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Postgraduate Programmes



Enquiries: socialwork@uj.ac.za

Please download our postgraduate brochure by clicking here. It provides detail about all our offerings and the application and selection procedures. The brochure also contains important information for international students.

We offer four postgraduate programmes:

  A structured master’s programme in clinical social work.

This is offered in modular form to suit students who are working. The course is designed specifically for full-time working social work practitioners.

  A structured master’s programme in community development.

This is offered in modular form to suit students who are working. The course is designed specifically for full-time working social work practitioners and others with an academic or practice background in community development.

  master’s programme by research. This is also suitable for those who are working, but does not involve coursework nor attendance at classes, no theory and no internship. The entire degree is awarded based on a fairly substantial research project.

  doctoral programme. Like the masters by research, the doctoral programme entails no classes and is suitable for those who are working. The doctorate requires students to make an original and significant contribution to the field.

Please note that there are a limited number of vacancies for students coming onto the postgraduate programmes. The programmes are accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and in line with the exit level outcomes defined by the Standards Generating Body (SGB) of social work – this implies that the programmes are of an excellent standard and compatible with national and international standards. Many social workers in key positions in the South African welfare context have been graduates of our postgraduate programmes.

All postgraduate students are eligible for at least one two-year scholarship (three-years for doctorates) which contributes towards the cost of academic studies.​

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Name of programme:​

MA (Clinical Social Work) Coursework​

Brief description of programme: The aim of this programme is to develop advanced competencies in experienced social workers to render advanced clinical social work services at micro and meso levels, related to mental health and social functioning. You will apply this knowledge during a one-year internship programme, focused on micro and meso interventions. You will also undertake a research project to demonstrate your research competence. This qualification empowers students to work as private or specialist practitioners in their particular work contexts.​

Admission requirements: A four-year Baccalaureate degree in social work or a three-year degree in social work together with an Honours degree in social work considered to be appropriate by the HOD of the department, together with registration as a social worker with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (or equivalent for international students) and an average mark of at least 65% in your BSW/Honours degree (though in exceptional cases we may consider marks in the low 60s depending on other evidence of learning you provide). Applicants must undergo a selection process. See also the relevant General Regulations.

Application instructions. Applications for MA (Clinical Social Work) must be received by 30 September, though we continue to accept applications onto a waiting list throughout October. You need to apply online at the university AND submit your application directly to socialwork@uj.ac.za, as explained in the brochure.

Duration of programme: 2 years

Cost (2015): R13 000 for the first year and R18 400 for the second year

Enquiries about the content of the programme: "Mrs Sue Bond / Tel: 011 559 2804 / Email: sbond@uj.ac.za"  

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Name of programme:​

MA (Community Development) Coursework​

Brief description of programme: The aim of this qualification is to develop advanced competencies in the facilitation of processes, techniques and principles of sustainable community programmes and projects based on people-centred, participatory theoretical approaches, to address inequality, poverty and injustices in a global and African context. Further, students will be able to facilitate the establishment and management of community based organisations within the context of community economic development integrating social and community development.

Admission requirements: A four-year Baccalaureate degree in social work or a three-year degree in social work together with an Honours degree in social work considered to be appropriate by the HOD of the department, together with registration as a social worker with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (or equivalent for international students) and an average mark of at least 65% in your BSW/Honours degree (though in exceptional cases we may consider marks in the low 60s depending on other evidence of learning you provide). Applicants must undergo a selection process. See also the relevant General Regulations.

The MA Community Development is also open to applicants who are not social workers, but who have a background in community development. Completion of the degree does not qualify one as a social worker, nor to practise social work in South Africa. Applicants must undergo a selection process. See also the relevant General Regulations.

Application instructions. Applications for MA (Community Development) must be received by 30 September, though we continue to accept applications onto a waiting list throughout October. You need to apply online at the university AND submit your application directly to socialwork@uj.ac.za, as explained in the brochure.

Duration of the programme: 2 years

Cost (2015): R13 000 for the first year and R18 400 for the second year

Enquiries about the content of the programme: Prof Hanna Nel / Tel: 011 559 2804 / Email:hannan@uj.ac.za

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Name of programme:
MA (Social Work) by Research

Brief description of programme: The master’s by research entails only a research study – larger than the minor dissertation of the coursework master’s, but not as large as a doctoral thesis. The principle purpose of the master’s by research is developing advanced competencies in research. In addition, you will also develop expert knowledge in your field of study. The master’s by research programme is ideal for students who are primarily interested in developing their research competence, do not want to participate in lectures or workshops, are highly self-motivated, independent and self-directed and have a focused, specific field of research interest.

Admission requirements: A four-year bachelor’s degree in Social Work, or its equivalent, or a three-year degree in Social Work together with an honours degree in Social Work considered by the chairperson of the department to be appropriate is required. Alternatively, students from related disciplines with a three-year degree and an honours degree, or a four- year qualification considered by the chairperson of the department to be appropriate could also qualify. Students from related disciplines will however, not be permitted to register as social workers with the South African Council for Social Service Professions after completion of this programme.

A proposal that meets the preliminary expectations of the department and that falls within the area of expertise of one of the supervisors is required. Applicants must have a fourth year or honours degree average of 65% or above, although applications with marks in the low 60s may be considered if additional evidence of academic competence is provided (e.g. examples of publications).

Duration of programme: 1-2 years

Cost (2015): R15 500 per year

Enquiries about the content of the programme: Prof Ndangwa Noyoo / Tel: 011 559 2804 / Email:ndangwan@uj.ac.za

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Name of programme:
D Litt et Phil (Social Work)

Brief description of programme: The doctoral programme entails a substantial piece of independent research that contributes something new to theory or practice in the field of social work. The programme assists you in becoming an expert in a particular facet of social work. We have four doctoral supervisors with a diverse range of expertise, including: poverty, unemployment, inequality, social policy, social development, social security, social entrepreneurship, community development, management and administration, resilience, ecometrics, occupational social work, life transitions, gender, gender based violence and domestic violence. The supervisors have recognised expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and are committed to rigour and excellence.​

Admission requirements: A four-year bachelor’s degree in Social Work, or its equivalent, or a three-year degree in Social Work together with an honours degree in Social Work considered by the chairperson of the department to be appropriate is required and a masters degree in social work or a relevant other field. Alternatively, students from related disciplines with a masters degree qualification considered by the chairperson of the department to be appropriate could also qualify. Students from related disciplines will however, not be permitted to register as social workers with the South African Council for Social Service Professions after completion of this programme.

A proposal that meets the preliminary expectations of the department and that falls within the area of expertise of one of the supervisors is required. Applicants must have a masters degree average of 65% or above, although applications with marks in the low 60s may be considered if additional evidence of academic competence is provided (e.g. examples of publications).

Application instructions. Applications for Doctorates are received throughout the year. You need to apply online at the university AND submit your application directly to socialwork@uj.ac.za, as explained in the brochure.

As you prepare your research proposal, please take into account the areas of specialisation of our postgraduate supervision team: Prof Adrian van Breda, Prof Hanna Nel, Prof Ndangwa Noyoo and Prof Shahana Rasool. We can supervise only within our areas of expertise – you would not want a supervisor who does not know anything about your topic! So, if you ​cannot find a good fit between your topic and our profiles, you should consider looking elsewhere for a suitable supervisor. Finding the right supervisor is the most important criterion for your studies, particularly at doctoral level – far more important than the university.

Duration of programme: 2-3 years

Cost (2015): R15 500 per year

Enquiries about the content of the programme: Prof Ndangwa Noyoo / Tel: 011 559 2804 / Email:ndangwan@uj.ac.za​