Faculty of Humanities


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Faculty of Humanities​​

With a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree you will learn to communicate, to solve problems and to think critically and analytically. BA graduates are highly skilled and able to work in almost any ​field.

The private sector is constantly on the look-out for successful graduates to take up positions in middle management because it values the proficiency in problem-solving and communications that a student develops while studying for a BA. The ability to think critically and imaginatively and to convey ideas clearly is valued in any profession. 

The Faculty of Humanities strives to:

  • ​train high-level Humanities students by ensuring that the teaching programmes are internationally competitive and locally relevant

  • produce outstanding teaching and research outputs in the Humanities by employing the best possible academics and supporting staff and developing and utilising them to their full potential;

  • ​apply management principles, guidelines, processes and practices to maintain and improve excellent academic achievements in the field of teaching and research;

  • ensure by our achievements and services that values are strived at to the benefit of the individual, the University and the community we serve;​

  • significantly enrich students with the unique added values offered by studies in the Humanities


Recent Faculty events: Dean's List and Prize-giving

The Faculty recently had two of its flagship events, the Dean's List and Prize-giving events. Both these events are unique to the faculty and show our commitment to recognise students in the faculty who perform well academically. This year marked the 8th Dean's List  and the 11th Prize-giving event. The Dean's List recognises top-achieving second-year, third-year and honours students and the Prize-giving is hosted in recognition of all cum laude and PhD graduates.

At the Dean's List event, Humanities alumni were invited for a panel discussion on the Humanities. The Dean Prof Alex Broadbent and Vice Dean Prof Kammila Naidoo hosted the discussion and put the following questions to them:

  • How did your Humanities degree help you in the world of work (and in your life)?
  • Often Humanities students do not recognise the particular skills that they acquire. What skills did you develop in the course of studying towards a BA (Humanities) degree?
  • What advice could you give students about what they could do with a Humanities degree in 2018 – in South Africa and beyond?

The discussion that followed gave students an opportunity to get an idea of what they can do with their degree as well as ask experts in their fields for career advice.  It started with a conversation around the skills Humanities students have and how valuable they are becoming in the modern workplace. The discussion also highlighted the importance of the Humanities in South Africa, given the difficulties facing our country. View a full discussion on YouTube.

At the annual Prize-giving Prof Keyan Tomaselli, Distinguished Professor in the faculty, gave the keynote address.  His address looked at the underestimated value of the Humanities as well as highlighting some recent developments in the field.  Please see his speech attached or click here for the video.

The Faculty will continue to lead the conversation around the value of a Humanities degree in 2018.  


Faculty of Humanities ranked among the top 400 worldwide

The Faculty of Humanities is proud to announce that it has been ranked among the top 400 universities worldwide, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject: Arts and Humanities.

This is UJ's first-time entry in this prestigious edition. UJ has been ranked in the 301-400 rank band globally, thus in the Top 400 for Arts and Humanities and joint fourth in South Africa along with University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of the Western Cape. The 1 000 universities that form part of the rankings represent 5% of the 20 000 or so higher education institutions in the world. These universities were selected for analysis, based on the strength of their record in international research and on their global academic reputation.

The performance metrics used cover the full range of a university's core activities: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. Universities have all been evaluated by their academic peers through THE's annual Academic Reputation Survey, which draws on more than 20 000 survey responses from senior scholars from more than 140 countries.

Universities are under pressure to show their relevance and impact in society. The Faculty has incorporated this call to action into its 2020 strategy. Research projects within the Faculty aim to demonstrate how the Faculty is being innovative and what the impact of being innovative is on our environment and the community we serve. Teaching and learning activities are also a big priority for the Faculty. Various interventions and support offered by the Faculty has enabled us to consistently maintain a high undergraduate success rate of 87%.

The Faculty would like to thank all its academic and support staff for getting us onto this prestigious list. Click here for more information.

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