Postgraduate Diploma in Disaster Risk Studies and Development (DRSD)


This cross-disciplinary one-year programme aims to provide students with an integrated understanding of disaster risk and its implications for sustainable development in Africa, with a strong but not exclusive foscus on South Africa.

It focuses on understanding the interactions between social and physical risk producing processes and builds students' capacity to plan and implement comprehensive risk reduction measures. It provides a grounding for multiple career paths, including teaching, research and practice.

The one-year programme also serves as a bridging qualification that equips students to progress to RADAR’s MPhil in Disaster Risk Science
and Development. Focus areas include:
  • The conceptualization of disaster risk and risk reduction
  • Disaster risk as a developmental issue
  • Community risk assessment

The programme is endorsed by the Disaster Managment Institute of South Africa (DMISA). Successful participants can earn 12 CPD points.


This programme structure provides three compulsory disaster risk-related modules. These are:
  • Disaster Risk Science and Development
  • Community Risk Assessment, and
  • Risk and Development
Students without training in physical geography will take compulsory module on understanding Environmental Hazards.
Students with a suitable background in physical geography will choose two electives drawn from Postgraduate programmes offered by
Stellenbosch University’s School of Public Leadership and Sustainability Institute. These include modules on:
  • Development Planning
  • Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Environmental governance

The programme is taught in hybrid mode, and combines in-person and online teaching. Students are expected to be in Stellenbosch for 4 6-day contact blocks (1 contact block per module) over the course of the year. Students cannot successfully undertake the programme without attending these in-person blocks.


You will be considered if you have a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in geography, environmental studies, geospatial analysis,
agriculture, anthropology, sociology, development studies, public management, town and regional planning or a qualification considered
equivalent by RADAR and Stellenbosch University's Senate.


General information

Visit to obtain an application form or APPLY ONLINE:
For enquiries send an email to or phone +27 21 808 9111
Address: The Registrar, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, MATIELAND 7602
Applications for South African students close 31 October 2022.
Visit the University's postgraduate studies portal here.

Bursaries and loans

Stellenbosch University offers various merit bursaries, sports bursaries, bursaries for studies in specific faculties or departments, general
bursaries and bursary loans for needy students (see Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Calendar Part 2).
Phone +27 21 808 4208 or e-mail for more information
Address: The Registrar (Head: Postgraduate Bursaries and Loans), Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, MATIELAND 7602

Tuition fees

Division for Student Fees: Tel: +27 21 808-9111 or e-mail:


University accommodation: Apply online or phone +27 21 808 9111 for an application form.
Private accommodation: Contact the Student Housing Office, +27 21 808 2848
Closing date for applications: 30 June of the year before accommodation is needed.

International students

International (Non-South African) students must apply through Stellenbosch University's International Office
Tel: +27 21 808 2565, or e-mail: 
Address: International Office, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland, South Africa

Visit the University's postgraduate studies portal here.
Applications for international students close 31 August 2022.
Find answers to FAQs here.


Dr. Robyn Pharoah, Programme Co-ordinator

Tel.: (021) 808 9492



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