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Postgraduate Diploma in Land and Agrarian Studies

The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) calls on all interested professionals to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies programme.  It is aimed at professionals working in government, NGOs, the private sector in land, agrarian, rural development, natural resources and gender, who seek to progress in their careers and to improve their knowledge and skills in these sectors.

Admission Criteria

  • Applicants must have obtained an undergraduate degree, with an average of 60% in the final assessment of the exit-modules in Sociology, History, Economics, Political Science, Agriculture, Public Admin, Geography and Environmental Studies, with at least three years’ relevant experience in poverty, land reform and sustainable natural resource management.
  • For those applicants without a first degree, recognition of prior learning (RPL) procedures will apply to candidates with extensive work experience (at least ten years) in land and agrarian reform, rural development, natural resources and gender issues, and with good writing abilities.

Course Structure

  • Teaching and learning will take place at PLAAS, UWC over two teaching blocks consisting of three weeks each (in Feburary and July). 
  • Attendance of these teaching blocks is compulsory.
  • All courses are compulsory.
  • Each module comprises of a pre-contact assignment, structured teaching and a post-contact assignment (long essay). 
  • Academic writing workshops will be presented during block weeks to assist students with the academic writing process.

Course Modules

  • LAS711: Structural Poverty and Marginalised Livelihoods in Southern African Agro-Food Systems (30 credits) 
  • LAS712: The Political Economy of Land and Agrarian Reform in Southern Africa (30 credits)
  • LAS713: The Economics of Farming and Food Systems (30 credits) 
  • LAS714: Social and Ecological Dimensions of Ecosystems Management (30 credits)

Application Procedures

Complete the UWC Online Application

Download the PLAAS Application Procedures document here.

Download the Writing Sample Article here.

Download the RPL Article here.


Enquiries may be directed to Ms Carla Henry, the Postgraduate Programme Administrator:

Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)


Tel.: +27 21 959 3727/3733

Fax: +27 21 959 3732

University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA


Closing date for applications has been extended to no later than 31st October 2014.