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PLAAS Academic Programmes


Post-Graduate Diploma



The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) is based in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape. PLAAS is internationally recognised for its expertise in research, policy engagement and teaching on issues related to poverty, inequality and vulnerability in agro-food systems.

Our areas of focus include land and water rights, natural resources management, agro-food restructuring, land and agrarian reform and the social aspects of fisheries and ecosystem management. PLAAS hosts the Department of Science & Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation (NRF) Research Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, as well as forming part of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoEFS). Over the past 24 years, we have produced 420 publications and graduated over 220 students across our programme offerings.

The Postgraduate Teaching Programme was initiated in 2001, offering two unique teaching programmes and two research programmes.

Teaching and Learning Approach

The Postgraduate Teaching Programme encourages teaching and learning through active class debates and discussions, encourages students to attend public seminars, public debates and relevant book launches on key areas.

Course Offerings

Each course/qualifications has separate admissions requirements. More information about each course is available at the below links:

Student Development

PLAAS arranges compulsory academic writing workshops for all our students on the following topics: – how to write academically, how to formulate an argument, the importance of referencing (and referencing tools). We do this with close co-operation with the Division of Postgraduate Studies.