DUE DATE: 1 September, 2024

The Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH), a joint initiative of the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town (UCT), is an independent inter-disciplinary academic research and teaching centre for public mental health promotion and service development in Africa. CPMH is proud to invite applications from across the African continent for the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Public Mental Health in 2025.


The PGDip in Public Mental Health is a one-year Africa-centred coursework-based diploma that aims to guide students in developing a good understanding of the discipline of public mental health, as well as the skills required to: (i) undertake research, (ii) participate in improving services and access to mental health interventions, and (iii) advocate for increased attention for public mental health in Africa. Further, completion of the PGDip will introduce students to the public mental health community and prepare graduates for further Masters level studies should they wish to continue their studies. The programme is designed to be accessible to practitioners who work full-time, and who are from a range of backgrounds including social work, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, health economics, public mental health, public health, health service management, policy making and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The training aims to build the professional capacity and leadership of the participants in their work, while contributing to public mental health expertise in Africa.

The programme comprises the following 4 courses: Introduction to Public Mental Health, Mental Health Epidemiology, Research Methodology for Public Mental Health and Interventions for Mental Health. In addition, the programme includes instruction on research integrity and other academic and professional skills such as academic writing, leadership and presentation skills. The PGDip faculty are academics, clinicians and practitioners active in the public mental health sphere in Africa. The diploma requires:

  • The completion of a 2-week residential training block in January 2025;
  • The resources necessary to access asynchronous learning material, and complete activities or assignments either individually or with fellow students;*
  • The resources necessary to participate in at least 1 synchronous online session per week during the courses;*
  • That students make time to engage in learning activities weekly in order to complete the PGDip within the 12-month period.
  • The completion of several assignments and activities throughout the PGDip, as well as a research or monitoring and evaluation proposal of approximately 5000 words.

* Note: a reliable internet connection is necessary for downloading material, watching videos online and attending video calls every week.

Two-week residential training block

The course will start with a 2-week residential training block in Cape Town from 20 January –31 January 2025. Students will attend lectures, seminars and workshops at one of the University of Cape Town campuses and/or at Stellenbosch University. The training block will include an orientation to online postgraduate learning and university resources, and an introduction to the PGDip programme as well as the field of public mental health and academic writing skills. All students are required to be available for full week days during the 2-week training session. Following the training block, students will commence online learning with ongoing support and mentorship via online platforms.


Registration is for 1 year, although students who need to repeat a course may reregister to complete the programme requirements. For administrative purposes, students will have to register with one of the collaborating universities i.e. with UCT or SU. Candidates should indicate their preference on their application, but as we require an equitable number of students enrolled at each university, we cannot guarantee registration at the university of the student’s choice. The course content and requirements will be the same for both universities. The diploma will be awarded by the university at which the student is registered.

Admission Requirements

Candidates for this programme should be in possession of a bachelor’s degree, or an equivalent three-year qualification, in a health- or development-related field (e.g. occupational therapy, medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, public health, anthropology and sociology). In addition, candidates should:

  • have experience of working in a mental health, health or a development-related field (at least 1 year);
  • have the capacity for a management or leadership role;
  • show evidence of adequate English language and writing proficiency for postgraduate academic studies, and evidence of computer literacy in basic Microsoft Office (or equivalent) packages
  • preferably be currently working in a workplace setting related to public mental health, such as a Ministry of Health, NGO or mental health service.

Please note:

  • A programme of this nature requires dedicated time and the ability to work independently. You will require a minimum of 15 hours per week on average to complete the PGDip . Please consider this carefully before applying.
  • The PGDip in Public Mental Health does not lead to a professional qualification which can be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa or any other professional council. It is strictly an academic course with no clinical components.
  • Students may not be registered for another PGDip/degree programme while they are registered for the PGDip (Public Mental Health).


The fees for this course for 2024, at the respective universities, were as follows:

Tuition Fees per year ZAR 43 400 (full programme of 4 courses) ZAR 42 980
International Students Administrative Fee ZAR 5 000 ZAR 1 647
Additional Fees for Students from non-SADC Countries Non-SADC African countries: ZAR R56 900
Non-SADC countries beyond Africa: ZAR 75 900
SADC** countries (which includes Namibia) and Rwanda: R44,600
AFRICA (beyond the SADC** countries and excluding Rwanda): ZAR 44 600
REST OF WORLD (Outside of Africa): ZAR 73 500
Application Fee ZAR 100 (RSA and SADC**)
ZAR 300 (rest of world)
ZAR 100

** SADC countries (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)

Fees for 2025 will be finalised in October/November 2024. See information on fees for Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town.


The aim of the African mental health Researchers Inspired and Equipped (ARISE) programme is to strengthen African public mental health. ARISE is offering fellowships to candidates from African countries to begin for this PGDip in Public Mental Health programme. Successful fellows will be registered at UCT or SU. The fellowships cover university fees and learning material related to the programme. To be considered for the fellowships, candidates must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of an African country
  • successfully gain entry to the PGDip in Public Mental Health.

The ARISE Fellowship is tenable during the first year of registration only. Should the programme not be completed within 1 year, the candidate will be responsible for the necessary registration fee and study costs in subsequent years of registration.

Selection Process

Admission to the programme is highly competitive, and is based primarily on academic merit and the potential to contribute to mental health development in under-served areas in Africa. We will engage in a rigorous selection process to identify the candidates who are most likely to successfully complete the PGDip within the prescribed period. In addition to the written application, short-listed applicants may be requested to attend a teleconference interview.

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2024. The outcome of the selection process will be communicated to all applicants by 31 October 2024.


The application forms are detailed, so that we have as much relevant information possible to enable us to select the most suitable candidates. Instructions for completing the application form are provided in this section. Please read and follow these instructions carefully as they are not repeated on the application form itself:

  • Download the application forms from the button below.
  • The application forms must be completed in full and submitted with all required supporting documents as a single PDF file, with your surname and initial as the file name, to on or before 1 September 2024.
  • Each application should consist of the following:
    • Completed application form, including:
      • Photograph
      • Signed declaration
      • Names of 2 referees. We will contact them directly.
    • Certified copies of original academic transcripts
    • A letter of support from your employer for attendance of the 2-week course in January 2025
    • An example of your own academic writing skills such as an article that you have authored. (Please do not submit a co-authored paper as we require an example of your writing skills.)
    • Please do not include any additional material (such as a separate CV) in your application package. Provision has been made on the application form for all information required for the selection process.
  • If you have any questions about the application form or process, please contact Songelwa Mobo (
  • Upon selection, students will be given additional information related to their registering university (such as information related to fees, registration, etc), as well as more detailed information about the course.


PGDip Application Form 2025 (.docx | 1 Mb)