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Political Studies

Political Issues

Welcome to the Department of Political Studies at Wits, one of Africa’s leading academic departments for the study of politics. We are proud of our prizewinning teaching and research staff who are closely engaged with the challenges of a society in transition and with the place of South Africa in Africa, the Global South, and the wider world. Our staff and students are among the most diverse in the university and country. We offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Undergraduates can register for majors in Political Studies, African Politics and History, and Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE). Currently, over 1,000 students take courses in our undergraduate programmes. We offer undergraduate courses on various topics, including, African politics; human rights; political sociology; South African politics; states, power and governance; theories of development; theories of freedom, justice and difference and; theories of modernity.

Our postgraduate programmes include Honours, Masters, and PhD degrees in Political Studies, including a Masters in Politics and Gender. The Honours and Masters degrees include instruction in research methods and coursework on topics covering feminism and gender; political sociology of South Africa; social policy; structuralism and post-Marxism; the politics of public policy; totalitarianism and religious fundamentalism and; violence, genocide and the African state.

A noteworthy feature of the department is the dynamic interaction between postgraduate students and academic staff, and the vibrancy proffered by our postgraduate students who are drawn to the department especially from across countries in Africa, Europe, and North America.