Develop a greater understanding of human interaction within a variety of contexts.


The Honours degree in Sociology is structured to provide the best possible training in social theory and research. It also focusses on range of important and interesting social issues.

Students doing an Honours degree full-time must complete their degree within twelve months.  Students doing the Honours degree part-time are expected to complete the degree over two years.  

An Honours in Sociology without any specific specialisation is offered. This “general” option is for students who want solid training in research methods and social theory, but who are keen to sample the widest range of possible topics in Sociology.

In addition to the General Honours, we offer TWO specialisations

  • Labour, Economic & Development Sociology,  and
  • Sociology

Career Opportunities

A Sociology degree will greatly enhance your capacity to find employment as a professional social scientist. There are a growing number of posts advertised for social scientists, particularly in the fields of:

  • Social Policy
  • Development Planning
  • Industrial Relations
  • Social Research
  • Academic teaching and research 
  • A Sociology major is also greatly sought after in the fields of Law, Journalism, NGO work, Demography, Health organisations, Community work and Government.


For All Honours degrees, the requirements are as follows:

Four courses (4000 level) + Honours research component (SOCL4028A)

SOCL4028A - Honours Research

Through in-class sessions, individual supervision and practical tasks, students will be trained in a variety of research methods that will enable them to embark on an applied research project. They will conceptualise and design a research project and conduct a pilot study that will culminate in a written research essay.

SOCL4009A - Development as Ideology and Practice

What is "development"? The course will explore the different meanings of the term, review the theoretical debates on "development", and examine elements of the policy and practice of "development".

SOCL4014A - Economic Sociology: Institutions, Capitalism and Markets

This course will introduce students to the main paradigms that shape modern economic policy debates and positions. Although it is not an economics course, it will, nonetheless, give post-graduate students in the social sciences a solid grounding in economic and social theory.

The four main paradigms dealt with are:

  • Economic liberalism
  • Keynesianism
  • Marxism and anarchism

SOCL4015A - Environmental Sociology: The Political Economy of Nature and Development

The course explores environmental issues, while drawing upon a wide range of theorists.

The rise of a global environmental social movement is traced, including the environmental justice movements in South Africa and elsewhere. Students are encouraged to address a particular environmental problem as part of their written contribution to the course.

SOCL4029A- Feminist Theory

Feminist Theory introduces students to key debates in Women's and Gender Studies, and Feminist Theory and Politics. key concepts interrogated include like Ethics, Politics and Subjectivity

SOSS4022A- Labour and Development

This course analyses the role of labour in the development process. Labour and development in Southern African and the Global South will be emphasized. Key topics include:

* Labour's relationship with the post-colonial state

  • The relationship between trade unions and other civil society organisations.

SOSS4065 Current Epidemics in South Africa

This course adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to explore the historical, social, and cultural context of global epidemics and pandemics experienced on the African continent. The course aims to equip you with insights and skills to understand the complexity of epidemics and pandemics better and to be able to make more meaningful contributions to combat their specific and devastating effects. By drawing on up-to-date material, it provides a general overview of the facts, theoretical debates, and the latest policies surrounding the central epidemics/pandemics of our time, with a specific focus on South Africa.

The course examines, amongst others, critical and intersecting epidemics that illustrate; are impacted by; and exacerbate political, socioeconomic, biological and environmental conditions and the crises of the health system. We will explore some of the following: HIV&AIDS, gender-based violence; the migrant labour system; tuberculosis; Ebola and/or COVID-19. We explore epidemics within global and local disease burdens; make connections between private (intimate) and public orders to explain disease distribution; and examine the social and historical roots and their social impact. In doing so, we explore a variety of meanings (including lay interpretations) and stigmas associated with disease, treatment, and interventions.

SOCL4045A- Labour in the Global Economy

This course focuses on how the nature of work is changing in the new economy, and the implications for economic opportunity and inequality in both South Africa and the United States.

The course consist of three main parts. Part one focuses on general theoretical issues in the world of work and the major changes that have taken place on a global scale. Part Two consists of series of comparative case studies that explore these themes in different industrial sectors in both the U.S. and South Africa. Part Three examines the response of labour, at a local (both U.S. and South African), regional (Southern African and North American) and global scale.

SOCL4030A - Social Transitions

Social Transitions is an intensive critical theory seminar. The first half of the course lays a foundation from which to think about ‘Theory’. During this time we explore four questions: Whose theory is Sociological Theory? Where is ‘the sociological imagination’ located? What is the ‘dark side’ of this imagination? Which other sociological imaginations are available to us as scholars? The second half of the course explores these relationships between theory and power through the lens of theories about 'race' in modernity.

SOCL4039 - The Sociology of Health and Illness

There is a growing demand for experts in the Sociology of Health and Illness. This course aims to fill in the gap in the training of such experts by providing a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the core concepts and current debates in the Sociology of Health & Illness. it focuses on the theoretical as well as the practical aspects in both the global and the South African contexts.

SOCL4040A - Sociology of Land and Agrarian Reform in Southern Africa

The course will introduce students to some of the key debates that have come to characterise land and agrarian reform in post-apartheid (1994) democratic South Africa and by extension the Southern and Eastern African region. The cardinal aim of the course is to equip students with the knowledge base and skills required to critically engage with policy debates on land and agrarian issues. The central thrust of the course is to understand the protracted nature of land reform policy-making process in countries undergoing democratization.

Entry Requirements


  • A bachelors degree or equivalent with 68% course mark aggregate in a third year major.
  • At least an upper second class pass in the final undergraduate course in the subject. 


Additional entry requirements may apply.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.