The Ghanaian-German Centre of Excellence for Development Studies is a collaborative venture between the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana and the Centre for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany.

The Ghanaian-German Centre for Development Studies (GGCDS) offers Ghanaians and other African Social Scientists a highly competitive doctorate in Development Studies. The PhD Programme is designed to enhance students’ professional capacities and to address important developmental issues innovatively. The Centre is being funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The 4-year programme also provides global perspective of cultural and social changes, crystallizing students in international development concepts, theories and approaches. It offers students analytical and practical skills they need for critical engagement in development issues and debates.


Programme Structure

Year 1 – Course work

(a)    Core courses(s)

·         Philosophy of Social Science

·         Advanced Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis

·         Advanced Quantitative Research Methods and Analysis

·         Project Planning, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation

·         Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Development

·         Theories of Social Change


(b)   Elective Course(s):

·         Political Economy and Development

·         Poverty Analysis

·         Population, Environment  and Health

·         Advanced Gender Studies


Year 2

(a)    Mandatory course(s)

·      Research Proposal

·      Comprehensive Examination


(b)   Research and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) component

·         Traineeship/Internship

·         Experiential Research Learning

·         Field trips

·         Experiential Research Learning

·         Thesis

Year 3

·         Thesis Progress Report

·         Thesis

Year 4

·         Provisional Thesis Findings Report

·         Thesis finalization and submission


Problem Based Learning

Students in Ghana and abroad choose ISSER because of its reputation for cutting edge research. This programme allows students to tackle problems through critical thinking and comprehensive research. Students are taken through problem based learning as well as real life tasks and field work supervised by research fellows.


Entry Requirements:

1.       First degree (at least Second Class Lower Division) and

2.       A relevant Masters’ (MA/MSc/MPhil) degree in the Social Sciences/Humanities.

Limited Scholarships from DAAD are available to young and dynamic graduates with a First degree (at least Second Class Upper Division or better) and a relevant Masters’ Degree (MA/MSc/MPhil) awarded within the last 6 years whose academic and scholastic records show a potential for successful completion of doctoral degree programme.


How to apply


 University of Ghana application e-voucher can be obtained by Ghanaian applicants for

GH¢ 200.00 at the following banks: Zenith Bank, Universal Merchant BankEcobank, HFC Bank, Agricultural Development Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank and Fidelity Bank. Applicants should follow carefully the instructions on the voucher when completing the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM.

 Applicants who did not graduate from the University of Ghana must submit the following documents online (Scan and Attach):

  • Bachelors’ Degree Certificate and Transcript (for those applying for  Masters’ Degree programmes)
  • Masters’ Degree Certificate and Transcript (for those applying for  PhD programmes)
  • Three referees’ reports are required (provide the details of the referees online)
  • PhD applicants should attach their Research Proposals to the application (Not more than Four pages)

The transcript should be scanned into one PDF or WORD document and attached to the application.

Applicants who graduated from this university should scan and attach only their certificates to their applications. NOTE THAT NO APPLICATION WILL BE PROCESSED WITHOUT THE CERTIFICATE. The originals will be required during interviews.


All applicants who graduated from the University of Ghana from 1996 to date should indicate their ‘STUDENT IDENTITY NUMBERS ‘on their forms before submission.



This category of applicants should use the following links to access the online application form for completion and submission:


All applicants are expected to pay to the University a non-refundable application processing fee of US$110.00. This fee can be paid directly or wire transferred into the UNIVERSITY OF GHANA



Details of the Account are:

All foreign students should make their payments as follows:

  • Account Name: University of Ghana Fees Collection (FOREX) – For payments in Ghana
  • Account Name: University of Ghana Fees Collection (FOREIGN) – For payments outside Ghana


Account No.:               0161094409780403; Swift Code: ECOCGHAC


            The third payment option is-


The pay-in-slips together with applicants’ certificates and transcripts should be scanned and attached to the application form before submission. The transcript should be scanned into one PDF or WORD document and attached to the application.


Note that no application will be processed without proof of payment of the fee.


                                                APPLICATION FEES


Cost of E-voucher

Ghanaians applying in Ghana                                                                GH¢ 200.00

International Applicants and Ghanaians applying from abroad     US$110.00


All further enquiries should be sent to the addresses below:

The School Administrator, School of Graduate Studies, University of Ghana, Legon via E-mail:; OR: The Graduate Programmes Assistant on Telephone: 0577-699900 Ext. 1 or email:


All applicants must ensure that their on-line applications are correctly filled and receipt Acknowledged on submission. Ensure that correct addresses and telephone numbers are provided. You must also print and keep a copy of the application materials submitted. This would be needed during registration if admitted and for verification purposes. Finally, you are to check from time to time your online application to ascertain whether or not you have been recommended for admission. This checking is advised to start three weeks after Friday, April 12, 2019.


The deadline for submission of the on-line application for all programmes is Friday, April 12, 2019.

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