Total On Website Since: 22 Aug 2013 10:10AM
Welcome to the School of Social Sciences

UKZN embarked on a reconfiguration process which gave birth to a College model. Within the College of Humanities, the School of Social Sciences was formed. The School is comprised of three former Schools: the School of Anthropology, Gender and Historical Studies; the School of Politics and the School of Sociology and Social Studies. It is fully operational on both Howard and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

The School is under the leadership of the Dean/Head of School:Prof Stephen Mutula.
The two main components of the School are Research and Higher Degrees.  Professor Maheshvari Naidu is the Head of Research and Prof Ruth Hoskins is the Head of  Teaching and Learning.
This new School has a long history of sharing modules, staff and students. The disciplines share a very high degree of common features including academic coherence and interdisciplinarity in their offerings. They are largely non-applied or professional programmes and will continue to serve as a popular service School that provides module options and graduates for other programmes. The new School has the critical mass to develop cutting edge collaborative research clusters.

The School is supported by a dynamic and efficient support team. Its main objective is to ensure that all the School activities are operating and supported effectively.

For any inquiries, please contact the School Office:

Mr Siphesihle Khanyile, Howard College Campus (031 260 1881)

Centres within the School of Social Sciences

Professor Stephen Mutula


The functioning of the School of Social Sciences on both the Pietermaritzburg and Howard College (Durban) campuses  - which are about 80km apart - is underpinned by the mission of the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) which is: To be the Premier University of African Scholarship and provide leadership in African-Led Globalisation.

The School offers undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes in conflict transformation and peace studies, political science, international relations, public policy, sociology, social policy, industrial organisation and labour studies, economic history, historical studies, gender studies, policy and development studies, government business and ethics, geography, anthropology, tourism and heritage management, information studies, and records and archives management. Some courses have been translated into isiZulu (an indigenous language) to enhance access and participation in our programmes. Most of our programmes are replicated on both campuses with a few offered exclusively at either Pietermaritzburg or Howard College.

The School has academic and scholarly partners in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. It has nurtured  strategic local and international partnerships in such areas as maritime studies; traditional leadership and governance;  safe and inclusive societies, history of health and medicine; the education of black doctors; nationalism, populism and hegemony in South Africa; political activities by MK soldiers; the relationship between councilors and traditional leaders on service delivery in South Africa;  succession politics among the Mngomezulu clan; scientific collaboration, science communication and ICTs; collaboration and productivity of scholars in South Africa.

The School boasts two research centres - the Critical Centre of Culture, Race and Identity, and the Centre for African Literary Studies - and one research unit: The Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit.

It has active Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with local and international partners including the Lulea University of Technology in Sweden; the Workers College - an industrial workers labour programme in South Africa, and the Muslim Women and Civic Organisation in South Africa.

It strives to promote responsible community engagement through partnering with the local communities and the provincial government to enhance local economic development programmes; environmental conservation; development of small scale sustainable projects such as community gardening; research into horse racing; documentation of the history of Curries Fountain and service learning. Through a community engagement portfolio it partners with national government, NGOs, and provincial government to promote service learning and entrepreneurship. The School’s current community engagement projects include food security; reading clubs; students training in gender and sexuality; corporate communication strategies for disability awareness; early childhood development programmes.

The School has a rich and diverse expertise in a wide variety of areas including e-governance, ethics of the information society, digital exclusion, information poverty,  sociology of youth and childhood studies; mobility and transport; gender, transport and development; African philosophy, political theory, political economy; race and ethnicity in South Africa; sport and culture in South African society; Indian Diaspora; environmental issues and society; energy and social change; ecotourism and rural development; African comparative politics; international relations;  politics and higher education; clinical sociology; domestic workers, and seafarers in the Port City of Durban.

It has vibrant and active post doctoral fellows – the majority of whom are black men and women - and internationally renowned honorary fellows and emeritus professors. Young academics (both male and female) form part of the academic staff of the School and are being prepared for future careers in academic scholarship and administration. Knowledge capital and sharing is enhanced through conferences, research days to share research experiences, research workshops, scholarly writing seminars, and a staff doctoral studies programme. Most of the academic staff in the School – who are of diverse racial, national, cultural and religious descent - have doctoral degrees and occupy positions as either full professors, associate professors, senior lecturers or lecturers in their respective disciplines.

One of the leading research intensive spaces in the College of Humanities, the School prioritises making its academic environment a conducive space and a choice for students and staff. The thrust is the provision of customer-centred services. There is continuous engagement with prospective and current students through parents’ events, research days, and annual strategic meetings where excellence is recognised and rewarded. Academic leaders for teaching and learning, research, clusters and academic development officers (ADOs) are available to provide pre- and post-enrolment advice and support for students.  Sound learning/teaching support infrastructure is provided including lecture rooms, LANs, social spaces, equipped offices, and shared photocopying services, while admission and registration processes are robust and efficient. 

Staff operate an open door policy to provide an effective all-time student support service with administrative and decision-making structures decentralized on both Pietermaritzburg and Howard College campuses to enhance universal and timeous access to student and staff services. The administrative portfolio of the School on both campuses is manned by user friendly and hard working women and men. Academic programmes are constantly externally and internally reviewed and aligned to conform to the standards set by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in South Africa. Enrollment and graduation throughput at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels are consistently on an upward trajectory year after year. Most of graduates find employment within six months of graduation in various sectors of the national and international economy.

The School of Social Science also provides a collegiate working environment for staff with efforts in this regard concentrating on availing resources timeously to staff  such as equipped offices with access to shared resources including photocopying, intercampus meetings, team projects, continuous engagement; cross disciplinary teaching and supervision.

Over the years, a culture of collegiality, accountability, organisational citizenship and social cohesion has been nurtured at the School which has a blend of young and highly experienced academics who value and adhere to the ethos of excellence and quality. Some of the academics are recipients of local and international academic and scholarly awards, and serve on national and international scholarly editorial and national research boards, while many are nationally and internationally rated scholars. Many of the School’s academics are in the top quadrant of leading researchers at UKZN.

The School of Social Sciences therefore provides a supportive educational environment for both students and staff.  

We encourage you to come and study or work with us and experience the hospitality of the Social Sciences at UKZN!

  • Humanities student publishes book

    Mr Khethani Njoko with his book: The Man in Me

    [21 Jul, 2016] Social Sciences student Mr Khethani Njoko recently launched his book The Man in Me at the Durban Botanical Gardens. The book, with a foreword by KZN MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, seeks to respond to the challenges facing a man in today’s society.

    Full story

  • UKZN Students part of SADC Inter-institutional Workshop

    UKZN Student Team members with Facilitator Professor Maheshvari Naidu (bottom right).

    [12/May/2016] Five UKZN students joined approximately forty other students from campuses across Southern Africa for a two day workshop hosted by Africa Gender Institute (AGI). Co-hosted by the University of Cape Town and the University of Witwatersrand, the students met in the central location of Sandton, Gauteng for two days of intense presentations around the work of the Young Women’s Leadership Project (YWLP).

    Full story

  • DuT head speaks at UKZN Freedom Month celebration

    Theoretical physicist and Vice-Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology, Professor Ahmed Bawa, speaking on freedom and democracy.

    [05/May/2016] The Vice-Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology (DuT), Professor Ahmed Bawa, delivered a public lecture on freedom and democracy at UKZN in celebration of Freedom Month.

    Full story

  • Social Sciences Dean sets PhD supervision record

    Professor Stephen Mutula and his PhD graduates.

    [28/Apr/2016] Dean and Head of the School of Social Sciences, Professor Stephen Mutula, has successfully supervised nine PhD students in a single year - a first for the College of Humanities.

    Full story

  • People skills pointed the way for Malawian student

    Ms Vimbayinashe Chibambo.

    [18/Apr/2016] Inherent good people skills pointed the way for Malawian Ms Vimbayinashe Chibambo’s tertiary education studies which resulted in her graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology and Ethics) degree from UKZN.

    Full story

  • Social Sciences student has sights set on getting into film making

    Ms Kimberley Allenspach.

    [18/Apr/2016] Ms Kimberley Allenspach graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree but is now keen to pursue a career in the TV and movie industry.

    Full story

  • Political Science student graduates summa cum laude!

    Ms Luntu Hlatshwayo

    [18/Apr/2016] A long, hard road came to a highly successful end for Ms Luntu Hlatshwayo when she graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science degree summa cum laude from UKZN. 

    Full story

  • Student Funding Office staff members graduate

    Ms Fikisiwe Mngadi and Mr Sizwe Hadebe.

    [18/Apr/2016] Dedication, hard work and patience paid off for two staff members from the College of Humanities Student Funding office, Ms Fikisiwe Mngadi and Mr Sizwe Hadebe, who graduated with a Post-graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and a Bachelor of Social Science degree respectively.

    Full story

  • Graduates urged to value the informal sector

    Professor Pholoho Morojele, DVC Prof Cheryl Potgieter, Dr Patricia Horn and Dr Federico Settler.

    [18/Apr/2016] ‘When you are that civil servant working in a local or national government department, don't be the arrogant one who looks down on informal workers because you think they are uneducated – be the one who sees in front of you human beings with dignity, family and community responsibilities.  Put yourself in the shoes of those you are employed to serve, in order to understand better and serve people more effectively.’

    Full story

  • Graduate focuses on medical record research

    Ms Samantha Chareka.

    [18/Apr/2016] Ms Samantha Chareka of Zimbabwe graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Sciences in Health Research Ethics but is now worried about getting employment.

    Full story

  • Former SRC member graduates with PhD in Political Science

    Dr Siphetfo Dlamini, who graduated with a PhD in Political Science.

    [18/Apr/2016] Former UKZN SRC member Dr Siphetfo Dlamini, who now works in the Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier, graduated with a PhD in Political Science.

    Full story

  • Nigerian pastor and army veteran graduates with PhD

    Pastor Kester Onor.

    [18/Apr/2016] Pastor Kester Onor of Nigeria received his PhD in Social Sciences for research he did on the United States African Command and Human Security in Africa.

    Full story

  • Humanities academics awarded Distinguished Teachers’ Award

    From left: Dr Suzanne Francis, Ms Avril Williamson, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, Professor Thabo Msibi and Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa.

    [12/Apr/2016] UKZN’s 2015 Distinguished Teachers’ Award (DTA) has been presented to two lecturers from the College of Humanities - Professor Thabo Msibi and Dr Suzanne Francis.

    Full story

  • Nurse graduates with Master’s Degree

    Mrs Nelisiwe Mnguni with her supervisor Professor Maheshvari Naidu.

    [11/Apr/2016] Nurse and senior student, Mrs Nelisiwe Mnguni (49), who graduated with a Master’s in Anthropology (MA SocSc) degree, has proved to be an inspiration to her children by taking up post-graduate studies so late in her career.

    Full story

  • Social Science students secure degrees through hard work

    Ms Victoria Mutambara and Mr Mlungisi Ngubane with their supervisor, Professor Maheshvari Naidu.

    [11/Apr/2016] Ms Victoria Mutambara was awarded a master’s degree while Mr Mlungisi Ngubane secured his PhD during a UKZN graduation ceremony.

    Full story

  • Male circumcision central to woman’s master’s degree

    Ms Sinekekelwa Khumalo with her supervisor Professor Maheshvari Naidu.

    [11/Apr/2016] Ms Sinekekelwa Khumalo graduated with a MASocSc (cum laude) in Anthropology with her research concentrated on male circumcision.

    Full story

  • Student activist graduates with Social Sciences degree

    Mr Molaodi Wa Sekake with DVC and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

    [11/Apr/2016] Graduating with a Bachelor of Social Science degree, majoring in Sociology and Labour Studies, was a proud and humbling moment for student activist, Mr Molaodi Wa Sekake.

    Full story

  •   Featured
  • Previous Frame Next Frame

Contact Webmaster | View the Promotion of Access to Information Act | View our Privacy Policy
© University of KwaZulu-Natal: All Rights Reserved