Master in Development Studies

Master in Development Studies

2 years

The Development Studies Graduate Program (MDevs) at Kathmandu University is a comprehensive Master's level program designed to address the increasing intricacies of development initiatives.

Fee (Tentative)NPR 400,000

The Master's in Development Studies (MDEVS) program at Kathmandu University aims to meet the growing complexity of development discourses and activities.

  • Students will have further developed their skills after completing their Master's degree in DEVS.
  • Knowledge, skills, and understanding of current high-priority national and global development issues, as well as the underlying debate,
  • Basic technical skills for conducting effective research and analysis in various areas of development,
  • Capability to communicate and debate development issues with professionals and academics
  • Foundations for future research in related fields.


Salient Features


The curriculum of the DEVS program aims at imparting both theoretical knowledge and practical exposure to various issues. The major methods used will comprise classroom lectures, case study analyses, field surveys, seminars, community internships, results discussions, and presentations. The program emphasizes students’ active participation and involvement in the learning process wherein the instructors (faculty members) would mainly be playing the role of facilitator.

Duration and Credit Hours

The Master in Development Studies (MDEVS) is a two-year programme of four semesters. Students will have to complete altogether 48 credit hours of courses to successfully graduate from the programme  A three credit hour course requires 48 contact hours.

In the fourth semester, the students will have the following two options:

Option A: The first option is to write a dissertation of 9 credit hours under the regular supervision of an assigned supervisor. Each student will be assigned a supervisor only after the successful defence of her/his dissertation proposal. The students will have to submit the final dissertation to the department at the end of the two year programme.

Option B: The students who choose this option will have to take courses of 6 credit hours that include Community internship (3 credit hours) and independent study (3 credit hours).

If a student is not able to complete the program during the two- year period, he/she will have to pay additional fees as per the KU rules.

All students must complete the entire requirement for graduation within five academic years from the date of enrollment into the programme.

Grades and Grading System

Grades shall be assigned to individual students on the basis of instructor’s judgment of the student's scholastic achievement as set forth in Section ii below.

  • Grading System: 

Grades for students shall be reported by the following letters: A, A-, B, B+, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or F. The faculty member (instructor) will determine and execute the specific grading method, including the allocation of suitable weights to the methods. The instructor will explain the overall evaluation system to the students at the beginning of the course.

  • Definition of Grades:

The grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, and F indicate a graduation in quality from Excellent to Failure and are assigned the following grade-point equivalents:

All grading system is based on following rules:

Marks Grade Grade Points
85 and Above A 4.00
80 – 84.9 A- 3.70
75 – 79.9 B+ 3.33
70 – 74.9 B 3.00
65 – 69.9 B- 2.67
60 – 64.9 C+ 2.33
55 – 59.9 C 2.00
50 – 54.9 C- 1.67
45 – 49.9 D 1.00
< 45 F Fail

 The student must maintain an aggregate CGPA of 3.00 or above after completing the required 48 credit hours. If the aggregate CGPA is less than 3.00, the student will have to repeat certain courses until he/she maintains the required CGPA.


Completion of a 3 or 4-year Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2 out of 4.0 or an equivalent of 45 percent marks in the latest degree acquired will be the basic criteria. Also, securing an acceptable label or ranking in the entrance exam will be essential. The entrance exam will test the candidate's language proficiency and analytical abilities.

Admission Criteria

Intake Capacity

The maximum intake capacity for DEVS is 24 students per semester.

Admission Announcement 

Usually the announcement for admissions for DEVS will be made in December every year.

How to Apply 

Applications should be made on an official application form which is available from the office of School of Arts, Kathmandu University. Applicants should submit all relevant documents along with their application. Any inquiry regarding the course should be made at the concerned departments of School of Arts, Kathmandu University.

Job Prospects

The Master in Development Studies program trains students in the understanding of current development issues and exposes them to a comprehensive range of tools and methods for the analysis of real-world development issues.

Graduates can follow careers as development specialists and analysts in a wide variety of development agencies, both in the government and elsewhere.

Curricular Structure

Semester-wise Course Offering

DEVS Subject and Code Number

Credit hour

DEVS 501 Development Concepts and Practices 3
DEVS 502: Human Development Paradigms 3
DEVS 503: Gender, Inclusion, and Ethnicity 3
DEVS 504: Population and Development 3
DEVS 509 Economic Analysis 3
DEVS 511: Introduction to Education for Development 3
DEVS 512: Statistics 3
DEVS 513: Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation 3
DEVS 514: Research Methodology 3
DEVS 515: Macro Economics 3
DEVS 516: Micro Economics 3
DEVS 517: Development Finance 3
DEVS 519: Development Communication 3
DEVS 521: Public Policy 3
DEVS 522: Micro Development Dynamics 3
DEVS 523: Globalization and WTO 3
DEVS 524: Entrepreneurship and Development 3
DEVS 525: Evaluation Methods 3
DEVS 527: Globalization and Livelihood Options of People Living in Poverty 3
DEVS 531: Nepal’s Development Plans and Policies 3
DEVS 532: Nepal’s Economic Diplomacy with China and India 3
DEVS 533: Environment, Health, and Development 3
DEVS 535: Climate Change and Development 3
DEVS 536: Ecosystem Analysis 3
DEVS 539: Management of Development-Induced Displacement and its Impacts 3
DEVS 549: Rural Development & Alternative Energy 3
DEVS 550: State Politics & Development


DEVS 621: Sustainable Urban Development 3
DEVS 622: Social Protection for Development 3
DEVS 623 Localization of Sustainable Development Goals 3
Deliberative Governance Practices 3
Option A:
DEVS 540: Dissertation 9
Option B:
DEVS 541: Community Internship


DEVS 534: Independent Study

Description of Courses

DEVS 501: Development Concepts and Practices 

This is a comprehensive course that covers major issues confronting the developed as well as the developing countries in today’s changing world. There are many issues where there is consensus but there are also many differences that must be openly discussed. It is hoped that the wealth of materials that is available in this vast subject will provide a broad orientation on most of the important issues.

DEVS 502: Human Development Paradigms 

Human development paradigm and its precursors, human capital, ends and means of development; Development as capability expansion; Human development and economic growth, human poverty, gender, good governance, empowerment; Sustainable development concepts, analysis of sustainability and well being of human being and the environment; Other recent propositions in the discussion of development.

DEVS 503: Social Mobilisation and Rural Development: Gender, Inclusion and Ethnicity 

Social Theories, Social Agenda for Development, Social challenges, changing nature of social policies; Understanding the construction of gender, evolution of approaches to gender and development, Gender inequalities feminization of poverty and feminist theories; Ethnicity, inclusion, justice, human rights, religious freedom; Empowerment.

DEVS 504: Population and Development 

The course aims to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the important relationships between population, development and natural resources. The course emphasizes on both global and national trends on population change and its effects on development and natural resource outcomes. This course also deals with how changes on social, economic and natural resources influence fertility, mortality and migration of human populations and how changes in fertility, mortality and migration influence social, economic and natural resources.

DEVS 511: Introduction to Education for Development 

The course will look at the specific challenges and opportunities posed by education in developing countries. It will also help people to understand the tensions between standardised models of ‘modern’ education and the diverse social, economic and cultural contexts in which education takes place. In addition, it aims to examine critically the likely impact of specific policies on target groups of people.

DEVS 512: Statistics 

The objective of the course is to acquaint the students with basic knowledge of probability distributions, variables and their measurements, hypothesis testing and level of significance; descriptive and inferential statistical methods including univariate, bivariate and multivariate techniques such as t-test, z-test, chi-square test, analysis of variance, correlation, bivariate and multiple regression, linear regression and logistic regression.

DEVS 513: Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation 

The objective of the course is to provide in-depth understanding on the concepts and application of project management, monitoring and evaluation. It will deal with issues such as: relationship between macro, meso and micro level project planning; project formulate techniques; aspects of project appraisal and screening in the context of macro and sectoral plans; project implementation, procurement and contract; operation and maintenance plan; and project monitoring and evaluation process.

DEVS 514: Research Methodology 

The objective of this course is to equip students with knowledge and skills on social science research methods with special reference to underdeveloped rural settings. This course covers fundamental concept of research and scientific process, measurement issues and their validity and reliability, sampling techniques, questionnaire designs and interview techniques.

DEVS 515: Macro Economics 

This course aims to familiarize students with the overall economic system and basic concepts of macro economics. This will enable students to understand the interaction of different economic agents on macroeconomic prospective and will help them to link economic decisions with overall economic environment of the economy. The course will focus on growth models and will encompass present economic crisis and its social and financial impact in the livelihood of the people.

DEVS 516: Micro Economics

This course is offered for the students without any background in economics. Hence, care has been taken to make the course simple and interesting. The use of mathematics has been limited to simple but essential to the subject matter. The objective of the course is to provide an introductory knowledge on basic economic concepts: to help students appreciate the importance of economics and its role in development issues and to enable them to understand the functioning of economy in micro level.

DEVS 517: Development Finance 

This course covers issues related with development banking, money supply, inflations, public finance and foreign aid. From macro financial issues to micro finance, development finance has occupied a central place in the planning, management and evaluation of any development program. The complexities and challenges of development finances have increased significantly over the years. Hence it is essential that the students become familiar with the basic concepts, issues and challenges of development finance.

DEVS 519: Development Communication 

This course focuses on the evolution of major theories of development, current problems facing development communicators, and, concrete applications of communication to problems in development. It covers issues such as role of media in development communication, strategies and action plans in development communication, development communication policies, and the role of communication in democratic decentralization.

DEVS 521: Public Policy

Understanding the meaning of Public policy, Rationale for Public Policy, Market failures, Distributional and other goals; Limits to public intervention; Correcting market and government failures; Policy adoption and implementation; Policy analysis, Review of different policy instruments; Review of Public Policies; Case studies from different countries; Ethnography of selected policies.

DEVS 522: Micro Development Dynamics 

Micro level interventions in rural and urban areas are increasing very significantly primarily because of their effectiveness in working with the poor. These interventions include areas such as micro finance, micro enterprises, micro area development, micro contracting, better integration of micro-macro linkages, micro insurance for the poor, micro dynamics of rural households, services as the local level, and so on.

DEVS 523: Globalization and WTO 

Introduction to WTO, Overview, Core mandate and activities, Basic principles and organization; Trade negotiations, Implementation & Development; the Doha Agenda, Different Trade related agreements; Globalization, regionalization and alternatives. 

DEVS 524: Entrepreneurship and Development

This course aims to familiarize the students with the overall concept and meaning of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship development. Importance of social entrepreneurship in the context of underdeveloped country like Nepal will be discussed from various prospective. It will introduce students to the process of new venture creation and to provide them with critical knowledge needed to manage the business once it is formed and finally help them to create a business plan.

DEVS 525: Project Evaluation 

Project Evaluation is a step-by-step process of collecting, recording and organizing information about project results, including short-term outputs (immediate results of activities, or project deliverables), and immediate and longer-term project outcomes (changes in behaviour, practice or policy resulting from the project). This course covers the process of using social science research methods needed for project evaluation.

DEVS 527: Globalisation and Livelihood Options of People living in Poverty (GLOPP)

Globalisation and Livelihood Options of People Living in Poverty (GLOPP) is an e-course, developed under the patronage of Swiss Virtual Campus (SVC), and designed to enhance the teaching quality in geography, sociology, architecture, urbanism and political sciences in the field of development studies and similar degree coursed at university level. The course thematically focuses on poor people’s livelihoods and contributions to the improvement of their situation.

DEVS 531: Nepal’s Development Plans and Policies

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the development approaches, practices and policies in Nepal. It will review the changes in development approaches, overall macroeconomic performance, sectoral development performance, regional and rural development. It will critically review the role of aid, trade and planning in Nepal.

DEVS 532: Nepal’s Economic Diplomacy with China and India 

The objective of this course is to discuss the opportunities for the private sector of Nepal provided by the rapidly growing economies of India and China. The course will include a review of present and future economic and trade treaties and relationships with these two countries and discuss how Nepal can benefit from their growing economies.

DEVS 533: Environment, Health and Development 

The course will address the interlocking nature of environment, health and development.  Broadly, the course covers pertinent issues in: health, environment and sustainable development; environmental quality and differential impact on different sub-groups of population global issues; technical/political management, actions and interventions; current interdisciplinary research focus and identification of knowledge gaps in national context.

DEVS 541: Community Internship 

Development Internship is a structured supervised educational course that provides students a practical experience working in selected development settings. This course is designed to enable students both to demonstrate and to enhance their development knowledge and skills through placement experience and project work.

Students have to find a suitable community and undertake a specific approved project. Students are also required to attend a number of workshops, and at least one workshop during the course of the internship in which they will discuss their experiences with relevant teaching faculties and fellow students and outline their reports

An internship coordinator will be assigned to the students. Students will be informed about their responsibilities before the start of the internship and given necessary orientation.