The African Centre of Excellence in Agro-ecology and Livelihood Systems (ACALISE), is one of the twenty-four World Bank Centers of Excellence in the ACE II Project. The main objective of ACALISE is to streamline the production of high level, well-motivated and ethically conscious critical mass of Agro-ecology and Livelihood systems experts. It is funded by the World Bank through the Government of Uganda as a regional centre of excellence to collaborate quality postgraduate education as well as applied research to address key development challenges facing the East and Southern Africa and beyond. Uganda Martyrs University, the World Bank Group and the Inter-University Council for East Africa are jointly responsible for overseeing the activities of ACALISE.

ACALISE is hosted by Uganda Martyrs University in the Faculty of Agriculture. Uganda Martyrs University is a leader in Agro-ecological solutions related to climate change and livelihood systems and has trained top-notch Agro-ecologists on the African continent and beyond through its top-rated programmes in Organic Agriculture and Agroecology. ACALISE integrates Ecology into a holistic Agricultural approach with direct benefits to livelihoods in East and Central Africa. It is premised upon a system thinking approach. ACALISE applies a system thinking approach in training Agro-ecology and food systems experts who will work with other stakeholders along the value chains to bring about better livelihoods


Africa in general and East Africa, in particular, is faced with problems of low production and productivity, little or no value addition to the few products but also lack of ethical values in management of a business. These overarching problems have of late been compounded by effects of climate change, all of which have made peoples’ livelihoods a dilemma. It is no doubt therefore that Agricultural research and technology development, which is a component of the agricultural production and productivity enhancement intervention, is fundamental for enhanced agricultural sector growth and performance.

To generate high returns of investment, each link in the production and value chains of agricultural enterprises needs to be accompanied by effective agricultural research and technology generation programs. Well-designed innovation systems with a component of a climate-smart initiative like Agro-ecology and endowed with ethical values will help to generate the desired shift from the present poverty cycle to better livelihoods. This will eventually bring in the aspect of sustainability that has been glaringly lacking in African/small-scale enterprises.

ACALISE Programmes

PhD Programme

Duration: 3 – 5 Years

Who Qualifies

A Prospective student seeking admission to the course leading to award of a PhD shall normally require a Master's Degree in a relevant field from a recognized institution of Higher Learning. In exceptional circumstances, prospective students who hold a First-Class Degree with relevant working experience and appropriate professional qualifications can also be admitted.

Admission to PhD

To be admitted to the PhD programme, a prosoective student is required to submit a preliminary research proposal/ concept note and copies  and copies of published academic work (Dissertations not inclusive).

Aceeptance is dependant upon the prospective students proposal receiving favourable reports.  Once the proposal/ concept is accepted, the prospective student will invited for an interview. If the admission panel deems the prospective students work satisfactory, s/he will be admitted as a PhD student. If the Panel is not satisfied with the proposal/concept, a revised proposal may be submitted within a specified period.

Mode of Delivery

There are two modes of delivery:
  1. By Course Work and Dissertation and
  2. By Research

PhD by Course Work and Dissertation

A Candidate will be expected to follow one year of coursework programmes. After successfully completing the first year, a candidate will undertake research for two years leading to a completed and defended dissertation.

PhD by Research

A prospective student will be admitted as M. Phil Student. M. Phil student will be differentiated to PhD status after a maximum of one year having submitted and successfully defended his/her  research proposal.

Masters Programme

Duration: 2 Years

Admission to Masters Programme

  1. A prospective student seeking admission to a Masters degree must have at least a Second Class (Lower) degree in a relevant field from a recogonised institution of Higher learning.
  2. No prospective student unless under exceptional circumstances will be admitted to the Masters degree  immediately after obtaining a Bachelor's Degree. To be admitted, the prospective student should have had some pratical experience for a period of at least 2 years.
  3. All prospective Masters Students will be required to pass a Graduate Admission Test (GAT) before admission



Full Time (FT) : Ushs 6,600,000 ( USD 3,595) per year
Part Time (PT) : Ushs 5,600,000 ( USD 2,750) per year


Part Time
EAC Nationals: Ushs 3,500,000 per year
Non-EAC Nationals: USD 2,050 per year
Full Time
EAC Nationals: Ushs 6,502,000 per year
Non-EAC Nationals: USD 3,550 per year

Application Procedure

Application forms can be obtained from:

  1. Registrar’s office at the Uganda Martyrs University Main campus (Nkozi)
  2. Kampala office at Uganda Catholic Management and Training Institute (Rubaga)
  3. Uganda Martyrs University Website (www.umu.ac.ug)


International Partners

Local Partners

Associate Partners