International Studies are at the heart of understanding and dealing with so many issues that regard relations within and among nations. If you wish to become an agent of change in the social transformation of communities and societies at the local, national, and international levels, or you want to progress to senior roles at either operational, policy or commissioning in your government, a private or public organisation in your country or another country, our International Studies programme will help you develop skills and competences you need to enhance your career prospects.

Next start date

11 March 2019




10 courses offered on a modular basis. Each course runs for eight weeks.

How to apply

Complete our online application form

Fees per course

US$ 200
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Programme overview 

Our International Studies MA, PG Dip and Certificate programmes address the issues of:
  • foreign aid and budget assistance
  • development agencies and NGOs
  • development projects
  • ICT
  • human rights
  • gender
  • environment
  • management and leadership
  • governance
  • conflicts
  • food security
  • migration
  • health
  • refugees
  • education
  • and many other issues that directly link with development and relationships among nations.

Target students

Our International Development programme is for Graduates of Development Studies who wish to specialize in:

  • international development studies
  • international security
  • international human rights
  • those from other relevant disciplines interested in working in international development, security or human rights sectors
  • employees of NGOs, embassies, and/or development, security and human rights organizations, who wish to add international development, security, and human rights skills to their list of core competencies or to advance their academic career.


Entry requirements 

To be eligible to join the programme, you should have completed a Bachelors degree with an honours class (at least 2nd Class Lower). 

You will also be required to pass our online Graduate Admission Test. 

The course is also open to recent graduates with Bachelors degree intending to pursue academic careers to PhD in future.

Nationalities represented
Average years work experience
Average age of our students

Why study with us

You will have an opportunity to study and consult with an international staff made up of leading academics, practitioners and researchers in International Studies from 22 countries.

Our International Studies programme consists of a diverse, international and friendly group of professionals who, together, make a rich social and professional network that allows exchange of broad experiences, knowledge, and practices for you to engage in future for consultancies, career and job opportunities.

Designed with busy people in mind, the programme is delivered 100% online giving you the opportunity to study at the convenience of your home, office or smartphone, saving you the trouble of travelling to the lecture room or even leaving your home country.

The modular nature of the programme and the favourable teaching hours allow you to attend only those courses that you can afford in a year, thus offering you the opportunity to learn while you earn and fitting your studies around your work, family and life commitments, without taking a career break.

Our application process is free of charge. Our fees payment schedule is flexible, allowing you to pay in modular instalments. International students can even pay in local currency.

We have five intakes a year (January, March, May, August and October), thus allowing you to join at your earliest convenience.

We also have opportunities for scholarships and bursaries, as well as partnerships for internship and mentoring with leaders in the relevant industry of interest. 

We have five intakes per year

Programme structure

For Post Graduate Diploma and MA programmes, we offer 10 courses on a modular basis over a 20-month period followed by six months to finalise the dissertation or research paper. Each course runs for eight weeks. Our Postgraduate Certificate consists of 5 modules that last for a period of 12 months only.

This foundational course is intended as an introduction to what is called “development”. The concept of development is not easy to grasp in its entirety. Development is, by its very nature, a multi-dimensional reality that can be discussed from numerous viewpoints. That is why material on development is so wide ranging. Development perspectives can be found in works by political analysts, geographers, human rights activists, economists, ethicists, social scientists, philosophers, and theologians.

Development is about change: change for the better. In order to get to change, countries use all strategies and tools at their command to accelerate this process of change. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are among the powerful tools that nations seek to deploy. Sometimes, the link between ICTs and development goals appears clear; at other times, it seems fuzzy. Yet, across the world, billions of dollars are spent every single year by governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector in ICT projects with the hope and intention of succeeding. Some succeed; some fail. To know the reasons for their success or failure requires an understanding of both ICTs and development

This course concentrates on development theorizing in order to have a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical perspectives that govern development praxis. The course clearly shows the linkage between how theory builds practice, on the one hand, and how practice builds theory, on the other hand.

This course introduces the students to the determinants of health and different approaches to health care delivery aimed at attaining universal health coverage. It shows the students the role of individuals and communities in the prevention of illness and maintenance of their own health.

This course is designed to examine the grounds for, and the possibilities of, an international order based on global justice. The prospect of an international society based on the concept of the rule of law, where every human being — regardless of race, gender, religion, or nationality — is treated with equal care and concern is becoming increasingly promising. While theoretical and practical obstacles are tremendous, the number of individuals and groups committed to the idea of a political order in which human dignity is protected in accordance with fair and just principles that transcend racial, sexual, religious, and national boundaries is on the rise.

This course introduces the students to the science of scarcity and equips them with the understanding of the rationale behind different approaches to allocation of resources by governments. It takes them through different approaches to health financing and concerns about equity in contribution to and access to health care.

This course highlights the nature of the problems women still face in many parts of the world today. Despite the advances made in terms of girl-child literacy, more women than men remain locked in a small local world without the knowledge or skills to improve their lives or the situation of their families. The course also discusses the inter-section between gender and development, together with the strategies recently used to mainstream gender.

The course concentrates on the two important concepts of environment and sustainable development, together with their links. All development endeavours take place in the environment. It is for this reason that being aware of the state of our environment today, the background to such state, as well as the desired state and how to get to it, becomes necessary for sustainable development.

This course equips the students with an understanding of the ethical standpoints behind resource allocation and use, as well as the moral reasons for using resources for their intended purposes. It takes them through an understanding of the different forms of corruption and how to develop their high moral ground and health leaders.

This course equips the students with the philosophical understanding of the scientific inquiry process, research traditions and paradigms, as well as an understanding of the quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods. It equips the students with practical skills in study design, data collection, data analysis and presentation, as well as scientific writing for dissemination.

Certificate students do not do research. These research outputs give the students an opportunity to wrap up their course by studying an issue of their own interest in the community or one that affects their organisation, and to apply the technical investigative and writing skills acquired during the course. MSc students have to defend the dissertation orally online before a panel of experts.  Diploma students do not defend their research papers.

Prof Everd B. Maniple
Vice Chancellor, Virtual University of Uganda

We seek to provide solutions to the perennial problems of quality and access to students who will then contribute to positive development in the society.

How programme is delivered

Courses are delivered via the Moodle e-learning platform, which is user-friendly and does not require extensive computer knowledge. Content is uploaded for the student to read at his/her pace. 

Common spaces are provided for students to interact amongst themselves or do group work under the supervision of the tutors. Lectures are conducted online using the user-friendly Zoom software used internationally by other great universities. 

Our free online library gives access to close to 50 million resources in over 300 publisher databases.  


The tutors and students on the programme are engaged in research projects focusing on:

  • international development issues
  • security
  • human rights.  

Having all the learning materials online to read and then discuss them in the live online classroom makes for a great student learning experience.

Christine Akena

US Embassy, Programme Officer

Meet your head of programme

Dr. Adalbertus Kamanzi

Dr. Adalbertus Kamanzi was born and brought up in Bukoba Town, Tanzania. Having studied Development Studies, Kamanzi developed interest in teaching and researching on development issues, particularly in the area of gender and development discourses.

From 2000 to 2007, Kamanzi completed both his MA and PhD. Since then, Kamanzi has taken up different jobs in his career as academician: he was lecturer at Uganda Martyrs University (Uganda), the University of Dodoma (Tanzania), the Institute of Rural Development Planning (Tanzania), and Visiting Professor at the Virtual University of Uganda, where he is now Director of Programmes. For six years he was Research Fellow at the Institute of Rural Development Planning. He has also been Visiting Research Fellow at the African Studies Center, Leiden.

Bachelors Degree in Ethics and Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi (2000)

Masters of Arts of Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi (2001)

PhD in International Development from the Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (2007)

Post-doc. Qualitative research on the project “An ethnomethodological study on the influence of modernity on the ecosophies of local people”. Project funded by the American Humanities program and University of Legon, Ghana (2010-2011)



Dr Kamanzi teaches several courses at the Virtual University of Uganda: Gender and development; Critical thinking and decision making; Development discourses; International human rights; Research Methodology.

Dr Kamanz have supervised more than 50 MA students and 9 PhD students worldwide. 3 of the PhDs have graduated already and 6 are still working with their thesis.

His research interests focus on:

  1. Development discourses
  2. Gender and development
  3. Adolescent sexuality
  4. Development issues

In conducting research Dr Kamanzi combines qualitative and quantitative approaches to- data collection and analysis, with a good dose of participatory methodologies in collecting data and even analysis.

Dr Kamanzi is founder and member of the Board of the Dodoma Institute of Managing Development, an institute that offers vocational training, conducts social development research, and deals with electronic publishing.

Kamanzi, A. (2007) Our Way. Responding to the Dutch aid in the District Rural Development Program of Bukoba, Tanzania, PhD dissertation presented at Radboud University of Nijmegen: CIDIN

Kamanzi, A. (2001), Rumours of Modernity, Whispers of Postmodernism, Hopes of Post-postmodernism: A search for Sustainable Environmental Rehabilitation, MA dissertation presented at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, Kampala: IEDS

Kamanzi, A. (2000), Development Philosophy or Philosophy of Development? A Millennial Response. Case Study: Haya Culture, BA dissertation presented at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, Kampala: IEDS

Kamanzi, A. (2014), Connectedness in evolution: The discourse of modernity on the ecosophy of the Haya people in Tanzania

Kamanzi, A. (2012), Unequal catch: Gender and fisheries on the Lake Victoria landing sites in Tanzania, Leiden: ASC

Kamanzi, A. Nyankweli, E., and Auma, O (2018), “Governance dynamics of community-based social protection services in Tanzania”. In Awortwi, N. and Walter-Drop, G. (2018). Non-state social protection actors and services in Africa: governance below the state. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge.

Kamanzi, A. and Namabira, J. (2013), “Re-arranging the patriarchal value system through women empowerment. An experience from Tanzania”, forthcoming in Insights into gender equity, equality, and power relations in sub-Saharan Africa, Addis Ababa:

Kamanzi, A. (2012), Women’s Strategies to access Financial Resources in the Men’s economic domain, in Gender Issues Research Report Series no. 25,Addis Ababa: OSSREA

Kamanzi, A. & De Haan, L.J (2010) “Who gets drunk at the bottom of the pyramid, if a bottle of whiskey is tossed at the top? Development Cooperation as Chain of Political Arenas”, in Hoebink, P., ed., (2010) The Netherlands Yearbook on International Cooperation 2009. Assen: Van Gorcum, pp. 119-140.

Kamanzi, A. (2004), “Actor-oriented Approach for ICT Revolution”, in Peter Kanyandago and Levis Mugumya, eds., Celebrating 10 years of Academic Excellence, UMU: ARDC, 2004, pp. 95-111.

Kamanzi, A. et al. (2018). eKichabi: Information Access through Basic Mobile Phones in Rural Tanzania. DOI:

Kamanzi, A, Nyankweli, E., and Msuya S. (2017). Revamping the planning profession: from planners who mis-plan to searching planners. In Managing Development in Africa. Vol. 2 (4), pp. 214-224

Kamanzi, A. (2017). Daily time use: women at a disadvantage for schooling. In Managing Development in Africa. Vol. 2 (4), pp. 284-288

Kamanzi, A. (2017), What influences early labour experiences for young women and men in Tanzania? In Managing Development in Africa Journal. Vol. 2 (3), -p. 211-213.

Kamanzi, A. and Mdendemi, T. (2017). Leadership bottlenecks in Implementing Participatory Development for the Rural Poor: Experiences of Community Participation through Opportunities and Obstacles to Development (O&OD) in Tanzania. In Managing Development in Africa, vol. 2 (1), pp. 77-88.

Mdendemi, T. and Kamanzi, A. (2017). Facilitating community empowerment through Opportunities and Obstacles to Development (O&OD): Is the empowerment process pro-poor? In Managing Development in Africa, vol. 2 (2), pp. 125-136

Mdendemi, T. and Kamanzi, A. (2017). Enhancing local capacity among poor farmers for improved incomes and food security: Lessons learnt from Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) in Dodoma Region. In Managing Development in Africa, vol. 2 (2), pp. 89-105.

Namabira, J. and Kamanzi, A. (2017). All happy, but youths unhappier than adults. A qualitative study among selected rural and urban communities in Tanzania. In Managing Development in Africa. Vol. 2 (3), pp. 192-207

Msuya, S. and Kamanzi, A. (2017). Sanitation in practice: an experience of traditional pit latrine use in Tanzania. In Managing Development in Africa. Vol. 2 (2), pp. 137-159.

Rehema, T. M, Mdendemi, T. and Kamanzi, A. (2017). Embracing urban livestock keeping in Tanzania: Exploring the institutional framework. In Managing Development in Africa, vol. 2 (3), pp. 159-172.

Kamanzi, A. (2017) “Discursive elements and Organising practices: evidence in the practice of conservation agriculture among cotton growers in Tanzania”, in Managing Development in Africa Journal, vol.1, pp. 1-25.

Kamanzi, A. (2016) Discursive elements and Organising practices: Evidence from Conservation agriculture Tanzania. In Managing Development in Africa, vol. 1 (1), pp. 1-30.

Kamanzi, A. and Buberwa D.K., (2016) “Exclusion of women in migration studies” in the Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (IJIR), 2, issue 2. The article can be found at

Kamanzi, A. and Namabira, J. (2015) “Case for a Transformational Paradigm in Addressing False Gender Consciousness with Specific Reference to Migrants to Islands of Lake Victoria”, in Journal of Development Studies. Vol. 4, pp. 116 – 138

Kamanzi, A. (2013), “Masculinities at Work Everywhere: A Case Study of Gender-Based Violence in Tanzania”. Download it here 

Kamanzi, A. (2011), “Modernity: foundation for universal environmental degradation”, in “Journal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Special Issue: Oral History and Development”, vol. 10 (3), pp. 204 – 213

Kamanzi, A. (2010) “Development Studies for rural development: from the ‘West and the Rest’ Discourse to the “Rests cum West” discourse”, in Journal of Development Studies, Nkozi: UMU Press, vol. 1 (1), pp. 19-35

Kamanzi, A. (2010), “Microfinance for empowerment, but how? An experience from SACCOS beneficiaries in a selected district of Tanzania”, in Journal of Development Studies, Nkozi: UMU Press, vol. 1 (1), pp. 53-71

Kamanzi, A. (2009) “HIV/AIDS shaping people’s livelihoods promotion processes. A case of a highly affected HIV/AIDS village”, in Health Policy and Development, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 141-147

Kamanzi, A. (2009) “Stopping female genital mutilation (FGM) in a clash of titanic discourses”, in Journal of health Policy and Development, 7(2) pp. 82-90

Kamanzi, A. (2009), “Victor victim and victim victor”! Speaking the languages in the era of the discontents of globalization”, in Journal of Social Sciences, Dodoma: UDOM

Kamanzi, A. & N Ishengoma, (2009), “Revival of shame: a way to create pro-people role models as opposed to decisively anti-people role models for the youths, in Journal of Education and Development, Dodoma: UDOM

Kamanzi, A. (2008), “The Crazy Gods of Tanzania. From ‘Opposition Politics’ to ‘Harmonious Politics’: Lessons for Africa”, in Journal of Science and Sustainable Development, vol 1 (1), pp. 40-49

Kamanzi, A. (2008), “Evolution of HIV/AIDS discourse among the Haya on Ten landing sites in the Western Shores of Lake Victoria: Need for a Shift from a Biomedical Discourse to a Meaningful Life Discourse”, in Journal of health Policy and Development, vol. 6 (3), pp. 85-91.

Kamanzi, A. and Damens, J. (2016), The Role of African Academic Institutions in Promoting Open Access in Africa: Obstacles and Opportunities, Dakar: Senegal

Kamanzi, A. (2013) “More strategies needed to combat “Men goal keeping”, Adis Ababa 8th t0 11th December 2013.

Kamanzi, A. (2010) “Farmers manipulating the elite: right, wrong, reasonable?”, in Cristovao A. & A. Koutsouris, Innovation and Change facilitation for rural development, 9th European IFSA Symposium, 4th to 7th July, 2010, Vienna Austria), pp. 33-42.

Memberships and recognitions