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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91115  Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management 
ORIGINATOR
Stellenbosch University 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Environmental Sciences 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The Postgraduate Diploma: Environmental Management is designed to provide learners with advanced knowledge, practical skills and awareness of the ethical values required by integrating the wide-ranging contextual, conceptual and practical issues involved in Environmental Management in South Africa in particular.

Rationale:
The Qualification is aimed at addressing the need for sound leadership in the Environmental Management field. It targets learners from different professional backgrounds such as government, Non Governmental Organisations and private organisations who seek to make a contribution to a wide range of environmental issues and to provide leadership in integrating the concept of environmental sustainability into the broader South African society and economy. The qualification is intended to produce thoughtful and sensitive leaders who combine specialised in-depth knowledge in Environmental Management with the emphasis on environmental, social and management issues, supported by a strong understanding of the natural science basis of environmental systems. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
It is assumed that learners accessing this qualification are able to critically read, analyse and reflect on study material and relevant literature at NQF Level 8.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
The RPL candidates have to develop a comprehensive portfolio of their experience demonstrating that they are on equal footing with those who had formal training as far as knowledge, competencies and skills are concerned. The portfolio is assessed by three members of the Programme Committee and may also involve an in-depth interview.

Access to the Qualification:
Learners aspiring to access this qualification must be in possession of a:
  • Bachelor's Degree in one of the following major subjects: Geography and Environmental Studies, Sociology, Economics, Public and Development Management, Geology, Botany, Zoology, Agricultural Economics, Logistics, Forestry, Ecology/Nature Conservation, Civil Engineering, Architecture, Surveying or any related qualification.
    Or
  • Bachelor of Technology: Town and Regional Planning or other applicable fields. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The qualification consists of six compulsory and two elective modules at NQF Level 8, each worth 15 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules:
  • Environmental Issues.
  • Environmental Ethics.
  • Environmental Law.
  • Environmental Economics.
  • Environmental Governance.
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

    Elective Modules (Learners are to choose 2 elective modules):
  • Sustainable Development.
  • Development Planning and Environmental Analysis.
  • Any other elective module from the Sustainable Development Department.
    Or
  • A recognised programme from another Department, approved by the Programme Coordinator. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the most significant global environmental, social and economic challenges that face humankind and show insight into the solutions suggested by the universal commitment to sustainable development.
    2. Apply various concepts related to development planning and environmental analysis and the role of analysis in knowledge-building, science and research, policy-making and implementation for sustainability.
    3. Apply the economic criteria of efficiency and sustainability in decision-making, have a clear understanding of the meaning of economic value and be able to identify the economic values derived from an environmental asset (e.g. a wetland).
    4. Recognise and conceptualise the ethical and value based dimensions of environmental issues, environmental decision-making and environmental management.
    5. Apply the economic criteria of efficiency and sustainability in decision-making.
    6. Acquire basic knowledge of environmental policy instruments, governance processes and institutional frameworks as well as an appreciation for the socio-political contexts within which environmental governance takes place.
    7. Develop a clear understanding about the scope and nature of key environmental issues, the causes thereof and our limited understanding of complex ecological processes.
    8. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the scope and nature of Environmental Law.
    9. Understand and operate an entry-level GIS package as an analytical tool for decision support in environmental planning and decision-making.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    The qualification develops all the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    The following Assessment Criteria are applied in an integrated way to modules and specialised learning areas, where applicable, to determine competence in the Exit Level Outcomes:
  • The different interpretations of sustainable development that currently exist are recognised, understood and applied.
  • The interface between the natural and the human environment (social-ecological systems) is understood.
  • The sustainable development theory and its application to a real world problem are critiqued.
  • The town or regional profiling of the socio-economic characteristics of communities, including poverty, social, economic and environmental analyses are interpreted and presented.
  • Understanding of the context of science, research and analyses, namely complexity, uncertainty, diversity, the political nature of knowledge is demonstrated.
  • Methods of how census data can be extracted using SuperCross and how they can be processed into useful information (socio-economic indicators), using Microsoft Excel and Word, are explored and applied.
  • The procedure of completing a cost-benefit analysis and the use of economic incentives (e.g. taxes) for environmental management decision-making are understood and applied.
  • The economic causes of environmental degradation are identified.
  • The policies and strategies that are used in Environmental Management to resolve environmental issues are assessed in ethical terms.
  • The relationship between context, structures and processes and its application on case studies in environmental governance is understood.
  • The international conventions and the associated relevance for Environmental Management are understood.
  • The significance of the Constitution regarding the environment and how public bodies in the different spheres are entrusted with legal authority and competencies to manage the environment are researched and presented.
  • The South African environmental legislation in general and the Environmental Management Act as the principal environmental statute are understood.
  • Five practical GIS computer applications are planned, designed and explained.
  • Individual and group spatial environmental project problems related to own work-related environmental issues using GIS technology are prepared and reported on.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Formative assessment:
    Learning and assessment are integrated. Continual formative assessment is required in order to provide learners with feedback on their progress in the achievement of the learning outcomes.

    Summative assessment:
    A variety of assessment schemes, including individual and group case studies, individual and group presentations, individual assignments and written tests is utilised. Assessment will ensure engagement with both theory and practice. There will be more than one assessment opportunity per module. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management compares well with the following international qualifications:

    Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management, The Open University, Hong Kong:
    The 120 Credits qualification is designed to help learners meet the challenges of Environmental Management in the context of sustainable development and a changing world. Everyday concerns of environmental protection, natural resource management and rapidly changing environmental legislation and policy are considered in global and local contexts. From complying with environmental legislation to improving the competitive edge of a business and addressing the global challenges of climate change and energy conservation, Environmental Management is becoming increasingly important to everyone. Further, the qualification was established to meet the needs of specialists, managers and the public for postgraduate level environmental education. Learners who have successfully completed this qualification would be eligible to enrol for a Master of Science in Environmental Management.

    The qualification consists of two compulsory and four elective modules, each consisting of 30 credits:

    Compulsory Modules:
  • Environmental decision making: a systems approach.
  • Managing for Sustainability.

    Elective Modules (Learners are to choose 4 modules):
  • Environmental Monitoring and Protection.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Ethics, Policy and Action.
  • Capacities for Managing Development.
  • Changing Cities: Urban Transitions and Decision-making.
  • Managing systemic change: Inquiry, Action and Interaction.
  • Problem solving and improvement: Quality and other approaches.
  • Thinking strategically: Systems tools for managing change.

    Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management, University of London, United Kingdom:
    This qualification is approved by a professional body, the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), subject to the completion of specified modules. The successful completion of this qualification makes learners eligible for registration as Associate members of the IEMA. In order to qualify for recognition by the IEMA, learners will be required to study the elective modules in Ethics for Environment and Development and International Environmental Law. The qualification is designed to promote sustainability through environmental practice and performance, and supports professional development of individuals involved in the environmental profession in the public, private and non-governmental sectors.

    Upon the successful completion of the qualification, learners will have:
  • A sound understanding of the principal environmental policy issues confronting managers in diverse geographical and cultural situations.
  • An awareness of the ethical and moral issues involved in seeking the wise and sustainable use of resources.
  • Acquired a range of relevant practical skills, particularly in the fields of environmental impact assessments, audits and law.

    The qualification comprises four compulsory and four elective modules.

    Compulsory Modules:
  • Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy.
  • Environmental Science and Management.
  • Environmental Assessment.
  • Environmental Auditing and Environmental Management Systems.

    Elective Modules (Choose any 4 modules):
  • Environmental Valuation: Theory, Techniques and Application.
  • Climate Change and Development.
  • Water Resources Management.
  • NGO Management.
  • Sustainable Land Management.
  • Sustainable Forest Management.
  • International Environmental Law.
  • Ethics for Environment and Development.

    Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management, Massey University, New Zealand:
    This qualification comprises a minimum of 120 Credits and is aimed at enabling learners to:
  • Understand the environment and society's impact upon the environment.
  • Reflect objectively on problems and opportunities, think creatively, employ analytical skills and develop and present clear responses to current environmental situations.
  • Demonstrate technical competence in assessing environmental issues and develop relevant and appropriate environmental management strategies.
  • Identify, evaluate, document, disseminate and use knowledge in the context of Environmental Management.

    Learners are required to do Advanced Natural Resource Management (30 Credits) as a compulsory module plus an approved selection of modules. Up to 30 Credits may be approved from modules chosen from Schedules from other Postgraduate qualifications. The qualification may include a 30 Credits Research Report and Research Methods or Research Practice and/or a maximum of 45 Credits of Special Topic modules and/or a Special Topic module of 30 Credits.

    Conclusion:
    The Postgraduate Diploma: Environmental Management, similar to those offered by the international institutions mentioned above, aims to develop competent environmental management leadership within the broader context of sustainable development. The content and scope of the qualification, in the broader sense, compares well with the international offerings and will prepare learners to acquire the intrinsic knowledge and skills in order to deal with the environmental challenges facing the country and Africa as a whole. The Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management therefore compares favourably with the international qualifications on offer. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontally, this qualification articulates with similar qualifications at NQF Level 8, such as:
  • Bachelor of Technology: Town and Regional Planning, as well as other applicable fields.
  • Four-year Bachelor's Degree: Town and Regional Planning.
  • Any other cognate Postgraduate Diplomas.

    Vertically, this qualification articulates with a Master of Philosophy: Environmental Management on condition that the required Research Methodology modules are completed before or during the period of learning. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Internal and external moderation will be conducted in accordance with the moderation policies of the institution. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
  • Assessment is administered by qualified lecturers.
  • Assessors must have a relevant qualification higher than that of the one they are assessing.
    For this qualification, assessors must have a qualification at NQF Level 9 or above. 

  • NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Stellenbosch University 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.