Department of Social Work

Skip Navigation LinksHome Faculties Faculty of Humanities Department of Social Work

Department of Social Work


The Department of Social Work at the University of Johannesburg offers professional qualifications at UNDERGRADUATE and POSTGRADUATE level.

UNDERGRADUATE  level: (see programmes)


This is a four-year qualification offered full-time at the Auckland Park Campus only.

Students must register for specific courses withi​n the Faculty of Humanities with majors in Social Work (at 4th year level) and Psychology and Sociology (one up to 3rd year level), register for Internship whereby the student must attend Internship classes at the university as well as complete set number of hours of field instruction at approved welfare organisations in the social services sector each year.

The BSW program is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and is aligned with the 27 Exit Level Outcomes defined by the Standards Generating Body (SGB) for Social Work and the Council for Higher Education (CHE).


This is a three year qualification offered under the Department of Social Work, at the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg.

Students must register for prescribed modules for the fulfilment of the Bachelor of Arts (Community Development and Leadership) degree.

POSTGRADUATE level: (see programmes​)

We offer four postgraduate programmes

  • A structured master’s programme in clinical social work
  • A structured master’s programme in community development
  • A master’s programme by research
  • A doctoral programme

Curriculum Statements for Each Year Group of the BSW

To give expression to the above statements, each year group of the BSW has a particular and cumulative focus:

       1.First Year Curriculum Statement. The first year curriculum lays the foundation of essential knowledge required for social work practice, by introducing students to macro social issues, the welfare context and response to these issues, the philosophy of social work and generalist social work practice. In addition, the first year programme contributes to two aspects of formation: (1) the development of academic competencies required for higher education, and (2) the formation of the professional self.

  1. Second Year Curriculum Statement. The second year curriculum lays a foundation of knowledge, skills and values of professional practice, according to a planned change process at the three levels of generalist practice, with diverse population groups, with emphasis on basic micro (individual) and meso (group).
  2. Third Year Curriculum Statement. The third year curriculum develops professional social work practitioners in specialised fields of social work practice, by facilitating critical analysis and self-reflection, with emphasis on macro and advanced micro work.

       4.Fourth Year Curriculum Statement. T​he fourth year curriculum consolidates, integrates and advances professional competencies, and develops the competencies for research, policy, management and supervision, in preparation for professional practice.​​


Acceptance into social work programme is conditional on a successful Police Clearance obtained from the South African Police Service, as well as clearance from the National Child Protection Register with the Department of Social Development. (Details of these can be found at This is required by law, in order to do volunteer and internship work with children. Students should obtain clearances as soon as they are informed that they have been accepted into the programme and should bring the original certificates with them when they come to register. These certificates will be collected from them during their first classes – failure to obtain these clearances will result in the student being withdrawn from the internship programme. 

Registration as a student social worker with the SA Council for Social Services Professions (SACSSP) is compulsory at the start of their second year of study – failure to register with the Council will result in the student being deregistered from the internship programme. Students have to remain registered throughout their degree.  

Students are responsible for their own transport when involved in practical assignments. They must budget for transport costs, especially from their second year of study.  

Students must be able to type. It is also recommended that students must have a driver's license.

Call for papers (SAHUDA-NIHSS Conference 2019) 

Call for papers header.pngHumanities banner.jpg

Call for Papers

'Time, Thought and Materiality and the Fourth Industrial Revolution'

2019 SAHUDA-NIHSS Conference 2019

3-4 September 2019

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Organized by the UJ Faculty of Humanities

Across global society a diversity of new technologies – disruptive, constraining and enabling in complex ways - are changing not only the ways that we live, love and work, but the very conceptual tools through which we understand human (co) existence in and with the world. For many the culmination of the diverse political and socio-economic implications of these technological changes, and the epistemological and even ontological implications they carry, amount to something greater; that we are entering a Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR. For many, this revolution is potentially 'time defining'. That is, its transformative potential may come to define an age of human existence, much like the notion of the 'anthropocene' has come to constitute a particular temporal epoch (one that is perhaps the other side of the 4IR coin and is certainly not an unrelated phenomena or concept). Like this sibling notion, 4IR has begun to acquire wider cultural and political capital, and intellectual traction, beyond the niche circles of engineers, technicians and policy buffs from where it first came. In 2016, the World Economic Forum defined 4IR as consisting of those "technological developments that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres…it integrates cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things, big data and cloud computing, robotics and artificial intelligence-based systems". It is still too early to judge whether we are indeed in the early phases of yet another industrial revolution, although something like a consensus is emerging. But what is clear is that new technologies, and the apparent accelerating pace of technological change, is reshaping our political, ecological, and social environments in profound ways; shaping new ways of living, working and dying, and new forms of knowing, thinking and existence. These changes at once inspire both techno-optimism and techno-pessimism. They create both opportunities for better lives, governance and equality, and risk deepening existing exclusions, inequalities and precarity. Just as the any consensus about 4IR remains contested and emergent, so these verdicts remain uncertain: full of danger and opportunity in equal, undecided, measures.

In this context it becomes particularly urgent for the humanities to become part of the conversation around the 4IR. The stakes are simply to high – for good or for ill (and everything in between) – for this discussion to be left to the natural sciences. More to the point, the new frames of knowing and being that the 4IR provokes, collapse conventional distinctions between different arms of the intellectual activity in academy. The humanities are already involved in 4IR, like it or not, and so this conference seeks to explore what forms that involvement in 4IR can and should be, and has already taken. We ask how the humanities are already part of this revolution, if that is what it is, and what roles they should play to shape it in a way that avoid the pitfalls of extreme inequality, exclusion and precarity that previous industrial revolutions engendered. The theme for this 2019 SAHUDA conference is therefore "Time, Thought and Materiality in the Fourth Industrial Revolution' to reflect, firstly, how 4IR embodies profound temporal propositions, even as it is also often understood to effect a speeding up of time and a compression of space. And secondly, because at its conceptual core lies an attempt to reconceptualise how thinking and doing, meaning and matter, existence and understanding are relationally constituted and mutually dependent. Our focus on the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" is therefore not intended to constrain intellectual engagement, but rather, interpreted imaginatively, to foster new forms of analysis and scholarly collaboration around what the consequences might be of the self-evident acceleration of 'technologically advancement' on human conditions and existence in and with the world.

The conference will cover the following seven themes:

Student Panel

If you are interested in submitting a paper for one of these themes, please contact Dr Dawn Nagar ( the conference coordinator directly.

The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is 20 April 2019. All proposals should include: 1) Proposed paper title, 2) Author name(s) and contact information, 3) Author affiliation(s) and position(s), 3) A 100-200 word abstract and 4) The name of the panel for which the paper is being proposed.