Master of the Built Environment in the Field of Housing (MBE Housing)


Programme Description

MBE Housing degree engages with housing issues from a multi-disciplinary, internationalist perspective. Its courses explore theoretical, conceptual, social, technical, managerial, legal, financial and planning aspects of housing both in policy and in practice. Through a substantial research component, students are given the opportunity to critically explore a particular aspect of their interest in housing.

Benefits of the programme

The MBE Housing develops practical, managerial, analytical, and spatial skills as well as social and cultural sensitivities to meet housing challenges in the unevenly developing world.

Curriculum Outline/Modules taught

  • Housing Theory Concepts and Policy (20 points)
  • Housing Finance and Law (20 points)
  • Social and Technical Sustainability in Housing (20 points)
  • Management of Existing Housing Stock or Housing Seminar on Upgrading of Informal Settlements (20 points)
  • Research Methods (10 points)
  • Research Report (90 points)

Closing dates

  • 31 August (non-South African students)
  • 31 October (South African citizens and permanent residents)

The closing date for short courses is one week before the start of the course.


F/T 12 months, or P/T 24 months (block release). The degree consists of coursework and research. Courses (whether for the degree or as short courses) are offered one after the other, each taking two and half months and including two two-day teaching blocks spaced three to four weeks apart.


Graduates from the MBE Housing are marketable in several areas of professional practice - government housing departments and agencies, the service or NGO sector, the construction industry, consulting firms, parastatal or corporate sectors and local or international research or development agencies. Candidates who have graduated from the MBE Housing with an aggregate of 70% or above have progressed successfully into the School’s PhD programme.

Cost & Fees


As an indication of costs, we provide the fees that are charged in 2015. Fees are raised annually by 10-15%.

In 2015 fees are as follows:

Tuition fee for South African citizens or permanent residents for full-time study towards the MBE Housing: approximately R47 940.

Tuition fee for foreign students for full-time study: approximately R47 940 plus an additional foreign registration fee of:

  • R5030 (SADC and beyond – including Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe).
  • Full-time foreign students also have to pay a medical aid of approximately R4188/year upfront.

Part-time students only pay the fees for the course/s which they are registered for. In 2015, part-time students are charged R29 00000 for four courses. Their fees in the second year will be slightly lower, as they will only take one more course and do their research. However, the annual fee increase will apply to them.

All South African students are required to pay R9 340 towards their fees upon registration (Jan/Feb of the new year). Foreign students are required to pay all fees upfront upon registration.


Most bursary applications must be accompanied by proof of admission. We, therefore, encourage you to apply for admission to MBE (Housing) as early as possible. This may allow you to have a letter of admission before the bursary closing dates.

Foreign students are also encouraged to apply for bursaries from their home countries and governments.

Entry Requirements

Enrolment criteria / Admission requirements

An honour or equivalent degree with a minimum of 65% aggregate is required. As the MBE Housing is interdisciplinary, the honours or equivalent degree may be in any disciplinary area. Applicants with formal qualifications at lower levels (three-year university or technikon/technical college degree) may be considered as ‘differently qualified’ if there is evidence of substantial work experience (a minimum four years) in the field of housing, with relevant management responsibilities. Differently qualified applicants must include a detailed CV with their applications and are recommended to apply by 31 August to allow for an interview procedure. For candidates based outside of Gauteng Province, interviews can be conducted on Skype or telephonically.

Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

Wits is strategically located in Johannesburg, a world class city, with countless opportunities for students and staff to engage with and present solutions that will contribute to our country's knowle ... Read More

Wits is strategically located in Johannesburg, a world class city, with countless opportunities for students and staff to engage with and present solutions that will contribute to our country's knowledge-base and build our future. With its more than 130 000 graduates in its 91-year history, Wits has made and will continue to make its mark nationally and internationally. Read Less