MA Sport for Development (NQF level 9, 120 credits)


The MA in Sport for Development provides students with an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural programme which fosters competence and develops critical skills to respond to complex global challenges using sport as a vehicle and supporting SDGs’ approach to the challenge of sustainable and inclusive development.

The Degree is aimed at building both the leadership and interdisciplinary competencies needed to respond to the complexity of the challenges outlined in the SDGs and the role sport can play to contribute to sustainable and inclusive development and the vision for a more equitable world.

The  MA Programme equips and prepares students for their role as thought leaders in the sport and development field and as change agents for their present and future engagement with civil society, government and academia, media and business and global sport stakeholders. It covers the latest trends and research of sport and sport for development frameworks and policy and critically evaluates the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of sport for development programmes based on theoretical and practical approaches of the global North and global South.

Admission Requirements

BA/BSc (Hons) Degree, in Sport and Exercise Science, Sport Management, Biokinetics, Development Studies, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, or equivalent (at the discretion of the University).

All candidates should demonstrate a basic knowledge of the field of sport and recreation, development and transformation. Work or study experience in a multicultural context as an added advantage. The course targets representatives from government, academia and civil society as well as practising trainers, teachers, community and social workers and facilitators from diverse backgrounds. The course is designed for leaders and their subordinates alike, government departments, civil society, schools, the corporate sector, those working in research, the field and other like-minded individuals who work in the field of sport, recreation and development and peace. This Masters Degree programme offers students and professionals in the field of sport, recreation, development and peacebuilding a unique opportunity to acquire an in-depth training while retaining their current position.

This course offers participants the opportunity to challenge and further develop their individual professional vision, to acquire more intimate knowledge about the use of sport and recreation as a tool for development and peace, ranging from sport and recreation management to institutional and leadership issues and to know networks and key decision makers and key personalities from various backgrounds.

With a strong developmental and cross-cultural emphasis, the programme addresses most relevant issues in the field from a practice-orientated perspective and at the same time critically examines the potential role and use of sport and recreation as a local and global tool for youth and community development, conflict prevention, social transformation and peacebuilding. The course aims at promoting an educational process which will generate greater awareness and understanding of the complexities of using sport and recreation as a vehicle for such developmental efforts.

Duration: 1 year (Structured Masters in Blocks plus mini-thesis)

The course will run from January until December. It will be offered in the form of face-to-face contact time, self-study and interaction via e-learning. Lecturers will start with e-learning, assignments and self-study from January to July. Classes will be offered in 2 blocks of 3-4 weeks each in May/June and in November/December.

Modules and Credit Distribution:

Credit Distribution: 120 credits

Research focus areas:

  • Sport, Development and Peace
  • Policy, Implementation and Evaluation in Sport and Development
  • Physical Education
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Exercise Programming
  • Sport Management
  • Sport and Disability
  • Sport and Leadership
  • Sport and Youth Development
  • Sport and Psychology
  • Indigenous Games
  • Sport and the prevention of violence and crime

Exit Level Outcomes:

The programme is aimed at developing the following competencies:

  • An advanced understanding of integrated knowledge of practices of sport, development and peace
  • An advanced critical understanding of the principles, scope and theories of global and local trends in the field
  • An understanding of a range of research methodologies and methods/techniques, including monitoring and evaluation techniques
  • The ability to identify, analyze, synthesise and undertake an independent evaluation of current Southern African, African and international issues and initiatives including projects around sport, development and peace and sport and recreation as a tool for social change.

Moderation and Assessment

The programme and student performance will be subject to all university requirements and will be internally and externally moderated, including a full thesis. An MA in Sport for Development of the University of the Western Cape will be issued to those participants who successfully meet the assessment criteria.

For more information, please contact Prof. Marion Keim:

Email: or mkeim

Ph: +27 21 959 3859 or +27 82 202 3454

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