The University for Development Studies has adopted practically oriented methodologies to teaching and learning, research and outreach services as a means to fulfilling its mandate of blending “the academic world with that of the community in order to provide constructive interaction between the two for the total development of Northern Ghana in particular and the country as a whole” (This is spelt out by PNDC law 279 Section 3). An integral component of this approach is the Third Trimester Field Practical Programme (TTFPP).

The TTFPP is an iterative process (the work of succeeding year builds on that of preceding year in a dynamic manner) modeled on an integrated approach. This integrated approach offers students from different faculties/departments/schools of the University the opportunity to live and work together in selected communities; an early introduction to inter-professional learning. The integrated programme covers two phases engaging students from the first year through to the second year in a single community. As an academic programme, it is mandatory for all students and carries a total of 6 credit hours.

In the first year, students are introduced to aspects of community studies. Students practice community entry and aspects of community diagnosis using participatory approaches. Emphasis is placed on techniques of needs assessment, culminating in the assessment of the problems and potentials of the community using a variety of complementary techniques, as well as suggesting tentative/ possible interventions.

The problems and potentials analyzed during the first year serve as the starting point of the activities for the second year whereby students are tasked to propose pragmatic interventions to the resolutions of the problems. Students are expected to demonstrate the use of the identified potentials of the community in their proposals or plans.

General Objectives of TTFPP

The general objectives of the integrated TTFPP are to:

  1. Help students/participants to develop favourable attitudes towards working in rural and deprived communities.
  2. Expose students/participants, practically, to the nature of the development problems of Northern Ghana (Upper East, West, Northern and Brong-Ahafo Regions) in particular and the country as a whole.
  3. Provide useful services to Ghanaian rural communities through the exchange of knowledge and its application to address the felt needs and aspirations of these communities.
  4. iv. Generate data for further research into problem-solving development issues, and other purposes.

Specific Objectives of TTFPP

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Equip students/participants with the basic tools, techniques and skills required for community studies
  2. Introduce students/participants to community studies through living in and working with communities
  3. Introduce students/participants to the need to blend traditional knowledge with scientific knowledge in their community studies.
  4. Assist students/participants to apply the methods and experiences acquired to collect relevant data, analyse the data and on that basis write a comprehensive community profile
  5. Generate data for further research into problem-solving development issues, and other purposes.


During their stay in the communities, students/participants are expected to:

  • Go through the community entry process
  • Collect information and data on all aspects of the community (as shown in the student field guide/ handbook)
  • Analyze information and data and write a comprehensive group report on profile, problems and potentials of the study community and present a draft copy in soft and hard versions for assessment in the field. A final type-written copy is expected in the second week of first trimester of Year Two.
  • Keep notebooks, in which they make daily entries of activities undertaken, and the outcome of the activities
  • Present oral results of community studies as a group and defend their individual participation.
  • PLAN

    Week One
  • Travels, settling, registration in community
  • Community entry processes
  • Week Two to Four
  • Prepare for data collection: instruments, target groups, schedules, responsibilities, etc.
  • Data collection: Qualitative, Quantitative, Sample and Specimen collection
  • Problem and potential analysis using tools: Problem Tree, SWOT, Ranking, etc.
  • Week Five
  • Data analysis and synthesis
  • Compilation of community profile
  • Validation of findings with community members
  • Report writing
  • Week Six and Seven
  • Finalization of report
  • Preparation for field assessment
  • Final Assessments
  • Editing of reports to include comments by assessors and presentation of field reports. Both soft and hard copies of the edited reports should be submitted to the TTFPP Directorate within two weeks of following trimester.
  • Community exit processes
  • Departure from the communities

    The expected output of each group must be a written report covering the following:

  • Detailed profile with quantitative and qualitative information. Diagrams, tables, maps, pictures etc. could be used for illustrations
  • Development problems of the community as identified with members of the community
  • Development potentials of the community reflecting suggested interventions.
  • Tentative or suggested interventions of the problems identified

    On-field assessments are conducted in each community by a multi-disciplinary team of assessors. Students/participants are assessed and graded at the end of each TTFPP session. A zero score in any of the listed areas of assessments leads to a final zero score of the total assessment. In addition, a student/ participant obtaining less than 75% of community stay (i.e., more than 12 days absenteeism) also fails the entire programme. Students/participants will be assessed on the following aspects:-

    1. Orientation - 100
    2. Community entry/stay - 100
    3. Field Journals (notebooks) - 100
    4. (Details for notebook: Coordinator):

      • Consistency in daily records - 20
      • Details in content - 20
      • Clarity - 20
      • Total - 60

        (Details for notebook: Assessors):

      • Consistency in daily records - 10
      • Details in content - 10
      • Clarity - 20
      • Total - 40

    5. Oral presentation (group) - 100
    6. (Details for group oral)

      • Introduction/Objectives - 10
      • Methodology - 15
      • Community profile - 35
      • Problems and Potential
      • i. Identification and selection - 15
      • ii. Analysis and linkages - 15
      • Overall Impression - 10
    7. Oral presentation (individual) - 100
    8. (Details for individual oral)

      • Appearance - 10
      • Language and Clarity - 15
      • Subject matter knowledge - 55
      • Linkages - 20
    9. Written report - 100
    • introduction - 10
    • Community profile - 40
    • Problems & potentials:
      1. Identification & selection - 20
      2. Analysis and linkages - 20
    • Overall impression - 10
    • Problems & potentials:
      1. Identification & selection - 20
      2. Analysis and linkages - 20

    GRAND TOTAL - 600
    Students/participants score is an average of the 6 categories of assessment.

    1. Who is eligible to apply?
      • It is mandatory for all students of University for Development Studies.
      • Local applicants
      • Applicants from Non-Governmental Organizations
      • Students from accredited tertiary institutions from Ghana
      • Foreign applicants
      • Foreign students/participants from accredited tertiary institutions
      • Organizations working on study abroad programmes.
    2. Application Period
      • Opening: February 2017
      • Deadline: 1st May 2017

    3. Offered annually?
    4. Yes

    5. What period?
    6. Between May and July 2017

    7. Vacancy for foreign and local applicants:
    8. Several

    9. How to Apply
    10. Application can be made online using our online system or apply directly to the OR
      International Relation Office using email address
      The cost of the application process is $50.

    11. Recruitment process

    12. The UDS International Relations (UDSI) will forward all applications to the TTFPP Directorate for further processing and admissions. The list of applicants admitted to participate in the programme will be given to the UDSI Office and made available on the University’s Website. The UDSI Office will also write to the applicants that are admitted to participate in the programme and those not admitted will also be informed.

    13. Requirements for recruitment of foreign participants
        1. Application must be submitted to the International Office
        2. Should have a passport that will not expire within the 6 months
        3. Evidence of applicant’s ability to pay approved fees for the programme
        4. Referees report may also be required to facilitate admission processes
        5. Applicant must sign a declaration form to abide by the rules and regulations of the University
    14. Level of Participation by all first time participants
    15. All fresh students (local and foreign applicants) will be admitted into first year and will carry out first years’ activities in the community.

    16. Visa application process

    17. The UDS International Office will provide relevant documents to successful applicants for visa acquisition to travel to Ghana.

    18. Arrival to Ghana/Tamale

    19. Foreign students are entreated to be in Ghana at least one week to the programme.
      Students in group can opt for buses arranged by the University from Accra to Tamale. This gives them the opportunity to observe Ghana throughout the 10-12 hour (628 Km) journey to Tamale. There are four flights from Accra to Tamale daily for those who cannot embark on the long journey by road.

    20. Accommodation in community

    21. The University in collaboration with stakeholders in the community will provide accommodation for all students during their stay and study in the various communities.

    22. Feeding in communities

    23. Students are responsible for their own feeding throughout the programme.

    24. Payment of fees

    25. Applicants admitted must pay all their fees or 80% before the commencement of the programme.
      The annual cost of the programme per foreign student per academic year is $500.
      The cost of the programme include:

        1. Registration
        2. Administrative charges
        3. Accommodation on campus and communities
        4. Orientation (there will be cultural displays during the orientation)
        5. Visit to the Mole National Park (The largest game reserve in Ghana)
        6. Transportation to Communities
        7. Monitoring and Assessment
        8. Certificate of participation

    26. Refund of fees

    27. In case a successful applicant pays but cannot make it for the programme, a refund of 80% of the fees paid will be returned to the applicant.

    28. Orientation for admitted applicants

    29. All applicants admitted to participate in the programme will be given one week orientation on community entry and exit, living in and working with rural communities, as well as the tasks to be accomplished by the students in the communities.

    30. Transportation to the community

    31. The University will transport all students to their communities and make sure they are safe and accommodated.

    32. Report writing and submission

    33. Both local and foreign participants in a group will write one comprehensive report called community profile that will be supervised by the Field Coordinator.

    34. Award of Certificate of participation

    35. The University will award all foreign participants a certificate of participation if they successfully complete the programme.

    36. Transfer of Credits (where applicable)

    37. If there is initial agreement between UDS and participating Universities, the 6 credits earned after the programme could be transferred to the participating Universities/institutions.

    38. Rules and Regulations

    39. All students/participants in the programme must be guided by the rules and regulations of the University. Copies of rules and regulations will be given to each student participating in the programme.

    40. National HeaIth Insurance

    41. All foreign students/participants will be provided with Health insurance from the National Health Insurance Scheme.

    42. Transportation after programme

    43. All foreign students/participants will be transported back to Accra for departure to their home countries.

    44. Internet Connectivity/Availability

    45. There may be limited Internet connectivity in some of the communities.