Mining and Mineral Resources Programme (MMR)

Programme aim


The programme aims to educate and train future managers and leaders to have a high-level understanding of, and sensitivity to, the critical factors of sustainable development in the context of mining and minerals processing in Africa; and to be able to develop knowledge at an advanced level in and around the African mining industry, through research.


Institutions offering the programme


University of Cape Town (UCT)

University of Zambia (UNZA)


Degrees awarded


Master of Philosophy specialising in sustainable mineral resource development (UCT)

Master of in Sustainable Mineral Resource Development (UNZA)

At UCT, students pursuing a Master of Science in Engineering can also take some of the courses of the programme as electives.

Length of study


2 years

Student intake


Ten to fifteen per institution per year

Programme description


The programme is a joint offering of the University of Cape Town and the University of Zambia. The course work is offered in the form of intensive blocks of contact time followed by self-study culminating in written assignments. The first year of study can be done on a part-time basis. Experiences from the first three years of the programme implementation indicate that is easier for full-time students to timeously complete the dissertation component.

Structure of curriculum


The two-year programme comprises core and elective courses with a total value of 60 credits, and a research dissertation with a value of 120 credits. The four core courses are delivered in blocks of approximately 10 days each within the first year of study, and include:

  • Sustainable Development, convened by the Sustainability Institute, University of Stellenbosch
  • Strategic Social Engagement Practice, convened by the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town
  • Environmental Stewardship in Mining and Minerals Beneficiation, convened by the School of Mines, University of Zambia
  • Research Methodology and Communication, convened by the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town

The 120-credit research dissertation is convened by the student’s home university and is jointly supervised by academics from at least two different research disciplines and/or groupings.

Who should apply?


The programme is ideal for graduates from across a spectrum of disciplines (e.g. geologists, engineers, health & safety specialists, social scientists, economists, environmental managers or lawyers), who have an interest in pursuing or advancing their careers in the field of mining and minerals beneficiation. Applicants should hold a four year bachelor or honours degree from a recognized institution.

Comment from Associate Professor Jennifer Broadhurst (UCT)


The programme was inaugurated in 2014 and currently (July 2017) has a total cohort of 47 students, 30 of whom are enrolled at UCT and 17 at UNZA. This cohort represents a number of disciplines (including various engineering fields, forestry, law, economics, psychology, social science), and countries (South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Australia and Japan). Many of these students hold middle to senior management positions in government, mining houses, consultancies and in their communities. Others are recent graduates studying full time. This diversity has helped to enrich the learning experience and made for many inspiring classroom discussions and activities.

Comment from Dr Jewette Masinja (UNZA)


Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to study for a trans-disciplinary and inter-institutional (University of Zambia, University of Cape Town) Master of Mineral Science in Sustainable Mineral Resources Development Degree programme, offered through the Department of Metallurgy and Mineral Processing in the School of Mines at University of Zambia. The goals of this program are to provide professionals with an understanding of issues of sustainability and sustainable development in the context of the extraction and processing of mineral resources in Africa, to enhance interdisciplinary and systemic approaches to environmental protection and socio-economic development in the context of geo-extractive industries in Africa.