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The PhD programme in sociology combines individual work, supervision and structured training. During their first six months of the programme, students are expected to complete a research proposal, and present it to a departmental seminar before formal submission to the Faculty of the Humanities.
Individual work with supervisors can be supplemented with consultation with staff members across the sociology department and the school of social sciences, to encourage broad intra- and inter-disciplinary interests and expertise.
Staff in Sociology are experts in a wide range of fields, and the areas of possible PhD supervision include, but are not restricted to:
- comparative politics and historical research
- environmental sociology
- economic and political development
- gender and work
- global institutions and economic restructuring
- health sociology
- higher education reform
- labour and left history
- labour movements in southern Africa
- political sociology
- rural development, land and agrarian reform
- religious movements
- social theory and political philosophy
- the social aspects of HIV/AIDS
- the social and political theory
- the sociology of disability
- the sociology of gender
- the sociology of race and identity
- the sociology of the media
- the sociology of policy, and policy analysis
- South African macro-economic policy
- South Asian studies
- feminisms and feminist theory
- urban and rural social movements
- work and employment
We aim to provide opportunities for tutoring, marking, and teaching, to PhD students as part of the overall training towards an academic career.
- 70% aggregate in coursework and research at the Masters level in Sociology or a cognate discipline
- prior postgraduate-level training in social theory, and research methods, including academic research experience, and
- a suitable proposed research plan for the PhD in an area where the department can provide expert supervision.
Please also note:
- As the process of selection for the PhD is a rigorous and intensive process, and requires securing expert supervision before a decision on admission can be taken, it takes on average 3 to 4 months from the date of application for an applicant to receive a decision on their application.
- It is not required that you secure an interested supervisor prior to application. However, students can only be admitted if there is a willing and available supervisor , a process facilitated by the Postgraduate Selections Committee. Therefore, if you are not already in ongoing communication with a specific staff member regarding your interest in pursuing a PhD, please do not send requests to staff about their interest in supervision until you have followed the applications process, if applicable.
** Please note especially that an MA from a non-South African institution will require accreditation from the South Africans Qualifications Authority prior to admission. Please visit the SAQA website for further information.
It is the responsibility of all international students to secure necessary visas and study permits following a decision regarding admission. The Department does not assist with this process in any way.
All costs associated with foreign qualifications or international students’ visas and permits are for the applicant’s expense.