SPL (School of Public Leadership)
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Diploma in Sustainable Development


Are you interested in the field of sustainable development, developing a broad understanding of worldviews, global driving forces of change and practical examples of working alternatives?

The new Diploma in Sustainable Development, commencing January 2018, aims to address the great challenge we face in the world today, namely creation of a new generation of responsible entrepreneurs who understand the world we live in, have the skills to set up the kinds of organisations that are appropriate to our new post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals context, and have a set of values that equips them for action in a complex world.

This education is place-based and is rooted in a mature, socially integrated and ecologically designed community, that includes a wide range of social enterprises in the farm, education, tourism, energy, craft and service provision sectors.

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Moving forward, it will not be possible for capable young people who are starting out in the world of work to depend solely on government to create opportunities for them.

More and more opportunities will arise from the need to invest substantially in repairing the future – this is clearly evident in the fact that investments in renewable energy have exceeded investments in fossil fuels every year since 2009.

There is, therefore, 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 organize across sectors.


Overview of the Diploma in Sustainable Development

  • 3 year, 360 credit Diploma
  • NQF level (HEQF) 6
  • Designed to develop new class of South African developmental activists and social entrepreneurs
  • Strong focus on small enterprise development and management
  • For students looking for learning and development beyond the confines of a mainstream academic mould



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.

- They must attain an average of at least 50% in four school subjects (excluding Life Orientation).

- They must have an average NSC result of at least 60%.

- Discretionary admission in special cases of students with an average of 55% or higher, but lower than 60% may only be considered after special application and an interview with the Faculty Head or his/her representative.


Application and enquiries

The closing date for applications is 30 June annually. For more information or to apply, contact Ruenda Loots at diploma@sun.ac.za or phone 021 881 3952