What are the study programmes offered by the Department of Social Studies?

Social Studies Department (SSD) of the OUSL offers multi-disciplinary academic programmes from Certificate to PhD levels. The core disciplines covered are Economics, Sociology, Mass Communication, Political Science and International Relations; and youth and community development and Tourism Studies.

Different programmes offered by the Social Studies Department are as follows:

  • Advance Certificate in Social Sciences(ACSS)
  • Diploma in Tourism Operations (DITO)
  • A in Social Sciences (BASS)
  • A in Youth and Community Development (BAYCD)
  • MA in Development Studies and Public Policy
  • Master of Philosophy (M.Phil)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (P.hD)

 

Other than these the Department also offers a number of short courses such as:

  • Short Course in Tourism and Hotel Operations
  • Short Course in Involuntary Land Acquisition & resettlement.

 

What is the duration of the programmes?

  • Advance Certificate in Social Sciences- 2 years
  • Diploma in Tourism Operations – One year
  • A in Social Sciences – Minimum 3 years
  • A in Youth and Community Development – Minimum 3 years
  • MA in Development Studies and Public Policy – Minimum 2 years
  • Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) – Minimum 2 years
  • Doctor of Philosophy (P.hD) – Minimum 3 years
  • Short Course in Tourism and Hotel Operations – Three months
  • Short Course in Involuntary Land Acquisition & resettlement -Three months

What is the medium of instruction?

The certificate courses are available in all three languages but B.A degrees and above are only available in English.

What are the entry requirements?

The main entry requirements for all courses are that you need to be above 18 years of age and a citizen of Sri Lanka. Other than these there are course-specific entry requirements. Please find the entry requirements for level 1-5 courses as followed.

Advance Certificate in Social Sciences

  • Completed junior secondary level, which is grade 9 or equivalent, or
  • Completed primary education with certified work experience equivalent to a minimum period of 02 years, or
  • An equivalent or higher qualification acceptable to the Senate, AND

Diploma in Tourism Operations (DITO)

  • Three passes in any stream at the General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) Examination, Sri Lanka, or,
  • Six passes at the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination, Sri Lanka and five years of certified work experience in the relevant field, or,
  • Six passes at the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination, Sri Lanka and successfully completed the Short Course in Tourism and Hotel Operations of the Open University of Sri Lanka, with three years of certified work experience in the relevant field, or,
  • Successful completion of any SLQF Level 2 programme with minimum 30 (thirty) credits offered by a Higher Educational Institution acceptable by the Senate, or,
  • Successful completion of National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 4 in Tourism and Hospitality field, or,
  • an equivalent or higher qualification acceptable to the Senate

 

B.A in Social Sciences and B.A in Youth and Community Development

  • A minimum of three passes at the General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) examination in any stream, or
  • A minimum of 30 credits at SLQF Level 2 or above from any programme offered by a Higher Education Institution approved by the Senate of the Open University of Sri Lanka, or
  • Qualification or accredited work experience equivalent to NVQF Level 4 or
  • An equivalent or higher qualification acceptable to the Senate

 

MA in Development Studies and Public Policy

  • A degree from a recognized university with at least one year of work experience in the fields of planning, administration and implementation of development projects, or
  • Secured an equivalent or higher qualification acceptable to the senate of the Open University of Sri Lanka with at least one year of work experience in the fields of planning, administration and implementation of development projects
  • AND
  • Selection through an interview conducted by the Department of Social Studies whenever the need arises.

How many course credits can be taken in an academic year?

If you register for a regular study programme such as the BA in Social Sciences you may register for a minimum of 9 credits or a maximum of 30 credits per year.  Additionally, you may register for up to 8 credits of Continuing Education (CE) courses in each academic year.

What is credit rating?

Study Programmes and courses are given a specific credit rating.  This represents the academic value and workload of a course or a programme.  It also reflects the time that should be spent on the course.  At the OUSL, one credit is defined as 50 notional learning hours.  When a credit rating is allocated to a course, it takes into account the time you need to spend on all the activities that you need to do to successfully complete a course.  This includes reading and understanding course materials, participation in face to face sessions, completing continuous assessments and final examinations, reading reference material etc.

 

How do I decide on my workload?

When you decide on your workload, please consider the number of hours you will have to spend on each course.  For example, if you register for a total of 15 credits in a semester you will have to find 750 hours (15×50=750).

You need to assess if you have this amount of time available for studying before you decide on an appropriate workload for yourself.   Remember, one of the advantages of studying at the OUSL is that you can choose your credit load, subject to the stipulated minimum and maximum allowed in an academic year.

So, adjust your workload according to how much time you can commit to your learning process.

 

How can I select courses in a stream of study?

The B.A in Social Sciences is a multidisciplinary general degree. Students are required to choose courses from multiple streams such as Economics, Sociology, Mass Communication and Political Science and International Relations. However, you will be permitted to choose relatively more courses from one stream at the 2nd and 3rd year of your study based on your interest. Please note that these are not special degrees but general degrees.

Are there exemptions available?

Those who have qualifications acceptable to the Senate of the OUSL can claim exemptions up to 50% of the credit load relating to any programme. For instance, BA in Social Sciences is a 90 credit programme, and students can claim exemptions up to 45 credits. Exemptions will be decided at the time of registration for the programme.

 

What are registration and re-registration?

All students need formal ‘Registration’ when they join the University. After applying for a programme students will be invited for registration. Your documents such as NIC, birth certificate and educational certificates will be verified and you will be confirmed as a student of the OUSL. You will also be able to consult the academics on selection of courses. You will be issued a student record book with the details of the courses offered to you. This book is considered as your ID and you need to bring this along with you when you come to university. This need to be produced when collecting your course materials.

Renewal of registration at the beginning of each subsequent academic year is called re-registration. Annual reregistration is required to maintain your studentship with the University. Students who failed to renew their registration will not be considered as ‘active students’ and will not receive any formal communication from the university. You need to maintain your studentship until your graduation.

Currently registration and re-registration are conducted online.

 

When should I pay my tuition fee?

At registration and re-registration you will be required to make payments for the courses offered to you. The payment is calculated based on the number of credits and you can make this payment in two instalments in a year: 60% at registration and 40% in the second semester.

 

Can I change courses I have registered for?

Yes, you can. You can change a course during the Add/drop period. This will be right after your registration. You can also change the stream of study. But if you change it mid-way, you will need to first meet the pre-requisites to study under that stream.  After the add-drop period there will be a ‘drop only’ period where you can de-register from a course. You will not be able to change to another course during this period but just drop a course.

 

What are the methods of teaching?

Main method of teaching is through printed course materials called ‘Tutor in Print’ or through online course materials delivered through e-learn platforms.  We also offer limited face-to-face sessions for each course, which are called Day-schools. Day-schools provide you with an opportunity to meet your teachers and discuss the lessons and topics.   These are recommended activities.

An academic member of staff is appointed as a course leader for each course.  Visiting Academics who work with the course leaders support students in all regional and study centres where Day Schools are held.

 

Are day-schools scheduled during weekdays?

To enable working students to participate in face-to-face activities the Department of Social studies schedules Day-schools only during weekends. Only under exceptional circumstance day-schools may be scheduled during weekdays. If you are not employed at the time of registration, you are encouraged to actively seek employment for a meaningful learning at the Open University. Completion of an internship programme is compulsory in order to graduate from the degree programmes.

 

What are the assessments like?

Your progress in a course is assessed periodically through Continuous Assessments (CA) and Final Examinations (FE).  There are different types of CAs such as Open Book Tests (OBTs), Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Close Book Tests (CBTs), Oral Presentations and Learning Journals. For online courses offered in the BA programmes, you are also assessed on your participation in the online platforms.  More details will be given in the student guideline book issued to you at the time of registration.

What is ‘eligibility’ to sit for a final exam’?

When you have successfully completed your Continuous Assessment components by meeting the relevant criterion you will have eligibility to sit for the final examination. Once obtained you can retain your eligibility for two years to sit for the final exam of the relevant course. If you are unable to complete the final exam within the two years, your eligibility will lapse and you will be required to re-register for the course and re-do the CAs. You will also be require to pay a tuition fee.

 

When do I get my course material?

You can collect your course materials (printed) at the time of registration or re-registration from the Book Distribution Centre. This is a very important part of your registration process.

 

How can I get information on new student intake and programme commencement?

You can follow the Open University website and refer to the Department website for further information on these. You can also contact the department via phone by calling 0112881417 or by emailing to hdssd@ou.ac.lk.

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