Environment, Society and Sustainability, M.Phil. | University of Cape Town | Cape Town, South Africa
18 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Master’s in Environment, Society and Sustainability from the University of Cape Town is an 18-month programme that includes a year of coursework plus a supervised research project and short dissertation.

Visit the official programme website for more information


The Master’s in Environment, Society and Sustainability from the University of Cape Town  is aimed at students with no prior experience in Environmental and Geographical Science. Students with an Honours degree in any discipline other than Environmental and Geographical Science may apply for entry into this programme. 

Career Opportunities

South Africa has a dramatic set of developmental and environmental challenges and opportunities, which encompass issues pertaining to both developing and developed countries. Environmental scientists are playing an important role in shaping the future of South Africa.

The MPhil in Environment, Society and Sustainability programme attracts a broad range of students of varying ages with different aspirations. Some are in established career paths and are seeking to gain greater environmental knowledge and awareness to broaden their perspective or enhance their marketability. Others are seeking a new career path that will require specific environmentally-related skills.

Graduates find work in the public and private sectors, and in Non-Governmental Organisations. Public sector employment is found in local government (municipalities), regional government (provincial planning and environmental departments) and national government departments (such as Water and Environmental Affairs and parastatals (such as Eskom). Private sector work is found in consulting firms and in industry.

Programme Structure

  • The programme duration is 18 months full-time, from February each year to the end of July the following year. Four elective courses are followed by a research project and short dissertation that applies theory and skills relating to the environment, society and sustainability to real life issues. 
  • Potential research areas are numerous and include aspects of environmental assessment and management, coastal zone and fisheries co-management, urban environmental management including monitoring and evaluation of water pollution in river systems, understanding and evaluating urban social ecological systems, and initiatives directed towards sustainable communities. This course is convened by Dr Philile Mbatha.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 18 months

Start dates & application deadlines




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

  • Applicants must hold an Honours degree, or equivalent four year degree. Entry to all our postgraduate programmes is competitive. In special circumstances graduates who have shown by examination, or publication, or a record of appropriate training, that they have a reached a level equivalent to an Honours degree may be admitted, at the discretion of the Dean of Science. 
  • Such cases usually involve research, professional experience or publication that demonstrate competence in an appropriate field, usually considered to encompass approximately five years of experience in a relevant field subsequent to obtaining a first degree in that field.

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.


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

Environment, Society and Sustainability
University of Cape Town


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