WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$4,043 for the full programme
Part-time Study:2 Years
Applications Begin:January 2021
Final Award:Master of Science (MSc)
Start Date:January 2022
Academic Unit:Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
Campus:West Campus
Course Type:Master by Coursework & Research Report
Application Deadline: 30 April 2021
Programme Overview

The MSc DP enables graduates to register as professional planners with SACPLAN once they have completed the degree and have acquired at least two years’ relevant work experience.

The degree is designed to enable students holding the Postgraduate Diploma in Planning or equivalent to qualify as professional planners. Students with an Honours degree or equivalent from an accredited urban and regional planning programme may also undertake the degree.

The MSc DP stresses the interdisciplinary diagnosis/analysis and prognosis for planning issues across all scales, and it provides graduates with an interdisciplinary base from which to approach the diverse issues involved in development planning.

The objective of the programme is to ensure that learners have the knowledge and skills to conduct research and, in a professional capacity, guide processes of change in urban and rural domains. Its purpose is also to educate and train planning practitioners, researchers, scholars and policymakers.

The qualification gives students the opportunity to develop a critical awareness of the social, economic and management issues underlying socio-economic change; build their critical, analytical, and integrative skills for resolving human and environmental development challenges; enhance their knowledge for informed decision and policy-making on development issues; as well as providing operational skills pertinent to working in the public, private or community domains; and practical research experience and opportunities for reflection.


The degree includes four compulsory courses, an elective, and a research report, which accounts for 50% of the degree.

Students with a Wits honours in urban and regional planning may substitute the course Philosophies, Theories and Methodologies of Development Planning with another elective relevant to the field.

Students may choose their electives from a range of courses relevant to the field, subject to the approval of the degree convenor. These include courses offered within the School (please see the MUS degrees for possible courses), as well as those offered in other Schools at Wits. The compulsory courses for the MScDP are all offered in the first semester (February to June), and in 2019 will be organised to allow students to be on campus for one and a half days a week, plus an additional four days (one day every two weeks February to April) for the Research Methods course.

Elective courses are organised in a variety of ways, ranging from weekly classes to block release, and at different times of the year. The research report for the MScDP can be submitted in mid-October for November oral examination, or end February the following year, for the May oral examination.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements
The minimum admission requirements are:
– A Bachelor of Science Honours in City/Town/Urban and Regional Planning (BSc Hons URP) with an average of at least 60%.
– Applicants with Honours degrees from a university other than the University of the Witwatersrand will need to provide supplementary documentation (letter of motivation, academic record, written assignment); or
– The Postgraduate Diploma in Planning (PG Dip) with an average of at least 60%.

Additional Entry Requirements
Applicants are required to submit their curriculum vitae. Applicants may also be required to:
– Submit a letter of motivation, which (a) explains their interest in planning and development, and (b) what they hope to achieve with the qualification.
– Submit a written exercise, summarising and reflecting upon the main concerns and findings contained within a selected document.
– Present themselves at an interview.

Application Process
Application Fees for South African & SADC Students: $12
Application Fees for International Students: $12

How to apply
– Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
– Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
– Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal, view academic application status, accept an offer (once certified hardcopies have been received by SEnC), apply and check residence application status, and generate a fees estimate.
– Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Career Opportunities

Some career opportunities are;
– Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer.
– Housing manager/officer.
– Local government officer.
– Town planner.
– Transport planner.
– Urban designer.

Tuition Fees Details
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Tuition Fees for South African & SADC Students: $4,043
Tuition Fees for International Students: $4,043

*Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries pay the same annual tuition fees as South Africans plus an International Registration Fee (IRF). The SADC member countries are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
*Students sponsored by the Government of Rwanda will be treated as and pay the same amount as SADC students.
*Students from all other countries (Non-SADC) will pay the same amount as South African Students
*Diplomats and their dependents stationed in South Africa & International Wits employees and their dependents will pay South African tuition fees + International Registration Fee (IRF).

Relevant Contact

Mr Garth Klein
Director of the Planning Programme
Siphokazi Makhaye
Postgraduate Administrator