Postgraduate studies

Master's and doctoral studies by full research dissertation

In the postgraduate programmes, the emphasis is strongly on developing the subject discipline and making a valuable contribution to society through research.

Degree structure

The master’s degree entails the completion of a full research dissertation on an acceptable topic. This degree can be completed over a maximum of three years. The PhD degree entails the completion of a research thesis that can be completed over a maximum of five years.

Selection criteria

  • For a master’s degree: An Honours degree in Sociology or a cognate discipline with a minimum of 60% for the Honours degree.
  • For a PhD degree: A master’s degree in Sociology or a cognate discipline with a minimum of 60% obtained for the master’s degree.
  • The selection is also subjected to the availability of a suitable supervisor.

Application period

Applications open 2 May to 31 October annually. Applicants are advised to follow up if they do not receive feedback within a month of applying.

The department is home to academic staff who specialise in the following areas of research:

Masters research expertise:

  • Gender, including masculinities and feminist discourse

  • African Traditional Religion

  • Indigenous Knowledge 

  • Mining communities

Masters and PhD research expertise: 

  • Critical Race Theory

  • Applied social policy research

  • Community protests

  • Ethics

  • Local governance

  • Medical sociology

  • Qualitative research

  • Social demography

  • Social ecology

  • Social movements

  • Migration

Please note that while these are some of our main areas of expertise, we still encourage students who do not fully fit into these areas to still submit their applications, as this could allow for interesting interdisciplinary discourse that the department might be able to support. For more information on departmental research areas, please visit our staff profiles.

What to submit

  • A detailed well referenced proposal which should include a detailed background of your topic, a brief theoretical framework and detailed methodological considerations (maximum 5 pages, not counting the reference list)

  • Respective Hons or Masters transcripts 

  • Most recent qualification degree certificate

  • CV

  • Application form 

Application for Sociology Post Graduate Programme

Prospective students should download an application form on the department’s website (at the bottom of this page). Submit the completed form, together with the necessary documentation to the master’s and PhD Degree coordinator.

The departmental selection committee convenes regularly to consider applications and candidates are notified of the outcome by the coordinator. If the application has been successful students can proceed to register for the degree and must, upon registration, provide the assigned supervisor with proof of registration.

All sociology master's and PhD degree applications must be sent to:
  • Dr Khangelani Moyo
    T: +27 51 401 7456


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

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