SPL (School of Public Leadership)
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Diploma in Sustainable Development



  • 3 year undergraduate programme
  • 360 credits
  • NQF level (HEQF) 6

Programme Content

The Diploma in Sustainable Development is ideal for students who want to start their professional careers as social entrepreneurs in the sustainable development field.

This programme covers:

  • Sustainable Design Technologies
  • Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Complexity and Ecology Studies
  • Communication Skills and Strategies
  • Leadership Development
  • Small Enterprise Development


Teaching Methodology

Place-based learning: Classes are presented at the Sustainability Institute, Lynedoch campus. The learning experience is rooted in the Lynedoch Ecovillage, a socially-integrated, ecologically designed community.  Students are immersed in the Ecovillage and its community through various activities.


Transformative learning: Interactive teaching methods are used, including formal lecturing, facilitated discussions, case method learning and structured group work. Content is designed to develop students' skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity through active and experiential learning.



The Diploma in Sustainable Development was launched in 2018. This programme aims to deliver of a new generation of responsible entrepreneurs who are equipped for action in a complex world. ​

Globally, there are multiple interlinked challenges that affect communities, economies and ecological systems. In 2015, the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that committed the global community to eradicating poverty and doing this within planetary boundaries. In 2016, the global Climate Agreement also came into effect. 

More and more opportunities arise from the need to invest substantially in repairing the future. There is a greater need than ever before to prepare capable young people for futures that are dependent on their own abilities to inspire, network, create and efficiently organise across sectors.


Admission requirements

All students wishing to apply for this programme must comply with the following admission requirements according to the National Senior Certificate (NSC):

  • They must be in possession of a National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by Umalusi.
  • Overall NSC average of at least 55%, excluding Life Orientation
  • Mathematics 50% OR Mathematical Literacy 60%
  • English Home Language 50% OR English First Additional Language 60%

Application and enquiries

Applications open on 1 March and close on 30 June. For more information or to apply, contact the Programme Coordinator at diploma@sun.ac.za or phone 021 881 3952.