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Bachelor of Social Science

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE)

Employers seek flexible, well-informed graduates who are sophisticated communicators and analytical thinkers. The IIE Bachelor of Social Science offered at IIE MSA is designed to enable students to develop such qualities.

The world of work is changing rapidly and students will need to take a global outlook and be adaptable in order to succeed. This programme provides a rich basis of skills and knowledge for graduates to apply directly within the workplace, or to build on through further studies in the Bachelor of Social Science Honours or a postgraduate program.

With the skills and knowledge developed through their degree, graduates will be equipped to apply for positions in a diverse range of fields. These include journalism and publishing, business research and analysis, public relations and marketing, human resources, training and development, administrative positions, public or civil services, diplomacy, public policy makers, social and community services, counselling, social welfare and psychological services.

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:

  • Critically review, analyse, evaluate and synthesise knowledge.
  • Critique arguments by displaying creative thinking in the social science disciplines, preceded by reviewing, consolidating, analysing and synthesising a body of knowledge.
  • Identify and argue current trends in the intellectual context of technological and social change.
  • Independently identify and solve problems en route to an attitude of life-long learning.
  • Present clearly, concisely and coherently the current interpretations and potential future developments in the issues underlying the content of and approaches to the disciplines they study.
  • Write an exposition reflecting a broad understanding of a body of knowledge and theoretical concepts with advanced understanding in some areas.

What is this Degree’s accreditation status?

The IIE Bachelor of Social Science (BSS331) 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 360-credit qualification on level 7 (SAQA ID: 90905).

Who is the Bachelor’s degree aimed at?

The IIE Bachelor of Social Science (BSS331) degree is aimed at students who strive to understand, analyse, describe and explain the human world and their position within it, just as scientists attempt to describe and comprehend the natural world. The Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSci) Degree is designed to help students make sense of our rapidly changing global culture. Equally relevant to the professional world of work and the world of knowledge, the BSocSci aims to provide students with the skills needed to contribute to the social and cultural fabric of the community, region and the world and to become truly global citizens.

What entry requirements will I need to study this Bachelor’s degree?

National Senior Certificate (NSC)
Bachelor pass with English (50%)

National Certificate (Vocational) (NC(V))
Bachelor pass with English (50%)

Senior Certificate (SC)
Endorsement with English (50%)

Senior Certificate (Amended) (SC(a))
Please contact us for more information.

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

International entry requirements

International Students

An USAf Exemption Certificate is required meeting the minimum of 50% for English OR requisite English test e.g. TOEFL, IELS.

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

How is this Bachelor’s degree structured at The IIE MSA?

The IIE Bachelor of Social Science degree is a three-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.

Core discipline areas within the Bachelor of Social and Science degree

Study areas for Bachelor of Social Science include the following:


Communication and media studies 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.


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.


Development studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding key concepts and theoretical perspectives used in approaches to global development and poverty eradication. The area draws on ethnography, historical contextualisation and anthropology to help understand social and economic patterns of change; how development policy is imagined, produced, and received (or resisted) across multiple cultural contexts; and how development is imagined and defined through specific case studies of approaches, institutions and practitioners in the field. You will gain an understanding of global inequalities and how these impact on different groups of people. You will also gain an understanding of development theories and models and an understanding of how development has affected particular cultures and places.


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 on global issues, you will start by looking at the history of the 20th century, and then move to the issues currently facing our world as we move into 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.


What sorts of things exist in the world and how are they related? How are the mind and matter related? Philosophy raises questions such as these about the basic assumptions of every form of human inquiry – and attempts to find the answers. You will explore the notions of logic, critical reasoning, and both personal and professional ethics.


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.


Public relations practice provides you with the competencies and skills required for careers in managing the strategic corporate communication and public relations function of an organisation. An emphasis is placed on skills development in the utilisation of both traditional and new media, publicity and media relations, stakeholder mapping and profiling, strategic planning, marketing and advertising.


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 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.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

The internship component allows students to merge theory with practice, and to gain first-hand, practical experience in an area in which they may wish to pursue a career after they graduate. It consolidates and extends on the knowledge students have learnt, through experiential learning. It develops their understanding of the application of academically obtained knowledge and skills in a workplace environment, and facilitates their acquisition of work-based networks thereby allowing them to be involved in an area of interest. Separate internship programmes are drawn up for each student and selection will be based primarily on academic merit and availability of placements at approved organisations.

What must I pass in order to graduate with this Bachelor’s 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 degree (SAQA ID: 90905).

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

This degree will open up an attractive range of career options. Sophisticated communication, analytical thinking and flexibility are the qualities you can expect to possess after completing the Bachelor of Social Science. With skills like these you will be equipped to move into roles in areas including:

  • Journalism, public relations, marketing, branding and advertising
  • Criminal justice, policy development and human services
  • The police, courts and corrections
  • Government departments and non-governmental organisations
  • Restorative justice processes, victim counselling and employee assistance programmes
  • Field work, addressing geographical and environmental problems
  • International relations, foreign policy and politics (local and national)
  • Psychology, counselling and societal development
  • Research and academia.

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

The IIE Bachelor of Social Science 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 undergraduate degrees at both private and public South African institutes of higher education. The opportunity to apply for a postgraduate certificate/diploma or Honours 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.

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