Q: What programme or package do I need to register for in order to study criminology?

A: The most common avenues / degrees through which criminology can be studied as a subject are the following:

  • BA
  • BA Law
  • BSW

In all these programmes / packages you will have the option to choose criminology as an elective and in most cases as a major subject up to third-year level.

Q: What job opportunities will I have if I take criminology as a subject?

A: You will find that criminology prepares you for a wide spectrum of careers. These include careers in:

  • the Criminal Justice System;
  • the South African Police Service: Forensic Science Laboratory; Ballistics Unit and Disputed Document Unit; Criminal Investigation; Crime Analysis (at national, regional and local level e.g. Crime Information Analysis Centre);
  • court: pre-sentencing reports, victim impact statements and offender assessment;
  • the Department of Correctional Services assessment: pre-sentencing (diversion, correctional supervision), placement in prisons, sentencing, pre-parole;
  • the National Prosecuting Authority;
  • the Directorate of Special Investigations (Hawks) as analysts and special investigators;
  • the National Defence Force (Crime Prevention Unit);
  • the National Intelligence Agency (training officers and special agents);
  • non-governmental organisations (for example: The National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO), Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Crime Prevention Centre, Centre for the Prevention of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Inter Trauma Nexus, BEE Courtwise);
  • the private security industry;
  • the private sector (Gambling Board, private auditing firms, banking industry in forensic units); and
  • private practice (court work, court support and preparation).

Q: What job opportunities will there be for me if I study for a degree in social work?

A: Social workers can practice in many different settings. These include:

  • the public sector, e.g. government departments, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, schools and institutions for higher tertiary education;
  • non-government organisations, e.g. child and family welfare organisations, substance abuse rehabilitation centres, community-based organisations (such as the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders) and faith-based organisations (such as the Christian Social Council); and
  • the private sector (in industry, the health sector, private schools and private practice).

Q: I am a student in the Faculty of Humanities. May I register for social work modules?

A: You may register for first-year theory modules and the practical module.

Q: May I register for social work modules to enhance my studies in psychology / criminology?

A: The social work programme is “open” on first-year level. You may therefore register for any or all modules on first-year level.

Q: Why is it recommended to take MWP 161, the practical module on first-year level, if MWT 110 and 120 are selected?

A: The theory presented in MWT 110 and MWT 120 is applied in a practical manner by means of practical exercises, case studies and skills training.

Q: When does selection for the social work programme take place?

A: The selection process takes place at the end of the first year, to allow access to further study for the second, third and fourth year.

Q: What does the selection process for social work involve?

A: Students are selected according to academic achievement, psychometric tests and a personal interview. This process starts in August.

Q: I have obtained credits for social work on Level One at another institution. May I register for Year Level 2 at the University of Pretoria?

A: Yes, you may. Where module content is similar, credit will be granted for the applicable modules at UP. The selection process will, however, also apply to you.

Q: Does a fourth-year social work (BSW) degree provide access to a master’s degree?

A: The BSW degree is a professional degree, which provides direct access to postgraduate studies.

Q: What are the admission requirements for postgraduate programmes?

A: For the honours programme in criminology it is required that prospective students have criminology as a major subject for their previous degree. Applicants should have at least 70% in all the respective criminology modules on Level 3.

For the specialised master’s programmes in social work, prospective students should have:

  • a BSW degree (or equivalent four-year degree in the case of MSocSci [EAP]);
  • a minimum of 65% in the BSW degree; and
  • interest and work experience in the field.

Q:  What are the requirements for applying for a research master's or doctoral degree in social work or in criminology?

A:   A minimum entry level of 65% in social work and 70% in criminology in the previous degrees for are required for students who would like to apply for the research-based master’s and doctoral programmes in social work or in criminology.

Q: What are the procedures for applying for research-based master’s and doctoral studies in social work or criminology?

A: Please contact our secretary for more information ([email protected])



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