Climate Change and Development, M.Sc. | University of Cape Town | Cape Town, South Africa
12 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
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Based in South Africa, the ACDI's full-time, one-year taught Master’s (MSc/MPhil) Climate Change and Development course from University of Cape Town provides interdisciplinary training in climate change and sustainable development, with a focus on the issues of relevance to African development.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Global climate change presents daunting and exciting challenges, especially for the developing world, where traditional routes to development are at odds with the need for a low carbon economy. 

At the same time, building resilience to climate change and variability is fundamental to sustainable development and prosperity. 

A transdisciplinary approach that integrates the biophysical, technological, socio-economic sciences and the humanities is required to successfully engage with these challenges.

South Africa is well positioned to engage with these issues given that it's a developing country with good technology and infrastructure, yet it is also an economy in transition and is home to less-developed communities. Thus, it provides a microcosm of the developing world’s social, environmental, and economic development issues.

Who should attend?

We seek applicants who want to gain a broad understanding of the issues involved in climate change and sustainable development from an African and developing world perspective, and who want a comprehensive introduction to climate change issues. Applicants should be Honours or four-year Bachelor graduates from across the spectrum of disciplines, who have completed a research-based project or dissertation in their final year. 

The Climate Change and Development course from University of Cape Town  will equip its graduates for employment in government, local authorities, businesses with a sustainability agenda, consultancies, NGOs and international development organisations. It will also provide the foundation for those aiming to do a PhD in climate and development. It is aimed at both recent graduates and those with several years’ experience who wish to engage with these pressing issues within the context of their vocations.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Sustainable Development
  • The Climate System, Anthropogenic Forcing and Climate System Response
  • African Climate Variability and Change
  • International Climate Change Legal Frameworks
  • The Economics of Climate Change and Climate Change Financing

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines




180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Acceptance to a postgraduate degree in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science (EGS) is highly competitive. To be eligible to apply for the ACDI Masters, a candidate must have the equivalent to a UCT Honours degree. This is a minimum of a four-year degree, with a significant research component in the fourth year. 
  • If you are uncertain as to your eligibility, you would be advised to approach the South African Qualifications Association (SAQA) to review your transcripts. A SAQA score of 8 would be considered equivalent to Honours, in which case you would be eligible to apply to our Masters programmes. Please note that eligibility to apply does not however constitute acceptance to the programme.

Living costs for Cape Town

9088 - 15529 ZAR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


  • UCT Postgraduate funding: Apply by 31 July.
  • The National Research Foundation: Applications open between 1-31 July.
  • Margaret McNamara Education Grants: Deadlines in September.
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Soon to be opened soon for candidates from African, Asia, Pacific, Latin America, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Middle east.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Climate Change and Development
University of Cape Town


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