WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$7,779 /year
Applications Begin:April 2021
Final Award:Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Start Date:March 2022
Academic Unit:Faculty of Commerce
Campus:Upper Campus
Course Type:Master by Dissertation
Application Deadline: 31 October 2021
Programme Overview

The MPhil is an interdisciplinary, research-based degree that lays the foundation for the development of novel and sustainable solutions for social challenges. Spend a year experimenting, collaborating and designing your own prototype, framework or business model to address a specific social or environmental challenge.

This specialised degree is offered as a one-year programme over four modules and students must submit a research dissertation within two years of registration as the only examinable outcome of the programme.


The MPhil in Inclusive Innovation curriculum is structured around three main components:  learning, engaging, and reflecting and creating – this can be referred to as praxeology (the study of purposeful human action). Self-reflection, introspection and personal growth are core elements of the programme.

The programme provides a foundation in the fundamentals of inclusive innovation, as well as the challenges facing those working on social and environmental issues. A typical class flows from student presentations and group feedback to focusing on topics such as values-based leadership, business model innovation, social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, and design thinking.

From the start of the programme, innovators identify a problem of interest and start developing a deep understanding of the context behind the issue they’d like to address. They conduct independent research, including a literature review, field studies, interviews, observations and assessment of market needs. This scholarly approach leads to a fuller understanding of the practical possibilities for contributing to the issue concerned.

Personal reflections and peer-to-peer feedback all help to spur the intellectual development of inclusive innovators and their ideas.

Students on this degree will be examined on a single outcome which must include:
– A research dissertation that has a strong narrative around the development of a prototype, framework or business model to address a specific social or environmental challenge. The submission must clearly illustrate a contribution to knowledge and practice.
– A practical outcome or artefact (a prototype, framework, business model, etc.). This can be in planning stage only.

Please note: Your dissertation will need to be submitted within two years of registration. And while it is the only examinable outcome of the programme, attendance at all four modules is compulsory.

Admission Requirements

The MPhil in Inclusive Innovation has the following requirements:
– Applicants must hold at least an NQF level 8 qualification in Applied Science, Commerce, Humanities, Health Sciences, Arts, and other related degrees. Alternatively, applicants who have a three-year degree with three or more years of work experience may apply as an RPL candidate (Recognition of Prior Learning). RPL candidates will be asked to complete the National Benchmark Test (NBT) in Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy (AQL- 3 hours).
– Applicants must have already demonstrated a desire for solving problems within the key themes of education, health, finance and digital inclusion; or have a passion to pursue an area they have already researched substantially.
– Applicants must have a minimum of three years’ work experience.

Application Process
Application Fees for South African & SADC Students: $99
Application Fees for International Students: $251

Submit your information and documents online, using the unique portal URL we provide you with. This allows us to get to know you and gives you the opportunity to gather all your information and documents. The required information includes:
*Updated CV
*Three motivational essays. The topics include:
– Please provide us with a narrative about who you are, what your vision for your future is, and why you have chosen to apply to the UCT GSB MPhil in Inclusive Innovation programme at this particular time in your life and career?
– How will you contribute to creating a strong, mutually supportive learning community for your cohort? What skills and expertise will you be able to offer your classmates to enhance the co-created learning journey?
– What do you expect, and hope to achieve from your GSB experience? How do you plan to manage the high time and energy demands of this intensive programme over the course of the next one or two years?

*Two evaluators forms. Approach two individuals who know you in a professional context, and who are not family members, to complete the confidential evaluator’s forms.
*A research proposal that tells us about your knowledge and experience to date, the context of the challenge you are addressing, the impact you envisage, and if applicable, the existing solutions in the field. The research proposal is your opportunity to make a case for the work you are passionate about.
*If you have not completed a Bachelor Honours degree, Postgraduate Diploma or a cognate Bachelor’s Degree equivalent at level 8 through relevant work experience you can apply through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route and submit a Portfolio of Learning (POL) assessment form in the portal.
*Applicants whose mother tongue is not English will be required to produce a TOEFL certificate to verify fluency in English.

Tuition Fees Details
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Tuition Fees for South African & SADC Students: $7,779
Tuition Fees for International Students: $11,409

South African / African citizens and
permanent residents R129 000

Non-African residents and
International students R189 200
(For applications outside Africa)

Relevant Contact

Prof. Warren Nilsson
Programme Convener