WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$4,325 for the full programme
Part-time Study:2 Years
Applications Begin:April 2021
Final Award:Master of Urban Studies (MUS)
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 June 2021
Programme Overview

Cities – where most of the world’s population now lives – are increasingly a focus of research, of public debate, and of changing public policy. The MUS (UPG) develops a multi-disciplinary, theoretical and practical understanding of cities of the South. It focuses more specifically on issues of urban governance, local democracy and politics.

Students are offered the unique opportunity to engage with urban issues from a multi-disciplinary, international perspective. The coursework covers theoretical, conceptual, social, managerial, political and planning aspects of city studies and includes electives that deepen the engagement in specialised areas.

Through the substantial research component, students are able to critically explore a particular aspect of their interest in urban studies, urban politics and governance. Students are taught and supervised by a multi-disciplinary team of scholars, primarily located in Urban Planning and Political Studies, and also drawn from a multiplicity of social sciences disciplines such as Sociology, Geography, History, Anthropology. All of the academic staff involved in this field of study have both an excellent research record, and experience in various cities as professionals and/or as activists.

The Master of Urban Studies in the field of Urban Politics and Governance (MUS (UPG)) is not offered on a block release. As it includes a core course which is offered in the Politics Department and shares courses with other postgraduate degrees in the School of Architecture and Planning, candidates have to attend on a weekly basis. In the second year of the part-time route, part-time candidates have to attend the Research Methods course for one full day every two weeks for the first quarter of the year. There are several research progress presentations scheduled across the remainder of the year.


The MUS (UPG) consists of coursework and research. The coursework, which has the same credit weighting as the research component, is designed to complement the research enquiry. The elective course allows for individual specialisation beyond the essential urban management competencies taught in the compulsory courses. The degree is structured as follows:
– 4 compulsory Category A courses (70 points)
– 1 elective from Category B (20 points)
– Research Report (90 points)

Students who lack particular skills are asked to take an additional course: ARPL7052A Technologies and Techniques of the Built Environment (20)

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements
Honours or equivalent degree with a minimum of 65% aggregate is required. As the MUS (UPG) is interdisciplinary, the honours or equivalent degree may be in any field related to urban studies. ‘Differently qualified’ candidates that are considered for admission are those with substantial work experience (minimum four years) and who have some experience of research, but with formal qualifications at lower levels (three-year university or former technikon degree). The procedure we apply in assessing applications from differently qualified candidates involves a personal interview with the selection committee. Differently qualified candidates must submit their applications early to allow for the interview procedure.

Additional Entry Requirements

Compulsory assignment.

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

The degree is aimed principally at candidates interested in a research or academic career. It will also assist those who look to working with all kinds of local, national or international agencies concerned with urban affairs.

Tuition Fees Details
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Tuition Fees for South African & SADC Students: $4,325
Tuition Fees for International Students: $4,325

*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

Siphokazi Makhaye
Postgraduate Administrator