Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) for 2025

Why study Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)?

An Honours degree in Social Sciences with a focus on either child and youth development, communication and media studies, criminology, victimology and criminal justice, geography and environmental science, international studies or psychology will prepare you as a future public leader, professional or manager, with relevant and highly valued specialised knowledge of society’s institutions, cultures and values.

This Bachelor of Social Science Honours programme, comprising a fourth year of coursework and research after the completion of a relevant undergraduate degree, means you study independently on a research topic, working with a carefully selected supervisor providing one-on-one guidance and academic counselling tailored to suit your needs.

The outcomes for this Social Science Honours qualification were identified as critical to drive a student’s success. Students who have successfully completed the programme will be able to:

  • Construct a topical argument pertaining to a concept relevant to the field of study and display the ability to logically analyse and synthesise knowledge.
  • Critically debate the current understanding of theoretical concepts/frameworks, potentially leading to a new and greater understanding of said concepts/frameworks, theory and practice.
  • Develop and communicate a new understanding of the world as a set of related problem focused systems by exercising critical thinking and judgment.
  • Work and communicate with others as a member of a multi-disciplinary team when studying theoretical perspectives of the field of specialisation.
  • Design and conduct an independent research project in the specialised area of study, demonstrating a broad understanding of a body of knowledge with evidence of advanced understanding in some areas.
  • Develop and communicate to various audiences a clear and coherent case pertaining to a topic in the field of specialisation.
  • Contribute to knowledge in the specialised area by gathering, consolidating, interpreting and reviewing relevant data and revealing relationships between various concepts.
  • Independently apply theoretical knowledge of the specialised area to complex problems and suggest possible solutions.

Successful completion of this programme leads to an IIE qualification.

Career Opportunities

Sophisticated communication, analytical thinking and flexibility are the qualities you can expect to graduate with after completing the Bachelor of Social Science honours degree offered at IIE MSA. With skills like these you will be equipped to move into expert roles in areas like:

  • Journalism, publishing and writing
  • Public relations, corporate communication, marketing and advertising
  • Police, courts and corrections
  • Child and youth development
  • Management and administrative positions
  • Public or civil service, diplomacy, foreign affairs, urban and environmental planning, public policy analysis
  • Social and community services, counselling, social welfare and social research
  • Teaching (with an additional teaching qualification) and education administration.

Entry requirements

Minimum Admission Requirements

An appropriate Bachelor’s Degree with an average of 60% in the final year;
An appropriate Advanced Diploma, provided that a 360 credit Diploma or appropriate equivalent has been completed, with an average of 60% in the final year.

Candidates must have modules at NQF Level 7 in the same discipline for which the candidate is requesting Honours admission (e.g. Child and Youth Development or Communication and Media Studies or Criminology and Criminal Justice or Geography and Environmental Science or International Studies or Psychology or Sociology) and a foundation research module at the undergraduate level, preferably at NQF Level 7. Those who have not completed a foundation research module at undergraduate level will be required to do The IIE Introduction to Research SLP and need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of basic research before they can commence with their research report. Candidates are normally required to have a minimum final year average of 60% in the qualifications final-year (NQF L7) module. Those with a final year average of 55 - 59% will be admitted if they attained an average of 60% or higher for the designated cognate/core discipline modules at final-year (NQF L7) level.

Additional Notes:

Graduates of The IIE who do not meet the admissions requirements for admission to Honours can enrol for and repeat all or some of their NQF Level 7 modules in order to improve their marks so that they can meet the entry requirements for Honours. These graduate students will then receive an additional transcript after the completion of the repeat module(s), where the repeat module(s) will appear as a second iteration of the module(s) on the transcript. The marks from the second iteration can then be used for admission to Honours in the subsequent academic year. This option is only available to graduates from The IIE and does not apply to graduates from other HE institutions.

Please note, requirements for entry to this qualification are correct at the time of publication. However, these may change.


More information can be found by visiting How to apply

Entry requirements

International Students

A SAQA NQF L7 Evaluation Certificate in an appropriate field and meeting the additional admission requirements.

Please note, requirements for entry to this qualification are correct at the time of publication. However, these may change.


More information can be found by visiting How to apply

Study areas for Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)


Communications focuses on the role of media in society and how this influences the way we receive communications and the way we communicate with each other. You will explore communication in interpersonal, organisational, corporate and intercultural contexts, gaining an understanding of the structures of communications industries and how to critically analyse the media. An opportunity to apply skills via a workplace internship is also available.


When you consider it away from the glamour of books, movies, television programmes and sensational media coverage, crime is revealed to be both a fascinating and incredibly complex subject.

If you have an interest in deviance, conflict, crime, victimisation, society and the need for creating and maintaining safety then a major research piece in criminology and criminal justice is for you.

You may choose to focus your research on the forms of crime that can have a significant negative impact on society, the economy and the environment, or you might propose new ways to deal with crime, conflict and victimisation.


In this major you will develop an understanding of natural environments, societies, communities, economies, human-environment relations and environmental management.

You will cover both human geography and physical geography and have the opportunity to participate in field studies and trips allowing you to further develop and apply skills gained.


As the world globalises and nations and economies become more integrated, understanding our world and the ideas and beliefs of our neighbours is vital. International studies criss-crosses history, politics, international relations, sociology and economics. Offering a uniquely African perspective to global issues, you will start by looking at the history of the 20th century and then move to the issues currently facing our world today.


Through a combination of academic and practice-based work, students gain a solid foundation in all production technologies - print, video, radio and online - in metropolitan, regional and international contexts. You will be equipped with the skills required for the practices of research and reporting for news journalism and journalism production and develop an understanding of the technologically driven media society. The program opens employment opportunities in the print and electronic media in the private sector and government.


Political studies is a broad area of study allowing you to learn about the interrelationships in the human world. You will consider debates about resource allocation, decision-making, social behaviour and political action, the management or resolution of conflict, power struggles, ideologies and political movements, and the nature of the government and the state, including relations between states. The study of politics is ultimately concerned with important questions about the nature of power and authority, with the relationship between theory and practice, and with trying to understand the nature of social existence and the conditions needed for establishing more desirable forms of human community.


Psychology draws on a range of phenomena including remembering and forgetting, thinking, learning, problem solving, how we communicate, our emotions, and our social interactions. It allows us to examine how we respond to the world around us, providing valuable insights in how we can interact with the world more effectively and safely.

The Psychology major is research-led and based on the scientist-practitioner model of education whereby you will learn about psychology within a scientific perspective.


Sociology explores people and the relationships that they have in different contexts such as families, schools and workplaces. Sociologists look to things like social class, gender, ethnicity, power and culture to understand and explain the differences in how people live, think and feel.

What is a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)?

This is a prestigious programme of coursework and research in social sciences and humanities for high achieving students who have completed a relevant undergraduate degree. You will undertake research methodology training and carry out an independent research project in your selected discipline, working closely with a supervisor who will provide you with individual guidance and academic counselling. The programme offers a pathway to higher degree research in the social sciences.