The PGDip in Planning is aimed at people who come from a non-planning background and are interested in the field of planning. It's designed to enable you to establish a strong foundation for a career in a wide variety of organisations involved in planning and development.


The Postgraduate Diploma focuses on urban and regional development challenges and it explores ways of finding planning solutions through a holistic, integrated and strategic developmental approach.

The theoretical foundations, core values, primary methods and key challenges facing contemporary planners are examined. Learners use theory to examine social dynamics, politics, economics, history, design and land use patterns as well as environmental and sustainable development issues.

Students develop the capacity to think broadly and deeply regarding the past, present and future of both urban and rural communities. In this way, the qualification enables them to develop their understanding of planning principles, and their application in different social and political contexts. 

Approach to the release / timetable:

  • The academic year runs from February to November, divided into two semesters.
  • Full-time and flexible part time options available involving compulsory in-person contact time in 1 to 2 week blocks (1 to 2 blocks per semester).
  • Blocks incorporate group and studio work, fieldtrips, exhibitions, presentations and exams and interdisciplinary high-level lectures.
  • Assignments and blended/hybrid sessions (i.e., enabling in person and online participation) between these blocks throughout the two semesters.
  • Online participation is facilitated through platforms such as Teams and Canvas.

Career Opportunities

The Diploma has been designed to enable learners to establish a strong foundation for embarking on careers in a wide variety of organisations involved in planning and development. It also provides a suitable route towards entering the Master of Science in Development Planning (MSc DP) degree, which confers a professional planning qualification.

Planning offers an exciting career and is the right choice for those who wish to make a meaningful contribution to our society, and who wish for personal fulfillment in their working lives. Planning is a growing field, and has been defined as a scarce skill by government.

Planners work in large cities, small towns and rural areas across the world, for the public sector (state and local government), non-governmental organisations, and the private sector (property development companies, planning or multi-disciplinary consulting firms).

Our graduates have varied and rewarding career opportunities. The School is committed to producing students who can work internationally, and who can respond to challenges of globalisation, new technologies, and economic and cultural practices.

Many of our graduates find employment in the public sector, in one of the three spheres of government in South Africa. In this environment, a graduate could become involved in policy formulation in sectors such as housing, environment or economic development, or in implementing and managing various development programmes. Some graduates specialise in spatial planning, whilst others contribute to the strategic directions that cities adopt. Similarly, the private sector also offers many opportunities as planners work closely with developers formulating new uses for space in the city. Currently in South Africa there is a demand for planners in many fields, ranging from localised developmental work such as micro-retail projects to big infrastructure initiatives such as the Gautrain.

Graduates who go on to practice as planners play important roles in creating places that for where and how people live and work.


All courses are compulsory. Click here for curriculum.

Entry Requirements

The minimum admission requirements are:

  • A recognised undergraduate degree in a cognate field (e.g. geography, architecture, engineering, sociology, anthropology, economics, politics, and property studies)
  • A BTech in Urban and Regional Planning
  • Students should have attained an average of 65% or more in the final year of their previous degree
  • Literacy in mathematics and academic writing proficiency

Please note that applicants with a BTech in other fields, or a National Diploma in Urban, Rural and Regional Planning and at least six years of experience in planning practice will need to undergo assessment as ‘differently qualified’.

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 their qualification.
  • As a resident of the urban area you live in, reflect in 600 words on your own experience with a particular planning challenge (providing first hand detail) and in what way you expect a planning professional to address this. In this discussion, spell out the knowledge, skills and expertise you expect a planning professional to master in order to successfully address this particular challenge.  
  • Present themselves at an interview

University Application Process

  • 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.
  • 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.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.