How to apply

How to Apply

The Masters in Development Studies is designed for those planning a career in the field of economic and social development as policy-makers, activists, administrators, developers, researchers or teachers at universities.

The SA-German Centre for Development Research offers generous two year DAAD merit scholarships for Masters degrees in Development Studies at the ISD (Institute for Social Development), School of Government, University of the Western Cape in Cape Town.

The Call for applications for the intake 2022 expired.

There will be no Call for the intake 2023 in 2022!

The online application form can be accessed below (see application procedure)! Please read this website carefully and especially start preparing the necessary documents as explained below.

Please understand that we don't have the capacity to answer those questions via email, that can be answered by reading the Call text on the Website carefully. So please refer first to the information given in the "How to apply sections" of each Programme, before asking questions via email.


SambuTestimonial by M Dev Studies Student Winnie Sambu, Kenya "My experience with ISD has been exciting and fulfilling thus far. I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with classmates and staff from all over Africa and other parts of the world. In addition, I have been able to participate in activities outside the University that have not only provided me with the opportunity to learn, but has also been exhilarating. Early in the year, we went to the township of Khayelitsha to visit on-going projects and I was particularly impressed with the things that were being done to develop the community there. It certainly provided me with the chance to see how I could apply what I was learning in class to community development initiatives.

More recently, my classmates and I went on a wine- tasting adventure in Stellenbosch organized by the Institute. Cape Town is renowned for its famous wine farms, and I was pretty excited to have an opportunity to visit one. The trip was wonderful and gave me the chance to understand the entire wine making process and provided me with a great opportunity to appreciate the magnificent and beautiful landscapes of Stellenbosch."


  • Applicants should be from Sub-Sahara Africa
  • Applicants should have an outstanding academic record - at least 70% average for your last degree
  • The study must have been completed at an internationally recognised university
  • The previous degree should have been an academic discipline which is related to Developement Studies
  • South African students are required to have an honours degree in order to be admitted to a Masters degree course. Ohter students need the equivalent of a 4 year undergraduate degree.
  • Applicants must provide evidence of proficiency in English, both written and spoken. This can be TOEFL test or a similar standard test or a letter from an academic institution
  • Work and/or voluntary experience in your field of interest would be a recommendation
  • There is no formal age restriction, but applicants should apply within six years of completing their previous degree, unless they have a good reason for having been academically inactive for a period
  • Women are encouraged to apply
  • South African students are encouraged to apply
  • Applicants must be able to study fulltime at the UWC for the required period.
  • Candidates for the MA and M Econ in Development Studies as well as PhD candidates can submit their scholarship application without needing to apply for admission at UWC. If they are awarded a scholarship, or if they intend to finance themselves, they may apply for admission through the online application procedure (

MaranguTestimonial by M Dev Studies Student Joyce Marangu, Kenya "Being a DAAD scholar in the Institute for Social Development is an extremely enriching experience. The programme has brought together outstanding scholars from across the globe, presenting a unique opportunity to learn together as well as from each other. Excellent opportunities continue to be offered under the scholarship programme of which the double degree option with the University of Bochum in Germany stands out as one great opportunity for students to acquire extensive knowledge and develop a broader outlook. Additional courses which benefit the students immensely are also organised through the DAAD scholarship programme, most notably the Experimental Research for Social Science course offered in April 2012.

As a DAAD scholar, I have had the opportunity to participate in various events. Key among them has been the DAAD Alumni Conference and the Europe Education Fair which has helped develop my organisational skills and presented great networking opportunities thereby complementing the academic aspect."

Application procedure:

You have to fill in an electronic application form, which is only availabe during an open Call. The e-form can only be submitted ONCE, so please make sure that your application is complete before submitting it!!!

When using the e-form, you will have to upload the following documents, so please prepare them before you fill in the form:

1 Write critical notes on how inequality can be measured. What do you regard as the causes of inequality in your country?

2 What are the prospects for a successful Developmental State model in any African country of your choice?

3 What do you see as the root causes of migration? How can these be addressed?


Of course we screen all essays with an anti-plagiarism software and in case that an essay is only copy pasted from available literature the application is not eligible!!!

Please prepare as well

  • A certified copy of your identification document
  • A certified copy of your matric certificate
  • Certificates and transcripts that are in another language other than English or Afrikaans must be submitted together with an English translation thereof that has been certified by a Public Notary
  • Any other documentation which may be required for admission to a specific programme

Application Deadline for the intake 2022:


Communication of selection outcome:

Applicants will be notified about the selection outcome until end of august.

Tuition, registration and other costs:

  • Tuition and Registration fees are covered by the Scholarship.
  • A list of tuition fees is available from the UWC website.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held about 6-8 weeks after the espiration of the application deadline, either face-to-face or telephonically or via Skype. Please ensure that you will be available during this period if contacted for an interview.

Contact Details UWC:

Belinda Du Plessis
School of Government, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road
Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535
Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
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