SPL (School of Public Leadership)
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Diploma in Sustainable Development


Lecturer/ Academic Programme Head: Diploma in Sustainable Development
Dr Ruenda Loots​​


Tel:  021 881 3952​

Administrator: Postgraduate Diploma/Mphil in Sustainable Development
(Sustainability Institute)

Ms Monique Beukes

Tel: 021 881 3952

Learning for Sustainable African Futures

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, delivered by Stellenbosch University’s School of Public Leadership in partnership with the Sustainability Institute, 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, energy, craft, education, tourism and service provision sectors.

Why is it relevant?

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

  • 3 year, 360 credit Diploma
  • NQF level (HEQF) 6
  • Designed to develop new class of South African developmental ac​tivists 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

More information can be downloaded here, and a video providing an overview of the programme can be viewed below.



This exciting prospectus was produced by the third-year students during lockdown in 2020. They worked remotely and collaboratively to determine the structure and draft the content. 

To access the prospective and the wonderful work by our students, please click on the image below.

For more information, contact the programme coordinator at diploma@sua or phone 021 881 3952. To apply visit www.maties.com.

Get to know the Sustainable Institute ​



Route from the Stellenbosch University Bus stop to the ​Sustainability Institute ​​


Get to know the Sustainability Institute Farmhouse  


Get to know the Sustainability Institute Main Building


Get to know the Sustainability Institute Outdoor Learning Spaces​