Short courses

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The UJ Department of Sociology offers two short courses: Advanced Social Research Methodology; and Social Impact Assessment

(1) Advanced Social Research Methodology

The UJ Department of Sociology is pleased to be able to invite you to enrol for our annual workshop leading either to an officially accredited qualification in advanced Social Research Methodology or to one MA coursework module. The course is registered with the South African Qualification Authority at NQF level 8 and is taught at a master’s level, but has been experienced as useful by more senior scholars and experienced practitioners. The course covers qualitative and quantitative social research methods, plus the theoretical issues underlying these approaches. It includes an introduction to SPSS, a user-friendly package for processing quantitative data.
Dates and times of offering
The course has been offered in two block weeks during the first semester of every year since 1999. On-campus classes are scheduled to take place during daytime work hours in two block workshop weeks. The dates on which the course is offered in a particular year are announced in newspaper advertisements, usually in the Mail & Guardian, however, students may inquire to the course coordinator any time from November. Students should be prepared to dedicate these two entire weeks to the course in addition to individual after-hours and weekend work. While masters students are expected to attend all Wednesday Seminars, certificate students of the course are expected to attend a minimum of eight seminars in the Wednesday seminar series. It is advisable to attempt this during the first semester. Preparation and assignments take place outside of these periods. Finally, a presentation of a research proposal is scheduled later in the year.
Topics covered include * SPSS * Managing research and writing proposals * Philosophy and ethics of social research * Analysis of quantitative data * Group and individual interviews * Epistemological considerations * Observation and participation * Archival research * Getting the best out of the internet * Developing research questions * Considering gender * Sampling * Large scale projects * Linking ‘pure’ academic and applied research.
Who should apply?
Anyone concerned to develop advanced research skills, including consultants, university, NGO and public administration staff, trade union research officers and senior graduate students. The normal minimum requirement is an honours degree in a social science subject. For students with significant, relevant work experience, an ordinary bachelor’s degree may suffice.
Assessment and outcome
The assessment takes place by four assignments, each worth a quarter of the coursework component. This includes three essays and one SPSS assignment. Students prepare and present a research proposal that constitutes the course examination. Successful students will be awarded an accredited University of Johannesburg certificate (or 25% of an MA degree). While assignments are marked at the master’s level, doctoral students and senior scholars are also welcome.
The course fee for a specific year is usually established by November of the previous year. The cost for 2022 can be expected to be just in excess of R11,000. This should hopefully include the general university registration fee and ICT levy, access to the SPSS package and the UJ library, as well as course fees. Foreign students are charged one additional levy. Fees must be paid and proof of payment and registration from the university must be provided to the course coordinator on or before 15 March. Travel, lunch and fringe costs are for your own account. In addition, R250.- should be paid into entity number 05.05.006500.20.16200 at the UJ cashiers and proof of payment presented to the departmental secretary at CRing 6 (during open hours) prior to the start of the teaching block. This is in order to purchase the prescribed SPSS workbook, of which the cost is subject to change. SPSS can be used on the computers available in the teaching venue, and students should use all extra time during the teaching weeks and on the last day of the course to utilise these facilities. The relevant SPSS data files are made available on the course Blackboard site.
Applications should be submitted to the UJ enrolment centre. Two applications must be submitted, the UJ official application form and the departmental application form that is available at this link: Postgrad application form.pdf All applications should be accompanied by the names and contact details of two referees and an academic record. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates will be contacted as soon as possible after receipt of the application.For more information regarding the postgraduate Diploma in ASR, contact the ASR course coordinator Dr David du Toit by e-mail at (Applications for 2021 are now closed. The online portal will open on 1 April for studies in 2022.)For more information regarding a coursework MA degree in the UJ Department of Sociology, click here.

(2) Social Impact Assessment

Social Impact Assessment coursework
The UJ Sociology Department offers a structured, accredited short course in Social Impact Assessment. This course is offered both as a module as part of a structured MA and as a Postgraduate Diploma. The course is taught in two block weeks that must be attended on campus.
Career Prospects
The National Environmental Management Act of 1998 requires that the social and economic impact of all new development projects must be assessed. This affects the construction of new roads, factories, shopping centres, etc. The Social Impact Assessment MA provides training in social and economic impact assessment, and it is the only degree of its kind in South Africa. It, therefore, offers an excellent opportunity for entry to the many job opportunities that are being opened up by the act. The degree consists of the following four components: The Social Impact Assessment Process. The purpose of this module is to enable learners to predict the ability of a community or group to adapt to changing conditions; define the problems or clarify the issues involved in a proposed change; anticipate and assess impacts on the quality of life; illuminate the meaning and importance of anticipated change; identify mitigation opportunities or requirements; and advise communities and other stakeholders on how to comply with regulations and policies.

Participation and Institutional Development

The purpose of this module is to enable learners to analyse and contextualise the concepts and practice of participation and institutional development. It critically assesses the meaning of participation and investigates strategies for increasing the quality and quantity of participation in development, especially in relation to disadvantaged communities. For more information about the Postgraduate Diploma, contact the SIA course coordinator, Prof Luke Sinwell at (The online portal will open on 1 April for studies in 2022.)For more information about the Master’s degree in SIA, contact the Master’s coordinator, Prof Tapiwa Chagonda, at or Prof Melanie Samson at

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