Singapore University of Social Sciences

Civil Society, Leadership and Capacity Building

Civil Society, Leadership and Capacity Building (CSD521)

Applications Open: 01 October 2022

Applications Close: 30 November 2022

Next Available Intake: January 2023

Course Types: Modular Graduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $2200 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Humanities & Social Sciences

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education + (ACE+), Lifelong Learning Credit (L2C), Resilience

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


CSD521 enables students to develop conceptual understanding of issues and processes in civil society, as well as practical skills in leadership development in civil society. The discussion will focus on state-society relations, why and how citizens organise, different types of NGOs and networks, as well as old and new media. Cyber politics will be examined as a new site of political engagement. The course will examine the power of the media and issues of leadership development in civil society. Multi-country case studies will be used for illustrations. Students will have the opportunity to build on their existing knowledge and experiences of civil society processes.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • What is “civil society”?
  • Why and how do citizens organise?
  • NGOs and networks
  • Media of communication in the public sphere:
  • Cyber politics
  • Power, media and politics
  • Public intellectuals and opinion leaders
  • Leadership development in civil society
  • Capacity building for civil society and leadership development

Learning Outcome

  • Evaluate key issues and processes related to the development of civil society
  • Assess the challenges for effective leadership in civil society
  • Compare different types of NGOs and their impact on civil society
  • Analyze the potential and limitations of old and new media
  • Discuss policies and laws relevant to the development of civil society
  • Critique the current state of civil society organisations in local contexts
  • Propose different methods of advocacy by NGOs
  • Recommend appropriate methods of capacity building for NGOs
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