School of Social Sciences

Sharmla Rama

Sharmla Rama

Senior Lecturer

LeadershipInterim Head Academic Monitoring & Support (CHUM: TL)



Contact Number 031-260-5188

CampusPietermaritzburg Campus

Office Address New Arts Building, Room 337A, 3rd Floor, Golf Road Campus

Last Updated 2 years ago


Sharmla Rama is a sociologist based in the School of Social Sciences, the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Prior to this, she was a research specialist in the Child, Youth and Family programme, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and previously, a survey statistician at Statistics South Africa. Sharmla’s PhD, in Sociology completed in 2014 (UKZN), raised questions about the epistemological worldview and evidence-base supporting transport (mobility) research, policies and practices on children and youth in South Africa. Shamla completed a post-graduate diploma in Higher Education in 2017, and this stimulated an interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and in Teaching Sociology. At UKZN, Sharmla teaches and coordinates a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules, as well as supervises at the Honours, Masters and PhD levels. Sharmla is currently seconded to the College of Humanities, Office of the Dean of Teaching and Learning as the Interim Head of Academic Monitoring and Support.

Degrees Held

  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Higher Education (UKZN)
  • PhD (Sociology) (UKZN)
  • Masters of Arts (Sociology) (University of Natal)
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours (Sociology) (University of Natal)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Geography) (University of Natal)

Research Interests

  • Sociology of Youth 
  • Sociology of Childhood
  • Gender and development:
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) and Teaching Sociology

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • 2018-2022 Board Member of Research Committee 53 International Sociological Association
  • 2018-2022 RC53 Newsletter Co-editor
  • 2014-2018 Board Member of Research Committee 53 International Sociological Association
  • 2013- 2023 Member of the International Sociological Association (ISA)
    • 2013- 2025: Member of the ISA Research Committee on Youth (RC34)
    • 2013- 2025: Member of the ISA Research Committee on Children (RC53)
    • 2021-2024 TG09 Member of the ISA Research Committee Sociological Teaching
    • 2022-2025 RC04 – Member of the ISA Research Committee Sociology of Education
  • 2012-2022 Member of the South African Sociological Association

teaching Interests and Expertise

Selected Publications

Student Supervision

Community Involvement

Research project support/ grants (principal researcher & self-initiated)
  • 2016-2018 Young People’s Lived Realities and Constructions of Urban Space, Place and Locality”. Recipient of the National Research Foundation Thuthuka Grant, Post- PhD track, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • 2016  “Undergraduate’s Learning and Teaching Experiences and Environments: A Case Study of First-Year Sociology Students at the University of KwaZulu- Natal’s Pietermaritzburg Campus”. Recipient of the UKZN Teaching and Learning Competitive Grant, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • 2006-2007Identification of data systems on orphan and vulnerable children”.  USAID and Department of Social Development for the project via Human Sciences Research          Council
  • 2003 UNICEF funding to develop the OVC RAAAP report for South Africa via Human    Sciences Research Council.
Recent research support/ projects (team member)
  • 2020-2023 PUAT (Professionalisation of Undergraduate Academic Teaching in Multiple Disciplines to Address SDGs. Project. It is funded from the European Commission (No. 598244-EPP-1-2018-1-CY-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP) Erasmus + Capacity Building for Higher Education Program. The project is managed by Frederick University and the University of Crete, Greece. UKZN is one of the South African collaborators together with Rhodes University and the University of Venda on the project.
  • 2018 UCDP Blended Learning Project with Professor Ruth Hoskins as PI – Working on the Honours Research methods modules. It is a joint venture with the School of Education.
  • 2018 UCDP CHUM Project with Professor Ruth Hoskins as PI
  • 2016 Critical reflections on the conceptions, experiences and the practices of teaching and learning research methods in the Social Sciences” Project Leader: Professor Ruth Hoskins