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Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Development


The Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development (PgDip Sustainable Development) is a one year – full-time or two years part-time programme. It is a 120 credit Honours-level degree which comprises a compulsory 3-day orientation/induction and eight core modules selected from the wide range of modules offered each year.

The 3-day Orientation/Induction is compulsory and must be completed before participation in any of the other modules will be authorised.

The Postgraduate Diploma is structured into five specialisations (see details below) from which each student selects a total of 8 modules to make up their own curriculum: Sustainable Development (8 modules), Political Economy of Development (3 modules), Sustainable Food Systems (3 modules), Sustainable Development Planning (3 modules), Renewable and Sustainable Energy (6 modules). Please note, however, that these five specializations only come into effect from 2016 onwards. The formal specializations that students will be registered for in 2014 and 2015 will be as follows: Sustainable Development, Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Development Planning.


Admission Requirements

  • Any Bachelor's or BTech degree or a relevant four-year diploma with a 60% pass mark in one of the following major subjects: Town and Regional Planning, Housing, Geography and Environmental Studies, Social Sciences (sociology, politics, etc), Psychology, Economics, Public and Development Management, Geology, Botany, Zoology, Forestry, Ecology/Nature Conservation, Mathematics, Statistics, Agricultural Economics, Transport Economics, Forestry, Civil Engineering, Architecture, Land Surveying or any other degree approved by the Programme Committee. Relevant work experience will be considered for admission.


  • Any three year diploma with at least five years relevant work experience and conformity with the University’s RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) policy. According to this policy, the equivalent of 120 credits at NQF level 6 (Bachelor’s degree) must be offered in one or more of the following ways, subject to the decision of the Programme Committee, which consists of the Director of the School of Public Leadership, the Programme Coordinator and other relevant persons:

    * Completion with a total 65% mark of at least three modules from the PGD curriculum

    * Recognition of all the professional short , in-service training courses and completed subjects for another degree or diploma programme

    * Submission of a learning portfolio, with copies of written work

    * Passing of an entrance examination if so required by the Programme Coordinator


If a candidate has obtained a Merit Certificate for one or more individual modules that were completed for non-degree purposes, the candidate may apply for the certificate(s) to be converted into credits towards the degree. The Programme Coordinator has sole discretion over whether or not to grant this request. S/he will take into account the performance of the candidate and the time that may have lapsed between the completion of the Certificate and the application to register for the degree.


For more information on Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development, download the interactive prospectus or standard version prospectus below:


For further information on fees, bursaries, accommodation or curriculum please contact Monique Beukes (PGDip programme administrator) via email Mb7@sun.ac.za​

For more information on the courses offered by the Centre for Sustainability Transitions visit​: https://www0.sun.ac.za/cst/​