give students working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Remote Sensing technologies that are being used in development practice. Through a combination of lectures and hands-on laboratory exercises, students will learn about the variety and structure of spatial data and databases, the principles of raster and vector-based spatial analysis, and how the two can be combined to support development planning and program monitoring, and evaluation. Further study of basic cartographic principles will enable students to prepare maps that effectively communicate the results of spatial data analysis,

iv. Social Policy for Development
Policy analysis requires an understanding of both social issues and the processes by which policy is developed and implemented. This course introduces students to the process of policy formulation and implementation through the lens of social development. It will use a dynamic social problem analysis framework to demonstrate the many ways that social policy can affect positive developments by addressing critical issues of equity, equality, and adequacy. Due to the complex nature of social issues, this course gives particular attention to poverty, inequality, and work and employment. It also emphasizes the gender, demographic, generational, ethnic/race, and class-differentiated nature of social problems.

A flexible program structure to complete the degree with Course Work Stream or Research Based Stream

The program is providing an option to students to complete the degree with Course Work Stream or Research Based Stream. The students who opt for the Research Based Stream need to register in ‘Research Methodologies’ Course. While the students who opt for a Course Work Stream need to register in ‘Application of GIS and Remote Sensing in Development’ Course.

Highly skilled faculty with professional teaching strategy

The faculty in SZABIST University is highly qualified and has vast experience of academic and development sector. In addition, the University is also inviting professionals from the development field for boosting their practical knowledge.
The following teaching strategy is being used in the University:

• Interactive teaching – initiate a debate on a given development issue and discussed various aspects of the issue
• Case studies – prepare and discuss relevant case studies on the topic
• Updated development data and research – support the argument with relevant data and research
• Peer-to-peer learning – engage with peers for debate on current and emerging development issues.
• Seminars – gain knowledge and experience from the development field experts
• Field visits – arrange field visits to look into concrete field projects and programs
• Professional writings – encourage students to write a paper with professional relevance through submission of a term-paper

Career Prospects

The graduated students will have a global reach for pursing his/her career. Having a professional degree with hands-on knowledge and field experience, the student can pursue career in the following Organizations:

  • International Climate Change Organizations (e.g. Climate Action Network, Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, Greenpeace, etc.)
  • International Development Organizations (e.g. World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, FCDO, UNDP, World Food Program, etc.)
  • International Non-Government Organizations (e.g. The Bill & Malinda Gates Foundation, Oxfam International, Care International, Red Cross, etc.)
  • National Non-Government Organizations (e.g. National Rural Support Program, Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, etc.)
  • Federal Government Organizations (e.g. Planning Commission, Federal Ministries/Divisions, National Highway Authority, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, etc.)
  • Provincial Government Organizations (e.g. Planning & Development Departments, Social Welfare Departments, Urban Planning Departments, etc.
  • Local Government Organizations (e.g. Capital Development Authority, Karachi Development Authority, Lahore Development Authority, etc.)
  • Research Organizations (Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, CPEC Center for Excellence, etc.)
  • Self Employment (e.g. Opening up a consultancy firm)
  • Academia
  • Sixteen years of education in a related field with minimum 2nd Division or CGPA 2.00.
  • Candidates will be required to pass the entry test and interview conducted by SZABIST, Islamabad
  • GAT General / HAT relevant / GRE with minimum 50% Marks is mandatory for all MS programs