Doctor of Philosophy in Dryland Resource Management


    To produce professionals equipped with knowledge and skills to sustainably manage dryland ecosystems for the benefit of society through training, research and community outreach.  

    At the end of the programme the learner should be able to;

    1. Discuss concepts and principles of sustainable dryland resource management;
    2. Develop innovative technologies and approaches that enhance productivity and resilience in dryland ecosystems;
    3. Apply economic principles that promote sustainable utilization of dryland resources;
    4. Formulate policy frameworks that promote decision-making on investments for sustainable livelihoods in drylands.


    1. The programme shall take a minimum of three academic years and a maximum of five academic years.
    2. The Doctor of Philosophy in Dryland Resource Management shall be offered by course work ,research, examination and a thesis.
    3. The programme shall consist of eight (8) compulsory taught course units and a thesis.
    4. A course unit shall be defined as 60 instructional hours consisting of lectures, seminars, term papers and guided research work.
    5. The research component of the programme shall be equivalent to 1080 Hours.
    6. A candidate shall carry out supervised thesis research, for a minimum period of two academic years, and a maximum of four academic years, culminating in a Doctoral thesis.

    Minimum admission requirements

    • The common regulations for admission requirements for PhD in the University of Nairobi shall apply.
    • To be deemed eligible for admission into the Doctor of Philosophy in Dryland Resource Management, the applicant must be a holder of a Master of Science degree in agricultural-related disciplines, biological sciences, and environmental sciences or in natural resource management or an equivalent qualification from an institution recognized by the Senate
    • Holders of Master’s degrees in relevant social sciences recommended by the faculty Academic Committee and approved by the Senate.

    Credit transfer and exemptions

    There shall be no credit transfer for this programme.

    The programme trainees are equipped with knowledge and skills, their application will have an impact  on sustainability of drylands and other ecosystems.

    The  experts who understand the unique needs of such complex ecosystems and the need for innovative approaches for enhancing their sustainability, as well the livelihoods they support.





       Year I    Year 2    Year 3   Totals 
    TUITION                    432,000.00                  432,000.00                       432,000.00                1,296,000.00
    EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                      10,000.00                                    -                                          -                        10,000.00
    ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                        7,000.00                       7,000.00                           7,000.00                      21,000.00
    LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                        5,000.00                       5,000.00                           5,000.00                      15,000.00
    THESIS EXAMINATION                             50,000.00                      50,000.00
    REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                        4,500.00                       4,500.00                           4,500.00                      13,500.00
    ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                        1,000.00                       1,000.00                           1,000.00                        3,000.00
    CAUTION - (ONCE)                        5,000.00                                    -                                          -                          5,000.00
    MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                        6,500.00                       6,500.00                           6,500.00                      19,500.00
    ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                        2,000.00                       2,000.00                           2,000.00                        6,000.00
    STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                        1,000.00                       1,000.00                           1,000.00                        3,000.00
    Grand totals        474,000.00      459,000.00          509,000.00    1,442,000.00


    Philosophy, Rationale


    The combination of inadequate understanding of the dynamics of drylands and other ecosystems and local livelihood systems are to blame for the inappropriate policy actions, impoverishment of communities, and their increased vulnerability to various shocks including climate change. The root cause of these problems is
    mainly linked to lack of skilled manpower trained at the post-graduate level in dryland resource management in most African countries. The majority of the dryland resource managers in the region are not equipped with skills relevant to tackle the complex biophysical and socio-cultural issues typical of the arid and semi-arid rangelands ecosystems. The philosophy of this degree programme is therefore anchored in the paradigm that drylands are socio-ecological systems with complex biophysical, socio-cultural and economic interactions, which call for specialised managers and decision makers.

    This programme therefore aims to produce a critical mass of dryland resource specialists equipped with requisite skills, technologies and innovations to further research, apply appropriate practices and influence policies in favour of resilient and sustainable dryland
    ecosystems and livelihoods.The objective of this program is therefore to produce graduates who are highly rained and expected to directly participate in applying appropriate technologies and innovations for
    sustainable management of dryland ecosystems and to participate in development decisions, and research to inform to policy formulations and development decisions at both local, national, regional and international levels.


    This curriculum is cognizant of the heterogeneity in the drylands and therefore is tailored to equip the learners with knowledge and skills necessary for sustainable management of other ecosystems besides
    the arid and semi-arid areas that dominate tropical rangelands. The curriculum recognizes the role of higher education in unlocking the potential of drylands ecosystems. The programme aims at ensuring
    that education has impact on sustainability of drylands and other ecosystems by producing experts who understand the unique needs of such complex ecosystems and the need for innovative approaches for
    enhancing their sustainability, as well the livelihoods they support.

    Needs assessment/market survey/situation analysis
    To improve dryland livelihoods and environmental security, there is a need to build knowledge and understanding of dryland production systems and underlying socio -ecological processes. This curriculum
    aims at training and equipping professional in dryland resource management of national, regional and  international repute with appropriate scientific knowledge and skills required to implement sustainable and environmental friendly technologies and practices aimed at securing livelihoods, as well as enhancing drylands capacity to continue playing a significant role in the national, regional and global economies. The revision of this curriculum also responds to the staff capacity needs assessment done in five ASAL Counties of northern Kenya in 2017 which indicated the need for well trained personnel to undertake responsibility  within the drylands, wildlife and livestock sector. The programme also responds to the objective of sustainability of rangelands as outlined in the AU policy framework for pastoralism, regional rangeland management strategic framework, African Agenda 2063 - Aspiration on prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, National Vision 2030 Social Pillar on Education and Training cascaded into County government through County Integrated Development Programmes (CIDP) of various ASAL

    Justification of the need for the programme
    The sustainable development of drylands and improvement of livelihoods in the drylands characterised by intense poverty is a priority development agenda in eastern and southern Africa. This will involve interventions targeting, inter alia, increased production and livelihood systems productivity, and investments. As elsewhere in the world, the long-term driving force of modern economic growth will be science-based technological advances. The challenges associated with the drylands of eastern and southern Africa require an approach to science and innovation, which is entrepreneurial and oriented toward key development challenges.

    Application Information

    Mode of Delivery

    The programme will be offered under four modes; face-to-face, Open Distance Learning (ODeL), blended mode and part time

    1. Face-Face Mode (Synchronous)

      i. The degree program shall consist of coursework, examinations and thesis.

      ii. The course shall cover a minimum of 2 semesters and a maximum of 6 semesters and each semester
      will be 15 weeks.
      iii. Each candidate will be required to take and pass all courses.
      iv. Each candidate will be required to undertake a research project leading to an examinable thesis and
      at least two papers publishable in a peer-reviewed journal. The choice of the thesis research topic
      shall be made in consultation with the department and the academic supervisor(s).
      v. Each course unit shall have 45 hours covered in one semester.

    2. Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL)The mode of delivery of the programme will be through Open, Distance and electronic learning modes involving largely home and/ or office-based media (Skype, Facebook and Twitter):

    3. Asynchronous Learning
      Asynchronous mode of learning will be used to allow students to learn on their own schedule by providing
      access to instructional materials and assignments within a certain timeframe.

    4.  Blended learning
      The blended learning mode of delivery will combine face-to-face and online learning approaches.

    5. Part Time

      The course shall cover a minimum of 2 semesters and a maximum of 6 semesters and each semester
      will be 15 weeks.
      ii. A student shall be required to take a minimum of two and a maximum of four courses in one




    Contacts of support persons

    Prof. Moses Nyangito 


    Contact Chairman, LARMAT at:


    1. Dr. Anthony Egeru- RUFORUMManager – Training and Community Development
    2. Dr. Swidiq Mugerwa- Senior Research Officer/Program leader-Livestock Nutrition Research Program,Uganda
    3. Prof. Eunice Githae-DVC, AFPD, Chuka  University

    4. Prof. Sarah Nalule- Associate Professor and Head of Department of Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Resources Management, Makerere University
    5. Dr Teresiah Ng'ang'a- Founder and Director, Jolly Footprints Limited