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Wits University Faculty of Humanities
BA General The complex social problems of the 21st century around the world require innovative and imaginative thinkers. A BA degree will equip you with these skills and open up interesting and challenging fields of work.
BA General The complex social problems of the 21st century around the world require innovative and imaginative thinkers. A BA degree will equip you with these skills and open up interesting and challenging fields of work.

Qualification: BA

School: Across all schools

Faculty: Humanities

Duration: 3 years

Study mode: Full-time; Part-time


Why choose a Bachelor of Arts degree?

  • The BA degree encourages critical and independent thinking and is challenging and thought-provoking.
  • The BA degree offers students a wide range of subjects.
  • The flexibility of a BA allows you more choice in the construction of your degree.
  • BA study can lead to postgraduate study - Hons, MA and PHD, including a PDM or MBA.
  • Courses within a BA degree are relevant in the workplace.
  • The BA degree prepares students for a large range of jobs and gives students many different skills.
  • You can pursue a professional degree within a BA degree (for example, Law).

In choosing your courses:

  • Think of your intellectual aims and interests. 
  • Aim for focus and consistency by thinking of how the subject material will relate to your primary interests and preferences.
  • For some specific career paths, you can equip yourself more fully after your Bachelor of Arts by registering for further studies with a specific vocational or professional training focus – you would then become a postgraduate student.
  • Select courses that will provide you with a solid foundation in your areas of interest.
    • For example, if you are interested in Heritage and Museum work, subjects like Archaeology, Geography, History, Anthropology, Film and Television, History of Art and various languages would be useful.
    • If you want a career in Development Studies, you should choose courses such as African Languages and Literature,  International Relations, Anthropology, Linguistics, Economics, Psychology, Geography and Social Work.
    • Interested in Communications or Journalism as a career? Choose majors from: Media Studies, Languages, Sociology, Psychology, International Relations, Political Studies, and Film and Television, History of Art.

The BA degree at Wits is a 3-year degree, or, if studied part-time, between 4 and 6 years. For part-time study options please refer to the Wits Plus website.

BA graduates are able to work in multiple fields, including:

  • African Studies
  • Communications or Journalism
  • Developmental Studies
  • Economics and Commerce
  • Education
  • English and Literature
  • Global Politics and Diplomacy
  • Heritage and Museum work
  • History
  • Language Studies and Translation
  • Law, Culture and Language
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media, Literature and Culture
  • Work, Organisation and Society

Language requirements for general BA students:

A student is required to complete two semester courses in one of the following languages: IsiZulu or Sesotho or South African Sign Language (SASL).

2 Major subjects can be chosen from the following recognised subjects for a BA degree

To graduate with a BA degree a student must complete two major subjects and obtain a minimum of 432 credits. 

Major subjects recognised for a BA degree:

  • African Languages (IsiZulu) for second language speakers
  • African Languages Literature for first language speakers
  • African Literature
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Critical Music Studies/Music in History and Society
  • Drama and Film
  • ^Economics
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • History of Art
  • International Relations
  • Law (Only for BA with Law as a major)
  • Linguistics
  • ^Mathematics
  • ^Mathematical Statistics
  • Media Studies
  • Modern languages (French; German; Italian; Portuguese; Spanish, South African Sign Language)
  • Philosophy
  • Political Studies
  • Politics, Philosophy and Economics
  • *Psychology OR Organisational Psychology
  • *Sociology OR Industrial Sociology

*Either one of these may be included in a BA degree but NOT both

^Restrictions on courses for first year students



APS 34+

English Home Language OR First Additional Language
Level 5


Applicants with entry requirements of at least 30-33 APS points are wait-listed, subject to place availability.

  • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
  • Please click here for an overview of the application process.
  • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
  • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
  • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

Click here to see the current average tuition fees for the first year of study. The Fees Office website 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. 

The Financial aid office provides information about on student funding and scholarships. University funded Scholarships include Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, University Entrance Scholarships, Equality Scholarships, Sports Scholarships and National Olympiad winner awards. For information about NSFAS funding, please visit the NSFAS websiteExternal bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.