Africa needs development practitioners in government, business and civil society who understand the complexity of developmental challenges and who have the leadership capacities to design and implement the integrated and multidisciplinary Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The University of Pretoria’s Master’s in Development Practice (MDP@UP) addresses this need by delivering graduates with the knowledge, leadership competence and technical skills needed to the implement the SDGs.

The one-year MDP@UP uses a hybrid learning approach, introducing participants to the most relevant development theory and practice. This includes online and face-to-face learning, leadership service learning and case study write-up and analysis. The programme is truly multidisciplinary and focuses on the social sciences, health sciences, management sciences and natural sciences.

The MDP@UP is hosted by the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership and is Africa’s only programme that focuses on building leadership competence needed to implement the SDGs.


Why choose the MDP@UP?

  • The University of Pretoria (UP) is one of Africa’s leading research-intensive universities. Its graduates are sought after in all industries. Its new Future Africa campus will strengthen UP’s reputation. Future Africa is one of Africa’s premier locations for interdisciplinary research to solve society’s most pressing problems.
  • The programme is affiliated with the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice, coordinated by Columbia University in New York.
  • The Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership hosts the South African SDG Hub, Africa’s first initiative that links policymakers with SDG-relevant research and innovation. MDP@UP participants will be involved in activities coordinated by the SA SDG Hub.
  • The programme focuses on participants who are already in full-time employment. This enables participants to apply theory to their work environment and to build lasting networks.
  • Pretoria is a continental hub for development actors in government, business, and civil society.
  • MDP@UP participants will be taught by world-class faculty from industry and academia.


Who should apply?

MDP@UP seeks to attract perse and exceptional participants. To apply, you should be able to prove the following:

  • A completed undergraduate degree with proof of exceptional undergraduate academic performance
  • Exceptional motivation
  • Minimum of five years’ work experience


How should you apply?

The MDP@UP uses a two-step selection process.


Step 1: All interested candidates

  • Submit an application on Indicate that you’re interested in a postgraduate degree. In order to find the degree, search for ‘Development Practice’.
  • After you’ve submitted an online application, send the following documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:
    1. (i) your motivation for applying (no more than 500 words);
    2. (ii) a resume (no more than 2 pages);
    3. (iii) a short video recorded on a mobile device (no more than 2 minutes) in which you explain your motivation for applying;
    4. (iv) proof that you’ve been employed for five years or more.


Step 2: Only provisionally selected candidates

  • Provisionally selected candidates will be required to successfully complete an online course before 30 November 2018. Logistics will be communicated directly to provisionally selected candidates.
  • The final selection will be made from candidates who have completed the course.


Key dates

01 Apr 2018 Applications open
31 Aug 2018 Application closing date
07 Sep 2018 Provisionally selected candidates announced
30 Nov 2018 Online course completed
07 Dec 2018 MDP@UP participants announced

Contact Sessions:

21 to 23 Feb 2019 First contact session
22 to 28 May 2019 Second contact session
28 Aug to 03 Sep 2019 Third contact session

What are the costs?

Tuition is estimated at R50 500 / USD 4 300. You will be responsible for travel to and accommodation in Pretoria, South Africa.


Contact us

For more information regarding the MDP@UP please contact Prof Willem Fourie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.