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Bachelor of Social Science Honours

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE)

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 prestigious 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.

Successful completion of this programme leads to an IIE qualification.

The outcomes for this 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 of 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.


What is this Degree’s accreditation status?

The IIE Bachelor of Social Science Honours (BSocSci(Hons)) is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a 120-credit qualification on level 8 (SAQA ID: 90937).

Who is the Bachelor’s degree aimed at?

The aim of the course is to advance students’ knowledge and competencies in the main areas of their chosen field of specialisation. The curriculum covers a wide scope of scholastic activities and integrates theoretical knowledge, research competencies and applied skills relevant to the specialisation field. By exposing learners to the latest trends in the theory, research and practice in these domains, the programme enhances their abilities to conceptualise and analyse critically various aspects of the specialisation field in a multicultural context. An integral part of the programme is the completion of a research project which will equip students with the necessary skills to conduct research and to present and disseminate findings.

What entry requirements will I need to study this Honours degree?

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.

A relevant NQF 7 with an average of 60% or more in the third-year modules in the subject in which the student wants to specialise.

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 module at final-year (NQF L7) level.

Students who do not meet the admission requirements may be eligible for admission via alternate means such as RPL. Please enquire at the campus for assistance.

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

International Students

A SAQA Evaluation Certificate with NQF L7 equivalence in an appropriate field.

Students who do not meet the admission requirements may be eligible for admission via alternate means such as RPL. Please enquire at the campus for assistance.

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

How is this Honours degree structured at The IIE MSA?

The IIE Bachelor of Social Science Honours degree (BSocSci(Hons)) is a one-year degree. The academic year runs from February to November. The modules are delivered on a full-time basis with lectures and tutorials being scheduled during the day from Monday to Friday.

Please note that in line with academic practice, The IIE’s curriculum is reviewed annually thus changes may occur in module structure and sequence in order to ensure that the qualification remains relevant. The exit level outcomes of the programme do not change. Registered students receive an updated programme curriculum on an annual basis.

Study areas within the Bachelor of Social and Science Honours degree

Study areas for Bachelor of Social Science Honours include the following:

• Child and youth development
• Communication

• Criminology and criminal justice
• Geography and environmental science

• International studies
• Psychology

• Sociology
• Journalism studies

What about timetables?

Our full-time programmes are aimed at students wishing to dedicate themselves to full-time face-to-face studies for the duration of their qualification. This means that students are expected to be available throughout the day for class in the academic year depending on how the timetable is structured. Students may also be required to write assessments or submit coursework or assignments outside of normal class-time.

Students must understand that timetables remain subject to change throughout the year. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that timetable structures will remain the same during each year of your studies with us. In addition, where students are repeating modules, these modules may be offered in the evenings or on weekends. Students are required to attend classes in order to remain up to date with the academic programme. Students who would like to pursue part-time employment opportunities outside of the academic programme must prioritise their studies and avoid committing to work schedules until after they have received their timetables and academic calendar from the institution.

What must I pass in order to graduate with this Honours degree?

In order to be awarded this qualification, you must have achieved a minimum final year mark of fifty percent (50%) for each module of the programme; and have met all the Work Integrated Learning requirements, where applicable.

How long do I have to complete this qualification?

Students have a maximum of 6 years to complete this qualification.

With what qualification will I graduate?

You will graduate with The IIE Bachelor of Social Science Honours degree (SAQA ID: 90937).

Career opportunities: what career areas can I pursue once I have completed this Bachelor’s degree?

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.

Would it be possible to study further and obtain a postgraduate qualification once I have completed The IIE Bachelor of Social Science Honours degree?

The IIE Bachelor of Social Science Honours degree is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) at level 7 – the same level as other equivalent honours degree at both private and public South African institutes of higher education. The opportunity to apply for a postgraduate certificate/diploma or Master’s degree at any South African university or higher education institution exists subject to meeting their specific programme entrance criteria.

It is important to remember that your academic results remain a key factor when applying for further studies.

Call the IIE MSA campus to discuss your career options with one of our Student Advisors. Tel: +27 11 950 4009 or email

Disclaimer: Please note that this fact sheet is accurate at the time of publication. The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) reserves the right to alter any of the content prior to commencement of registration due to changes in regulation, policy, market requirements or any other valid reason.

British Accreditation Council

The IIE is not only accredited in South Africa but its dedication to providing quality education also led to it being accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) in 2014. The British Accreditation Council is an independent authority in the United Kingdom that accredits private providers globally, including Greece, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. In 2017 The IIE had its accreditation status confirmed by the BAC as an Independent Higher Education Institution confirming our confidence in the international comparability of our standards.

“South African students need to know, when they select a private higher education institution, that the standards offered are equivalent to those of a public University. Our students get this from our extensive local accreditation and registration. The students also benefit from knowing that we meet international standards too. The IIE is accredited as an Independent Higher Education Institution by the British Accreditation Council. Locally and internationally we have demonstrated the quality of what we offer,” said Dr Coughlan, Director, The Independent Institute of Education.

The IIE MSA students can be confident that their IIE learning experience meets international best practice standards.