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Faculty of Social and Health Sciences

The first majors started with the establishment of MSA in 2001, were offered in the then School of Arts. The two Schools of Social Science and Health Science amalgamated into the Faculty of Social and Health Sciences in 2017, strengthening the offering of a rich variety of inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary programmes in three clusters:

  • Communication and Media Studies;
  • Human and Health Sciences; and
  • Political, Social and Development Studies.
There are three Bachelor degrees to choose from: the IIE Bachelor of Child and Youth Care (BCYC); the IIE Bachelor of Public Health and the IIE Bachelor of Social Science. The first two degrees are in specialised fields and the third degree offers students a choice to major in a rich variety of thought-provoking disciplines, including Communication and Media Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Development Studies (incorporating Human Geography), International Studies, Journalism Studies, Philosophy, Political Studies, Psychology, Public Relations Practice, and Sociology.If you are keen to broaden your knowledge base and expertise, you can do a second major, even across faculties, which complements your study plan. Popular choices are to combine Psychology with Management, or Criminology; Communication and Media Studies with Marketing or Journalism; and Development or International Studies with Economics. The possibilities are endless.
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For those interested in pursuing a career in law, there is an opportunity to complete a one-year pathway programme into the professional IIE Bachelor of Law (LLB) offered by the Faculty of Business and Technology, after graduating from the IIE Bachelor of Social Science degree.

The faculty is furthermore among a few institutions in Africa offering the IIE Bachelor of Public Health degree and one of only two who offer the IIE Bachelor of Child and Youth Care degree. The curriculum for these degrees were constructed to prepare students for meeting the needs of the public health and child and youth care sectors in Africa.

We know that potential employers prefer to hire graduates who have had more than just ‘book learning’. That is why we go one step further and place a strong emphasis on gaining practical workplace experience. Several of our discipline areas, in both social science and public health, have fieldwork, work placements, or internship components included in their core curriculum. This means that by the time you graduate, you could already have some work experience on your CV, increasing both your employability and the possibility of career success.

The IIE BCYC requires you to spend 400 hours in fieldwork and students therefore need to register as student child and youth care workers with the South African Council of Social Service Professions (SACSSP). This council also endorsed the IIE BCYC, meaning the degree is recognised when graduates want to register as professional child and youth care workers with the SACSSP. With this degree you do not need to later gain entry into an honours year, because it is a 4-year professional degree and students exit on honours level.

The faculty also offers a number of programmes at postgraduate level. The IIE Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) allows you to specialise in Child and Youth Development, Communication and Media Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice, International Studies, Journalism Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, or Sociology. This prestigious programme will prepare you as a future public leader, professional researcher, an expert in your chosen field, or as a manager with relevant and highly valued specialised knowledge of society’s institutions, cultures and values.

The IIE Bachelor of Public Health (Honours) in turn, ensures that our students are adequately prepared for work in health programmes and spearheading projects of national importance. You also have the option to choose the IIE Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health which is offered at the same National Qualifications Framework Level (8), but with a more practical focus on public health management.

If you would like to polish your specialist skills even further, the research IIE Master of Philosophy (MPhil)or IIE Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Integrated Water Management might be just what you’re looking for. You will be teamed with leading researchers who will act as your supervisors and sounding board while you undertake your major thesis on the topic of your choice. For those who are interested in a more practically-oriented postgraduate qualification, we also offer an IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Water Management.

Beyond the classroom, the faculty is spearheading research through a Water Research Node and a Centre for Transformative Research, in addition to diverse and wide-ranging projects focused on human social, mental, and health-related issues. The faculty regularly hosts knowledge cafés and academic events related to these issues.

The Faculty of Social and Health Sciences is positioning itself to be a regional hub for social, human and health sciences through expanded programme offerings, innovative teaching, cutting-edge research, and community engagement focused on improving the lives of both local communities and across our continent. We look forward to you joining our team of critical thinkers and change-makers!