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MA in Sociology, Industrial Sociology, SIA or in Urban Studies

The UJ Department of Sociology offers four MA degrees: (i) MA in Sociology, (ii) Industrial Sociology, (iii) Social Impact Assessment and (iv) Urban Studies. An MA in Sociology or Industrial Sociology can be taken by full dissertation or by coursework. Urban Studies can be taken by full research dissertation only, whereas Social Impact Assessment can be taken by coursework only. (Please scroll down for more information).

The MA degrees in Sociology, Industrial Sociology and Social Impact Assessment consist of the three components: Theory coursework, Methodology coursework, and a minor-dissertation. Students are expected to identify themes for their theory essays and for their methodology assignments that relate to either Sociology or Industrial Sociology, depending on the degree that they have elected. 
The coursework 
MA is comprised of the following modules:
  • Advanced Theory or SIA – 25% of the final mark
  • Methodology module 1 and 2 – 25% of the final mark
  • Mini-dissertation – 50% of the final mark
  • Advanced Sociological Theory: A course that engages with the latest ideas in sociological theory, including, race, class and gender, and globalisation. It also provides an opportunity - through a 'focused study' - for each student to work with a senior member of the department on an area of special interest. This component of the MA is taught during the first semester, at times to be announced. It represents a quarter of the coursework MA degree in Sociology or Industrial Sociology.

  • Social Impact Assessment: The UJ Sociology Department invites applications for the interdisciplinary MA degree in Social Impact Assessment. This degree, which involves coursework and a minor-dissertation, can be pursued either full-time (for at least one year) or part-time (for at least two years). It is taught by the Departments of Sociology and Development Studies. 
  • Advanced course in Social Research Methodology: This is an advanced course in qualitative and quantitative methods, plus the theoretical issues underpinning these approaches. It includes an introduction to SPSS, and consideration of applied as well as academic research. Regular MA students are joined by experienced practitioners working for an accredited certificate in Social Research Methodology. The taught element of this component is presented in two weeks of intensive teaching during the winter months. An additional element is the preparation of a report based on engagement with research presented to the UJ Sociology & Anthropology Wednesday Seminar. A successful learner will be able to plan, design, and execute a research task and report on its findings. They will be able to select an appropriate methodological approach for a specific research question and defend their choice. Further, they will be able to understand, interpret, and analyse research data and critically evaluate research designs employed in social science research. The most important outcome of the advanced course is a fully developed research proposal in the candidate's field of interest. (For students who receive an NRF bursary, the area will be related to their NRF project.) This course also represents a quarter of the MA degree.
  • Minor-dissertation: MA students write a dissertation on a subject of their own choice. Normally, this will be based on original research, and will around 20 000 words (approximately 65 pages). To assist with their project, students are assigned a supervisor and a co-supervisor, mostly members of the UJ Department of Sociology. Areas of expertise within the department are given on the home page of this website, though senior members of the department are generally able to supervise minor-dissertations outside their own fields of interest. Students with NRF funding are expected to undertake research related to the general theme of their NRF project. The minor-dissertation represents half of the whole MA.
MA in Urban Studies
This degree is offered by full research dissertation only, not by coursework. The prerequisite is therefore 70%. In some cases, the department may require a student to complete its Advanced Course in Social Research Methods.

Application procedures
For our Sociology MA programmes, the requirements are as follows:
  1. In order to be accepted for the MA coursework degrees in Sociology, Industrial Sociology and Social Impact Assessment, a candidate should have at least a 70% final average mark in their Honours degree.
  2. For Full Dissertation/Research Degree candidates who will be be completing their degrees through research only, without having the coursework component, the prerequisite is at least a 75% final average mark at Honours level.
  3. Preference to enrol in the MA programmes will be granted to candidates who have a strong Sociological background in their Honours and Undergraduate degrees. 
MA minor dissertations are expected to be around 20 000 words in length and a full dissertations are expected to be around 40 000 words in length.

Applications should be submitted electronically, as this is free, whereas the hard copy process is more cumbersome and has a fee attached to it. The departmental application form:  Postgrad application form.pdf should be uploaded together with all other documentation when you upload the central UJ application information, available here: https://www.uj.ac.za/studyatUJ/sec/Pages/Academic%20Application.aspx

International students are urged to contact the UJ International Office regarding additional application/admission requirements and costs.

Further enquiries

Further queries not covered above may be sent to the Master's Coordinator, Prof Tapiwa Chagonda, at tchagonda@uj.ac.za.