AB Development Studies Program

Program Title Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies (AB-DSM)
Awarding Institution De La Salle University
Program Accreditation Philippine Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU),
Level III Status

Program Overview

The AB Development Studies program was established in 1995 as the university’s response to the need to help the Philippines achieve total human development. Contributing meaningfully to development requires an insightful understanding of the political economy of development processes and outcomes, as well as the technical skills and appropriate values in formulating and implementing people-centered development programs.

The program consists of four main areas: development theories and models, development administration and management, action-oriented development research, and social mobilization strategies. As a multi-disciplinary field, development studies draws insights from various disciplines, such as political science, economics, public administration, sociology, anthropology, history, management, and community development. With the program’s integrated approach to development studies, students are given the opportunity to harness their potentials in preparation for a development work career in the government, non-government organizations, the private sector, and in research institutions and the academe.

Program Goals and Objectives

In line with the vision-mission of the university and the ELGAs identified by the department, the AB Development Studies program is designed to equip students with the fundamental knowledge, skills, and values that are critical in various careers (whether in the public or private sector) that involve the processes and outcomes of development interventions. This includes careers in government agencies, non-government organizations, private think tanks and research-based institutions, development-oriented organizations, journalism, and even most private profit-oriented organizations. The program likewise prepares students for further studies in the development fields, law, and other related disciplines.

More specifically, the AB Development Studies program is designed to develop key competencies in the following domains:

Domains Competencies
Knowledge domain  
Concepts, theories, and approaches in the study of development
Identification, definition, and application of fundamental concepts, theories, and approaches for the effective analysis of development issues and concerns
Development issues, practices and experiences Presentation of clear nuanced descriptions and explanations of development issues, practices, and experiences that are informed by historical and comparative perspectives

Recent developments in the discipline Discussion of the results of recent research in the following fields in the discipline: (1) political theory and methodology, (2) comparative politics, including Philippine politics and government, (3) public policy and governance, and (4) international relations

Skills domain  
Analytical skills Critical examination and evaluation of various arguments related to the description and explanation of development phenomena, or to various offered prescriptions for development, based on conceptual validity, consistency with empirical data, and contextual appropriateness

Research skills Application of fundamental principles of social science research in gathering and analyzing data for purposes of testing hypotheses, constructing models, and developing theories that contribute to a better understanding of development and underdevelopment

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills Critical examination of problematic issues, including the nature and underlying causes of these real-world problems

Knowledgeable and systematic evaluation of various alternative solutions to these problems, including an examination of which problems require appropriate government solutions, and which are best left for private individuals and groups to address

Leadership skills Formulation of strategic goals and plans to achieve desired results

Motivation and mobilization of individuals and groups in an organized manner to carry out pre-determined goals and objectives

Communication skills Use of precise and purposeful language for the effective presentation – in written, oral or visual forms – of core ideas and arguments, whether in simple political discourse or in the conduct of development campaigns and advocacies

Management and organizational skills Application of fundamental principles of development management for effective planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programs and projects

Effective and efficient handling and performance of multiple tasks, including the ability to meet work deadlines and endure pressure

Teamwork and social skills Participation in and leadership of teams and networks of diverse individuals, cultivating and promoting positive relationships that contribute to the achievement of desired collective goals

Development of strong relationships with individuals and groups coming from different socio-economic and politico-cultural backgrounds, gender, age, and professions

Values domain  
Good governance Commitment to the full expression of the principles of transparency, accountability and participation in all areas of the public domain, and reflective of their possible application in private life

Holistic, people-centered and sustainable development Conscious of the multiple dimensions of development, with a preference for development interventions that lead to concrete improvements in the quality of life of individuals, while preserving and promoting positive human-ecology interactions

Equity Concern for the well-being of multiple stakeholders in an issue, with a preferential obligation to work with and in defense of the interest of the voiceless, the powerless, and the marginalized

Diversity Appreciation for one’s own identity/ies, as well as the unique contributions of others from different faith traditions, socio-economic classes, ethno-linguistic groups, gender, and ideological dispositions

Active participation and critical collaboration Predisposition to an active yet reflective involvement in both formal institutional mechanisms and non-formal collective action efforts geared towards the expression of important political ideals and the resolution of significant public issues

Professionalism and integrity Genuine adherence to ethical principles and practices in professional and personal life

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Expected Learning Outcome

The expected learning outcome for the program is anchored on the Expected Lasallian Graduate Attributes (ELGAs) of the department. By the end of the program, students are expected to be able to write and orally present a Senior Research Paper that demonstrates attainment of the key knowledge, skills, and values competencies identified above.

More specifically, the Senior Research Paper submitted and presented by students should be able to:

  1. Identify a meaningful question relevant to development theory and real-world problems and issues of development;
  2. Provide a clear and well-reasoned response to this question based on a critical examination of data obtained through the effective application of an appropriate and valid research design and research methodologies;
  3. Compare and evaluate this response vis-à-vis the existing literature on themes related to the research question; and
  4. Demonstrate appropriate solutions to any ethical dilemmas encountered in the course of conducting the research project.

Overview of Program Requirements

Following undergraduate program standards of the DLSU College of Liberal Arts, students are required to complete a total of 167 academic units, composed of sixty-three (63) units of CHED-mandated General Education courses, twenty-three (23) units under the Lasallian Core Curriculum, twenty-one (21) units under the CLA Core Curriculum, and sixty (60) units of major degree program courses.

Students must likewise complete ten (10) units of non-academic courses to satisfy all degree program requirements. Non-academic courses include personal effectiveness courses and NSTP-Community Service or ROTC.

Full-time students normally complete the requirements for the degree program in nine (9) trimesters.

The distribution of units for the entire curriculum is as follows:

Courses No. of Units Total Units
1. CHED (A) General Education courses
    Language and Literature
    Mathematics and Natural Sciences
    Humanities and Social Sciences
    Mandated courses

2. Other General Education courses
    Lasallian Core Curriculum
    CLA Core Curriculum

3. Major courses
    Development Theories and Models
    Development Administration and Management
    Action-Oriented Development Research
    Social Mobilization Strategies
    Development Studies electives
    Final Research Project


Total number of academic units 167
4. Non-academic courses 10
Total number of units, academic and non-academic 177

Note: The program follows the Lasallian Core Curriculum for students in the College of Liberal Arts. Students under the double-degree program (LIA-COM) will have a different mix of GE courses. Number of units for major courses remains the same. (Program last updated in February 2012).

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Development Studies Major Courses

The sixty (60) units of development studies major courses consist of thirty-nine (39) units of required courses, fifteen (15) units of elective courses, three (3) units of practicum/on-the-job training, and three (3) units for the final research project. Required courses provide students exposure to multiple dimensions of development studies and development work: development theories and models, development administration and management, action-oriented development research, and social mobilization strategies.

The distribution of courses and units for the major program is as follows:

Major Program Courses No. of Units Total Units
1. Development Theories and Models
     Social Development (SOCDEVT)
     Development Economics (DEVECON)
     Demography (DEMOGRA)
     Philippine Development (PHILDEV)
     International Development (INTDEVT)

2. Development Administration and Management
     Development Management (DEVTMAN)
     Development Finance (DEVFINA)
     Development Planning (PLANDEV)
     Management of Development Projects (MANPROJ)

3. Action-Oriented Development Research
     Methods of Research (DEVMETH)
     Action-Research in Development (ACTREDE)

4. Social Mobilization Strategies
     Development Communication (DEVCOMM)
     Community Development (COMMUDE)

5. Development Studies electives
     Development Studies Elective 1 (DSMELE1)
     Development Studies Elective 2 (DSMELE2)
     Development Studies Elective 3 (DSMELE3)
     Development Studies Elective 4 (DSMELE4)
     Development Studies Elective 5 (DSMELE5)

6. Integration requirements
     Development Studies Practicum (PRCDSM1)
     Development Studies Senior Seminar (SRDEVEL)

Total units for major courses   60

Development Studies Electives

Students take fifteen (15) units of development studies electives throughout their residency in the major program. This large number of elective courses allows students to explore the multiple facets of development from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Elective courses offered vary from year to year, and are intended to cultivate specialized skills in development work (for instance, in monitoring and evaluating programs) or to deepen students’ understandings of significant issues in development (for instance, environmental issues and sustainable development).

Integration Requirements

Aside from the coursework identified above, the AB Development Studies program also consists of two integration requirements, the Development Studies Practicum and the Senior Research Paper in Development Studies.

The Development Studies Practicum aims to bridge students’ academic work and their entry into the workplace by providing a learning experience for students to apply knowledge, skills and values gained in the program in real-world development settings. Students normally undertake the practicum during their final term in the major program. Students are required to render a total of 120 hours of practicum work in a department-approved public or private organization engaged in development work. At the end of the term, students submit a practicum report that critically examines relations between what they learn in the classroom and their actual experiences in real-world settings.

The Senior Research Paper is the culminating integration requirement for undergraduate major students in development studies. In their final year in the major program, students take a series of research methods courses, including the Development Studies Senior Seminar, and work on their Senior Research Projects to produce this final paper. Students are expected to ask meaningful and policy-relevant questions about development. They then carry out independent research using mainstream social science and/or alternative research methodologies to answer these questions. Students are particularly encouraged to use participatory research and action-research strategies. Under the guidance of an assigned Faculty Research Adviser, students go through the process of preparing a research proposal, gathering data, analyzing data, and writing the final research report. Students also present their research findings in a Development Studies Students Conference organized by the department.

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Teaching and Learning Strategies

Department faculty members utilize a variety of strategies to enhance student learning. At the core of these strategies is an inquiry-based approach to the study of development. Based on the substantive concerns in each course, students are encouraged to identify a meaningful question, develop an appropriate and systematic plan of inquiry, and implement this plan – including a thorough review of the relevant literature – in order to develop well-reasoned responses to this question. Repetition of this basic approach in various major courses allows students to become fully prepared to work on their own research projects and eventually produce the Senior Research Paper.

DLSU is fully equipped with advanced technological infrastructure. Faculty members take advantage of this in enhancing the student learning environment inside the classroom. In addition, many faculty members are ably trained to implement blending learning strategies in their courses, thus enabling students to maximize internet-based and other resources in the learning process.

Performance Assessment

Department faculty members evaluate the performance of students in each course using an assessment rubric for the final course output and based on other requirements, such as class participation and examinations, as identified in the respective course syllabi.

At the departmental level, three mechanisms are employed to assess the final performance of students as regards the attainment of the key competencies identified for this program:

  • Students must write and submit a satisfactory practicum report following completion of the 120 required hours of practicum work;
  • Students must plan and implement a micro-scale development intervention, and produce a documentation and evaluation of this intervention using action-research strategies; and
  • Students must submit and orally present a satisfactory Development Studies Senior Research Paper.

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Course Checklist

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Curriculum Map

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Introductory course 1 - Asking meaningful questions
Enabling course 2 - Responding to these questions
Culminating course 3 - Evaluating responses
4 - Addressing ethical dilemmas

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Description of Courses

Development Theories and Models

Social Development (SOCDEVT) 3 units
Comparative analysis of social development theories, with emphasis on their evolution and growth in the Philippine context.
Prerequisite: POLIGOV

Development Economics (DEVECON) 3 units
Comparative analysis of micro and macro theories and models of economic development and their implications to Philippine development.
Prerequisite: POLIGOV

Demography (DEMOGRA) 3 units
Introduces basic concepts, measurements, procedures, and theoretical models of analysis of the size, distribution, and composition of population. Discussion of present and potential population problems.
Prerequisite: STATLIT.

Philippine Development (PHILDEV) 3 units
A study of political, economic and socio-cultural factors and forces that influence Philippine development or underdevelopment.
Prerequisite: POLIGOV

International Development (INTDEVT) 3 units
A comparative study of development perspectives, trends and patterns in developed countries, as well as developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Development Administration and Management

Development Management (DEVTMAN) 3 units
A course on the different processes and strategies in implementing public and non-governmental development programs and projects. This includes discussion on organization development, conflict management and human resource management.

Development Finance (DEVEFIN) 3 units
A study of the fund-sourcing mobilization strategies and administration of government, NGOs and non-profit sector

Development Planning (PLANDEV) 3 units
A course on the different models, processes and strategies of development planning (national, regional, provincial, municipal, barangay, urban and rural development planning). This includes discussion of demographical considerations such as the size, distribution and composition of population, and the implications of population problems to development planning.

Management of Development Projects (MANPROJ) 3 units
Discusses the project cycle, from identification, to monitoring and evaluation of development programs. The course is geared towards skills-building in writing project feasibility studies, project appraisal, and monitoring and evaluation.

Action-Oriented Development Research

Methods of Research (DEVMETH) 3 units
Discusses methodological issues involved in the study of development, the scientific method and the logic of social inquiry. Students will formulate a research proposal as a prerequisite for their senior research paper. Designed to give a comprehensive understanding of the application of various approaches within the discipline, most especially on policy analysis. Acquaints the students with statistical tools of measuring and analyzing activities and situations within the context of development. Pre-requisite: DEMOGRA.

Action Research in Development (ACTREDE) 3 units
An introduction to theories, methods, techniques and research processes. It also discusses methodological issues in the study of development. The students are expected to come up with an action-oriented research addressing major development issues in the country such as poverty-reduction, promotion of social equity, employment, among others.

Social Mobilization Strategies

Development Communication (DEVCOMM) 3 units
Discusses the role of information, education and communication in mobilizing people to participate in the development processes, e.g. planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of development programs and projects. This also includes advocacy strategies and political negotiations skills-building.

Community Development (COMMUDE) 3 units
A course on community-based strategies for development such as community organizing, cooperative-formation, community-based enterprise development and leadership formation. This includes discussion the theories and models of community organizing and development

Integration Courses

Practicum (PRCDSM1) 3 units
The practicum is designed to give students the opportunity to experience and apply area and sector-based development strategies, models and experiences. The course is a reflection of the principle of praxis, or unity of theory and practice – the course integrates learnings from previous courses and seeks to enrich development theory and methodologies through practicum work. Each student is required to undergo 120 hours of practicum work during the term. Groups of three students shall be assigned to select governmental or nongovernmental organizations doing develop work. Each group is required to submit a case study containing the summary of the activities they engaged in during the practicum and an analysis of the contributions/impact of the institutions they were assigned to in the process of development.

Development Studies Senior Seminar (SRDEVEL) 3 units
This is an integrating course for development studies majors who have already taken methods of research with particular focus on policy analysis. Students refine their research papers and present their research findings in a public seminar. The course also provides a venue for students to reflect on their research experiences and to engage in a systematic analysis of the role and function of research in development studies. Prerequisite: DEVMETH.

Development Studies Electives (DSMELE1 up to DSMELE5)

Development Advocacy (DEVADVO) 3 units
Analysis of the different arenas for advocating social reforms and changes and political mapping of key forces in the development process.

Development Issues (DEVISSU) 3 units
This seminar course answers the need for a comprehensive and intensive discussion of selected development issues and concerns at the national and international levels. Special topics will focus on the relationships between poverty and development, population and development, gender and development, among others.

History and Development (HISTDEV) 3 units
This course examines, from a historical perspective, broad concepts and patterns of global and regional development, and explores the possible trajectory of such patterns of development for the near future.

Industrial Development and Social Change (INDUDEV) 3 units
This course takes the historical and institutional perspectives in describing and analyzing the dynamics of the emergence of major Philippine industries. This approach facilitates the identification and examination of the institutions that arose from the interaction between business organizations, the State and other actors that mediate, exploit and contest their relationship. An important goal of the course is to contribute to the study of the relationship between economic enterprises and social transformation.

Local Economic Development Strategies (LEDSTRA) 3 units
This course deals with the opportunities and challenges of achieving local economic development. Continuing globalization is providing various opportunities that can be maximized by local firms. However, at the same time, it brings with it risks that affects firms, their employees, business partners and their government. Both international and domestic terrain require that achieving local economic development means increased knowledge, planning and cooperation between local governments, local business groups, community organizations and other members of civil society.

Local Politics and Governance (LOCALGO) 3 units
The course introduces students to the theory and practice of local politics and governance. The first part of the course examines some of the fundamental concepts and theories on local governments, including their nature, structure and functions. Studies on the dynamics of local politics are also given attention. The second part of the course examines important contemporary issues in local politics and governance. The primary focus is on analyzing the extent to which efforts at decentralization and devolution contribute to good governance in the country.

Migration and Development (MIGDEVT)) 3 units
In this course, students will examine migration and development as interrelated phenomena associated with globalization. They will achieve this general objective by comparing how historical, social, political and economic forces interact in selected sets of countries. Their understanding of how these forces interact within and across countries will provide them the competence to explain the differences in the experience of countries with regard to the interaction between migration and development. The special attention that the Philippines get in this course offers the Filipino students the opportunity to treat their own country as a case study.

Mobilizing Stakeholders for Development (STAKEDV) 3 units
This course focuses on theories, concepts and practices that are relevant to understanding and examining strategies and issues involved in development interventions. It looks into the roles played by different stakeholders in pushing for their specific development agenda. It analyzes the experiences of, with emphasis on the strategies employed and issues faced by, selected groups and institutions in designing and implementing interventions (programs, projects, advocacies, etc.) aimed at achieving certain development goals.

Operations Research for Relevant Development Intervention (ORESDVT) 3 units
The course introduces the principles and mechanics of operations research that is intervention-oriented. It is divided into: a) problem analysis involving the use of secondary data and primary data collection; b) solution development or determination of appropriate intervention based on the first phase including implementation plan; and c) solution (intervention) validation through the utilization of appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanism.

Philippine Political Economy (PIPOLEC) 3 units
The course studies social relations in the process of production, distribution, exchange and consumption, with specific focus on the Philippine experience.

The Politics of Gender and Development (GENDEVT) 3 units
This course introduces students to the basic concepts and issues of Gender and Development (GAD) and Gender Mainstreaming, and highlights how gender concerns figure in legislation, development work, and governance. The course examines the emergence and evolution of the GAD approach in both the international and Philippine contexts, exposing students to diverse kinds of gender analysis in the study of development and politics.

Sustainable Development (SUSDEVT) 3 units
The course explores the potential of sustainable development as an approach to and strategy for total human development.

Urban Development (URBADEV) 3 units
A discussion of the processes and dynamics of urban development. This includes discussion of current problems brought about by urbanization such as traffic congestion, pollution, rural-urban migration, and proliferation of slums. Its main emphasis is on the concept of urban renewal as a strategy for urban development.

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