Bachelor of Arts in Democracy and Development Studies

Programme Coordinator

Jimmy Tibs Tumwesigye


The programme was began with the realisation that governance is so much central to development in the world today. Many development problems are attributed to “bad Governance” that leads to poor policies and prioritisation of strategies. The programme was therefore designed to make a marked and distinctive link between development and democracy, in which people are in different ways drawn close to deliberate on their own development and to be the same recipients of the benefits of development.

The programme is meant to give an in-depth treatise of democracy and thereafter underscore the nexus between democracy and development. In all its constituent courses, the programme aims to equip the students with the ability to critically assess the competing theories of development and to analyse the content and historical evolution of democracy. The programme will help students to make informed judgements about the positionality of democracy in development and to think about the nature of democracy one would be proposing for a particular context.

Mode of Delivery

The Bachelor of Arts programme in Democracy and Development studies is delivered in the mode of distance learning. This mode is run for four academic years. It was developed to offer first-class quality education especially to democracy and development practitioners, both Ugandan nationals and foreign students. It is distance learning programme and targets students who are already employed mainly in the civil service but had completed at diploma level.

Programme Objectives

1. To train professionals who will have a role to play in the development of their country.
2. To provide a comprehensive education that is not only theoretical but also practical and geared towards employment openings in various professional sectors.
3. To equip students with an all round body of knowledge that opens up a multiplicity of avenues for employment and creativity in bettering life for oneself and for others in our communities.

Entry Requirement

The programme is accessed through the following entry requirement:
i. A candidate must have obtained the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) with six credits of which one credit must be in English; and at least two principle passes in the relevant subjects at A’ Level (Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education) obtained at one sitting.
ii. Diploma Entry: A candidate must have obtained a diploma (at credit/distinction level) in the relevant field from a recognized institution.
Students to be admitted on the DDS programme must have at least two years of practical experience in the field and not directly from A level

DDDS-101 Introduction To Democracy

This course gives a general overview of the development of democracy. It then examines the theories, ideologies and principles of democracy, and some case studies which demonstrate changes in the political systems of a country. It goes on to describe specific components necessary for the building of a functional democracy. These include the principles of democracy, party and no-party system democratic systems, decision making in government and elections.

DDDS-102 Introduction To Development

This course introduces students to the subject of development. It addresses the conceptual issues in development and the evolution of development thinking. It then examines the theories of economic growth, relevance of culture and religion to development, education and development and the human development paradigm and its link to development policy and administration.

DDDS-103 Development Ethics

This module seeks to provide a synoptic overview of the contemporary moral challenge of development and its interpretation from an ethical point of view. It asks and tries to answer the following questions: What should the right goal of development be? What means are acceptable and unacceptable for development? What is ethically/morally responsible for beneficial development? What are the obligations of rich societies to poor ones? How should the burdens and benefits of development be distributed? At the end of this module, a student will be able to answer the above questions and at the same time apply ethical analysis to the development debate and practice.

DDDS1O4 Gender And Development

This module is concerned with gender relations and we aim to show that without gender equality, development will remain a good goal that is beyond our reach. The world has for many years been caught up in a conceptual trap where issues of justice, fairness, human rights, and gender have not come to the fore as human concerns in society and societal relations. Today, gender and gender relations are concepts that have take centre stage in different fora and in the academia. We cannot discuss development today without looking at issues concerning the relations of the male and female gender and how each of these groups are situated in the discussion on national and international development.

Gender equality is a core development issue-a development objective in its own rights. A number of other gender concerns and realities form part of gender studies and gender interventions. Gender and development as a course seeks to pick all the issues that have a bearing on how men and women should stand, on how and to what extend should they take part in the development discourse and benefits to both the male and female gender, are thus calibrated to be in development planning and realization in order to bridge the gender gap in all areas of human life.

DDDS-205 Research Methods and Writing Skills

This course deals with methodology as a research tool which enables one to gather correct information and make correct dissemination–reporting for development purposes. This unit will introduce students to the basic concepts of research, its characteristics, and research ethics. In social research as opposed to other types of research, we are very much interested with the humans and its surrounding environment. We therefore concentrate in the aspects of social issues and try to ‘discover’ why, how and when they happen. At the end of this unit, students are expected to understand what research is.

DDDS206 Youth And Development

Youth is a process through which young adults acquire the cognitive, social and emotional skills and abilities required to navigate life. Culture, gender and socioeconomic class are important influences on building the character and development of the youth. The module recognises that society has changed over the years and one of the significant changes is youth development and the role of the youth in socioeconomic development process. The issues covered in the module include youth leadership, empowerment, employment, migration, health and HIV/AIDS to mention and the students will be introduced to political advocacy and lobbying on issues of concern for youth development.

DDDS-207 Peace and Conflict Management

This course enhances the knowledge of the students in the field of peace and conflict by providing a broad understanding through teaching. The teaching and assessment will also enhance the skills of the students in the field of peace and conflict. This course will also produce positive attitudinal changes towards peace. Therefore, this course will prepare the students to learn more advanced concepts within other relevant courses in the field of peace and conflict. Furthermore, the course will prepare the students to engage in various peace-promoting activities.
The contents of the course cover different aspects of peace and conflict including different types of conflict, conflict analysis, dynamics of conflict, issues relating to natural resources, human rights and humanitarian issues, gender, religion, development, international cooperation, as well as peace-building at different levels. The main goal of the course is to enhance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values relating to conflict and peace; and allow the participants to effectively participate in peace-building at the community, local, national, regional and international levels.
DDDS208 Sustainable Development
We are starting to see that a number of activities that we are currently involved in our pursuit of development are coming with a number of unacceptable effects. Among other such effects is the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, environmental degradation, global warming, and endangering the generations to come after ours. It is after this realisation that concern for sustainability in development is growing. This is what this module tries to address by: explaining the meaning of sustainable development, its background, indicators, justifications, and theories behind.
This module will explain the concept of the environment and role of the environment in development; it will analyze the state of the environment and the various environmental traditions, ethical theories, and attitudes of people towards the environment; it will handle the concept of sustainable development and the various associated theories, values, and strategies, as well as the challenges one is likely to grapple with on the road to sustainable development in a given sector or life. The role of sustainable living (and livelihood) will be emphasized.

BDDS310 Law, Justice, And Constitutionalism

This module explores the link between law, justice and constitutionalism and their impact on ethics and development. It discusses what law essentially is, the sources and functions of laws the relationship between law and morality, the court system and justice in its multifarious. The course is meant to introduce to student the importance of law and also to appreciate the need to have law and justice in society for the co- existence.

The course is also meant to equip students with the skill and knowledge so that they can be in position to solve our day to day legal dilemmas. It is designed to look at a number of conventions and agreements, some of which are international in nature and others municipal. The course is also designed to look at Ugandan laws especially the constitution of Uganda so that students can appreciate the need to have laws and justice and how the laws come about and how they ought to be implemented.

BDDS311 Civil Society And Development

Civil societies engage citizens, Non-Governmental Organisations, and government bodies to work in partnership to improve their communities, foster good governance and development. After a good discourse of the nature and prerequisites of development, the course will duly highlight the link between civil society and development theorization and practice. This course seeks to explore the nature of civil societies in Africa and in Uganda specifically. Students will be presented with the ministrations, and dynamics of civil organizations as non-profit organizations involved in bringing change to communities. Looking at this domain of social activity, the students will be led to discover the strengths of civil organizations and will be helped to look at the nature and engagements of civil society with a critical approach to be able to make constructive contributions to the development endeavors of civil organizations in their respective countries.

BDDS312 Human Rights And Development

The course introduces students to the concepts of human rights and development, as well as key issues, debates and controversies surrounding their interrelatedness in the realization of development outcomes. The course presents the historical context within which human rights have evolved; and also introduces to students the major instruments, international, regional and domestic, designed to protect and promote human rights. The course further presents the understanding of human rights from an African perspective, and also examines the political, legal and institutional framework necessary to make human rights effective in practice. It then examines the political, social and economic constraints that stand in the way to the full realisation of human rights at the global, regional, continental and national levels. Finally, the course presents a strong case for the need of human rights in the development processes.

BDDS313 Public Policy AND Administration

The course intends to bring the learner to a deeper understanding of public policy, and the entire public policy making process; right from the time an issue is conceived as a public problem, to the time when a public policy to solve the problem is implemented and evaluated. The course looks at the conception of public administration from variegated angles and gives a good analysis and critique of the different perspectives to come to the real essence of public policies. The different approaches to be considered are to mention a few; public administration as a phase in the public policymaking cycle, public administration as implementing public interest, public policy as doing collectively what cannot be done individually, public policy as regulation, and public policy as law in action.
The course explores the different theories of public administration with a critical stance.
The course also looks at the role of public administration as well as the public budget in policy implementation. As public administration is applied social science, the course will include some opportunity for learning by doing in which students will engage with the community in looking at the theories forwarded in the course in relation to the reality of policy implications and consequences in the communities.

BDDS314 The State And Human Security

This module delves into security issues from a holistic point of view whereby development is not only equated with the goal of poverty reduction and security with the protection of state sovereignty but a recognition that “development retrogresses if people do not feel secure and lasting security cannot be achieved if people do not see development taking place. The module builds on Amartya Sen’s understanding of development as “freedom from want and freedom from fear.”

BDDS415 Religion And Development

Does religion prevent or advance development? The module answers this question by building the understanding that religion has a strong contribution to both physical and spiritual development of the individuals and society. It focuses on religious institutions, movements, religious practices and faiths to show ways in which religion interacts with and influences political, economic and social development.
The course seeks to highlight the link between religion and development, particularly in the African context. Religion has always been at the core of development since time immemorial. Religion renders human-beings frameworks that determine how they understand the world, and thus religion plays a vital role in creating the basic guidelines and values, that in the end structure the discourses on development and its practice. In many developing countries religion is an important shaper of the political space and decisions. In the different societies, religion plays a big part in forming identity and values that influence human beings in many significant ways in their quest for development. In many respects, religion may be perceived as a positive facilitator of development and in other areas it has been, on the contrary, perceived as an unnecessary deterrent to social change and to development. This important realization will be a point of reflection and discussion in the course. In this course, particular attention will also be paid to the impact of non-African religions on the continent’s development.

BDDS416 Project Planning And Management

This module looks at development in project framework. It also discusses the management concept in development projects. The module also analyses the project cycle and the guidelines to project proposal writing.
Project planning and management course is meant to prepare students to confront the challenges of organization’s project’s success. More often than not, most projects are started but never live to their expectations. This is the very reason why most developing world countries are poor, because they have inadequate knowledge, skills and capacity to organize their activities and resources into meaningful ventures. When they do organize their resources they always fail to manage them, the result is waste of resources and frustrations of implementers.
Therefore, the course will expose students to dynamics of planning and management skills that will foster student’s abilities to think through ideas, which they will later translate into managing development ventures. It is hoped that all students of project planning and management will by the end of the course plan and write an implementable project. The course will take the following into consideration: the emerging challenges that many planners and project managers’ experience, why most project fail, discuss the project development cycle and examine the dynamics of project management and lastly expose students to project write ups and budgeting.

BDDS417 Human Resource Management

Wherever we are, we find ourselves with people and we deal with people. For anyone looking ahead to undertake any responsibility in organisations, communities, and in other grouping, the importance of people and how they relate and interact, and how they perceive and respond to certain situations in a working and organisation environment, will always be important. In all our responsibilities as leaders and members in organisations and communities we find ourselves working with people and through other people to achieve desired goals. The effective management of people, is recognised as challenging and crucial to the success of all organisations. It becomes imperative then, that time and academic space be given to the very important people factor in our day to day living and processes. The course in Human Resource Management sets out to help the learner in recognising the “people” factor in organisations.
If we look for effectiveness and efficiency in our establishments and undertakings in all sorts of businesses and non-business settings, we need to understand that “people matter”. We cannot deem people as just cogs in wheel, or just a pair of hands to squeeze results from. This course will give a new and critical stance to get the balance between people’s interests and our own interests in organisations imprinted in our organisations goals and objectives. The course also seeks to equip students with an ability to think out and forward new approaches to managing people at work places of all calibres.

BDDS418 Indigenous Knowledge And Development

The course on Indigenous Knowledge (IK) is a back-and-forth movement in methodology seeking to discover and clarify in order to appreciate and utilize the great resources embedded in the people’s local understanding and usage of the world around them. It revisits the past in order to study the core values, beliefs and practices associated with the people’s worldviews that can be adapted as a guide to today’s generations. The module equips the student with the skills and capacity to understand the nature of Indigenous Knowledge (IK), identify its uses and the role it could play in the development process of the local and global community. Emphasis is put on African Indigenous Knowledge. The lessons from such studies can benefit everyone, as we look for a more rational and sustainable way to live on this planet in harmony with other fellow beings. Furthermore, in developing countries, where formal education continues to be culturally undemocratic and does not recognize the way the majority of learners communicate, think and learn, IK comes in to reduce on this unfair situation and to advocate for the de-colonization of the school curriculum and pedagogy, through more critical reflection of what schools are actually offering students.

BDDS419 Communication Skills And Advocacy

After a lot of work has been done in development work there remains the task of communicating results, convincing the recipients to see the essence of the account put across, selling a new idea or approach to the community and much more. The success of development processes are clearly pegged on the success of good communication. This Module is intended to develop communicative competence among the students studying development and preparing to work with communities at different levels.
It will explore the language skills relevant for communication as they are crucial for everybody in society. The course will help the students to get acquainted with the different official communication modes to convey messages that must solicit action, debates, discussions or rebuttals. It will also equip the students with the skills and knowledge to construct effective advocacy messages for the promotion and advancement of democracy and development.

DPP 3205 The State And Human Security

This module delves into security issues from a holistic point of view whereby development is not only equated with the goal of poverty reduction and security with the protection of state sovereignty but a recognition that “development retrogresses if people do not feel secure and lasting security cannot be achieved if people do not see development taking place. The module builds on Amartya Sen’s understanding of development as “freedom from want and freedom from fear.”

Bachelors Degree Programme In Democracy And Development Studies

Modules 1 to 8 are the foundational modules for both the Diploma and Bachelors Degree programmes. Upon successfully completing these modules, a student taking a diploma has the option of graduating with a diploma in Democracy and Development Studies by writing the end of diploma programme long essay (by the end of two academic years) on a thematic issue in Development and or Democracy. Alternatively, an enrolled student may submit a research proposal in lieu of the long essay (7500 words) for a BA dissertation in Democracy and Development Studies and be re-admitted to proceed into the BA programme, lasting two more academic years and covering modules 9 to 18 and the writing of the end of programme dissertation.


Module One Annex

Module One
Module Two
Module Three
Module Four