Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University

Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development

The Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development in Earth Sciences is offered by Stellenbosch University.

Program Length: 1 YEAR.

Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development offered by the Stellenbosch University at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences

This Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) is a modular (taught) programme presented over one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). Applications close 31 August.

Students who have obtained a PGDip with an average of at least 65% for each of the 8 modules, will have an automatic right to apply for registration for the MPhil in Sustainable Development.

Assessment and recognition of prior learning


Please note that approval in terms of the ARPL policy requires quite a lot of additional information, and also takes time. Often it is a condition of acceptance that the student successfully completes one or more modules in a year as a special student, after which the ARPL application will be processed. The student can then formally register the year following his/her original application, but all completed modules will be recognised for the purpose of the degree.

Duration of programme and starting date
This postgraduate diploma can be obtained after a minimum period of one year and the successful completion of eight modules. The programme is presented over a period of one year (full time) or two years (part time) in a modular format consisting of a minimum of a six-day modular contact session per module (unless a longer duration is specified in the course outline of the module), with independent structured self-study for the rest of the study period. Intake is in January of each year.

Assessment and examination
The modules will be subject to flexible assessment, which comprises a combination of any of the following methods:
  • two individual assignments to be handed in after completion of the module on a date stipulated in the course outline or by the course convenor;
  • class work (students normally work in groups during the module);
  • a journal of readings and reflections on the module;
  • a written examination/test and/or an oral examination; and
  • short daily class assignments, based on prescribed readings.
Each module coordinator has discretion as to the most appropriate combination of assessment methods, provided that each assessment does not count more than 25% of the total mark for the module.

Provisions relating to promotion
A final mark of 50% is required to pass a module and a final mark of 75% is required to pass with distinction (cum laude). To pass the Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development, an average final mark of 50% (including a pass mark of 50% for each of the modules) is required and an average final mark of 75% is required to pass with distinction (cum laude). A minimum of 50% for each individual assignment is required for each module.Modules of the Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development that have been completed by students as executive or special students (including successful completion of all group work and individual assignments and journals) will be recognised for the purpose of the degree, to a maximum of four modules.

Programme module
120 Sustainable Development Planning and Management

Foundation module
The foundation module (Sustainable Development) is compulsory.
15 Sustainable Development

Students then have to choose 7 modules from the following lists of modules to make up a minimum of 120 credits:
15 Applied Economics 
15 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services 
15 Capita Selecta: Comparative Studies in Sustainable and Regenerative Social-Ecological Systems 
15 Complexity Theory and Systems Thinking 
15 Corporate Governance and Sustainable Enterprise 
15 Food Security and Globalised Agriculture 
15 Food System Transitions 
15 Globalisation, Governance and Development 
15 Leading Transitions and Environmental Ethics 
15 Renewable Energy Financing 
15 Renewable Energy Policy 
15 Sustainable Cities 
15 System Dynamics Modelling 
15 Transdisciplinary Design for Transformation

Modules offered by the Engineering Faculty
15 Bio-Energy 
15 Introduction to Solar Energy
15 Renewable Energy Systems

Module offered by the School of Public Leadership (PGDip in Environmental Management)
15 Development Planning and Environmental Analysis



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