Social Work

This course is offered as a full-time or part-time postgraduate degree. The minimum full-time is two (2) years and the maximum full-time is four (4) years. The minimum part-time is three (3) years and the maximum part-time is five (5) years.


PhD Social Work: Programme code: ADA02; Plan code: AFA80SOCW

Applicants who would like to register for this degree are expected to undertake a research study on a topic approved by the School of Human and Community Development PhD Committee and the Social Work Department, under the guidance of at least one departmental research supervisor.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements include the following:

  • A master's degree in Social Work with a minimum aggregate mark of 70% for the master's degree;
  • SAQA NQF level 9 for international master's degrees in Social Work;
  • Applicants must be registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) as a social worker;
  • Submission of a concept paper for the planned research study; and
  • Accepted applicants might be requested to attend a three-day research methodology programme and seminars presented by Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Humanities.

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.