An eye on the future – Sustainability education (Sustainability Review Issue 13: Aug 2013)

As the debate around creating long term sustainable value rather than short term economic value gains momentum, management and directors alike are having to come to grips with the impact and importance of sustainability on their businesses. To keep up to speed, here’s a selection of sustainability courses to suit a variety of needs.

Degrees and certificate courses

University of Cape Town – MPhil Degree in Environment, Society and Sustainability

Presented by the University of Cape Town for a number of years, the course gives attendees skills to deal with Africa’s natural and social developmental challenges. Multiple disciplines are integrated in the course, including management of environmental and developmental issues across theoretical and practical means. The course offers an in-depth understanding of the impact of change on the environment and society and how this impacts sustainability in the long run.

The course targets delegates with backgrounds in geography, natural sciences, planning, engineering, education, law or economics, with at least a four-year degree and relevant working experience.

The degree runs full time over 18 months, and is made up of core subjects, electives and a research component.

Costs: 2014 not finalised. Cost for 2013 was R46 000.

Registration deadline: 31 October 2013. There is funding assistance available for designated groups.

For more information, visit:


University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business – MPhil in Innovation Studies

The newly incorporated Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business has recently started this course with the hope of creating practical solutions to Africa’s societal problems through the use of disruptive innovation.

The course targets attendants with at least a four-year degree in engineering, commerce, health sciences or the arts. Alternatively, a three-year degree with an additional three years’ experience is required.

The degree has a two-block duration, from February to June and July to November. The course is research orientated, with a curriculum that covers topical innovative business concepts.

Cost: 2014 not finalised. Cost for 2013 was R85 000.

Registration deadline: 31 October 2013, with funding available on successful application.

For more information, visit:


University of Stellenbosch – MPhil in Sustainable Development

This degree is presented by Stellenbosch’s Sustainability Institute, and enables students to complete a generalist degree or to specialise in sustainable development and development planning, managing sustainable agriculture for development, and renewable and sustainable energy. The course offers a comprehensive introduction to topics dealing with the complex methods of sustainable development.

The course targets delegates in middle to senior management that have relevant practical experience from all sectors. The primary prerequisite is the completion of the post graduate diploma in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University.

The MPhil can be completed in one year full time, or as a two-year part time degree. Both options include core course work, electives and a research component. The modular option requires completion of four one-week modules in a year.

Cost: R32 000

Registration deadline: 30 September 2013

For more information, visit:


Gordon Institute of Business Science – Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme

This programme, provided by the Gordon Institute of Business Science, addresses social entrepreneurship by giving local entrepreneurs the tools they need to grow their own businesses. The course is run as a management training programme that focuses on social development interventions.

The course targets applicants with real world working experience and requires no specific academic qualifications.

The programme runs across four modules of five days each, taking place in March, May, July and September. The total course duration is 10 months.

Cost: 2014 not finalised. Cost for 2013 was R18 500.

Registration deadline: 30 November 2013

For more information, visit:


Short courses

Rhodes University – Principles of Sustainability and Tools for Sustainability certificate courses

Corporate governance, social responsibility and the impact these have on sustainability play a key role in these two short courses. They are offered by Rhodes University, both as standalone subjects as well as electives for the existing MBA programme. Though the courses are topically linked, they are independent of each other and do not have to be taken together. The first focuses on leveraging corporate, social and environmental accountability in understanding sustainability indicators for corporations. The second focuses on the possible steps that decision makers can take in order to manage the risks and rewards associated with sustainable development. These courses offer a quick, high level introduction to the core concepts surrounding sustainability practices.

The courses target attendants with a minimum of a three-year degree, coupled with at least three years of practical consulting experience. Prior knowledge of sustainability principles is required.

The duration of both courses is five continuous days, with Principles of Sustainability running at the end of January and Tools for Sustainability at the end of September.

Costs: R7500 per course.

Registration deadlines: Principles of Sustainability – mid January, Tools for Sustainability – end September. For more information, visit:


Wits Business School – Corporate Governance Programme

In line with the implications of the Companies Act, 2008 (Act 71 of 2008), as well as expectations of the King Code of Corporate Governance, this course focuses on the key issues that board members encounter when running companies in South Africa today. Topics include leadership, governance procedures, fiduciary responsibilities and legal frameworks. The course offers applicable information pertaining to the topical issues of governance in South Africa today.

The course targets directors and board secretaries who want to increase their knowledge and skills on current corporate governance issues. The programme runs in the last week of October, comprises 20 sessions over four days.

Cost: R15 100

Registration deadline: Mid-October 2013.

For more information, visit:


University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business – Leadership Development Programme

This recent short course addition is presented in collaboration between WWF-SA and the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. The course focuses on developing attendees’ competencies in leading change and managing stakeholders in a sustainable manner. The course is divided into two modules, the first focusing on sustainability systems and the second, on leading change.

The course is designed for middle to senior managers with applicable working experience.

Cost: R26 795

Registration deadline: 18 October 2013. The first module starts in mid-November and the second in early March 2014.

For more information, visit:

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2018-08-21T14:05:55+00:00 August 20th, 2013|Sustainability|