Minimum study period: 1 year
NQF level: 8
Total credits: 128

The course comprises three three-hour papers (32 credits each), as well a research report of 32 credits. The course can be completed in one year when studying full-time, or part-time in two years. When studying part-time, HIST6818 must always be taken in the first semester for the first year of study, and the research report (HIST6808) must be completed in the first semester of the second year of study. Full-time students take HIST6818 and HIST6808 in the first semester, and HIST6828 and HIST6848 in the second semester. The research report must attest to independent research, and is completed under the guidance of a supervisor, who is appointed by the academic head of the department. The research report deals with a topic that is agreed upon by the student and the supervisor. Students are free to enrol for a 32-credit module in a related discipline, instead of either HIST6828 or HIST6848, on condition that it is approved by the academic head of the Department of History.


In addition to the general prerequisites for admission to the BA Honours with specialisation in History, the following provisions are applicable:

  • Admission to the Honours degree in History is subject to approval by the academic head of department.
  • Students must have completed any three-year Bachelor’s degree, and must have successfully completed History at first-, second- and third-year level (i.e. must have taken History for three full academic years).


Core modules

HIST6818: Subject theory, research methodology and modern historiography
The module is divided into three sections. The first section deals with the different theories or schools of thought which are important to understand History as a scientific discipline. It also shows the difference between History and other disciplines. The second section explores research methodologies pertaining to the writing of History. This includes the classification of historical sources, criticism of sources, etc. The third section deals with the different schools of thought and ideologies in the writing of History. Emphasis is placed on the liberal trend in South African historiography, the radical school of thought and the Afrikaner nationalistic school of thought.

HIST6828: Terror and autocracy in historical perspective
The course examines the rise of 'terror' as political phenomenon in the history of the twentieth century. Topics include terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

HIST6848: Human rights violations, truth and justice in historical perspective
The focus is on transitional justice and the options transitional regimes face after a period of human rights violations. The module examines the range of options, from complete amnesty through truth commissions to prosecutions, as well as pardon. The module assesses further the possibility for accountability for previous human rights violations in achieving as far as possible truth and justice.

HIST6808: Research Report
A topic is selected in collaboration with a supervisor.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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