On the postgraduate level our Department offers an Honours degree in Criminology, Specialised Master's programmes in Social Work, Research based Master's programmes in Social Work and in Criminology and a DPhil degree in either Social Work or Criminology.

Honours in Criminology

For the honours programme in criminology prospective students have to take criminology as a major subject for their previous degree. Applicants should have at least 70% in all the respective criminology modules on Level 3 to qualify for entry to this programme.
The curriculum includes the following modules:
  • KRM 701: Methodology
  • KRM 702: Theories
  • KRM 703: Victimology
  • KRM 706: Psychocriminology
  • KRM 707: Forensic Criminalistics
  • KRM 709: Economic Offences
  • KRM 710: Criminology and the Criminal Justice System
  • KRM 781: Research report
Programme manager:
Ms H Klopper
Tel: (012) 420 2260

For online registration see links on right.
Closing date for applications: 31 July (in the year prior to the year of planned registration)

Specialised Master's programmes

General information:

There are three specialised master's programmes:

  • MSW (Social Development and Policy)
  • MSW (Play-based intervention)
  • MSW (Healthcare)

Each programme requires compulsory class attendance in the first year of one full on-site week from 8:00 - 16:00 daily per theory module, i.e. a total of four scheduled weeks in the year. The module MWT 864 - Research methodology is a requirement for completion of MWT 895 - Mini-dissertation.

Admission requirements:

  • BSW degree in social work.
  • Minimum of 65% average in previous relevant degree.
  • Departmental selection. 
  • Registration with the SACSSP or other relevant councils.

Additional requirements:

  • MSW (Social Development and Policy):

At least two years of appropriate work experience

​For all the programmes, selection interviews are conducted with applicants who meet the admission requirements.

Applications are done online on the University of Pretoria webpage.

General inquiries can be directed to the Client Service Centre.

Contact details:
012 420 3111
[email protected]

Postal address:
Client Service Centre
University of Pretoria
Private Bag X20 Hatfield

Finance and Bursaries:
Inquiries can be directed to:
012 420 4061
[email protected]

International Desk:
Enquire about additional UP admission requirements for international students
012 420 3361
[email protected]
E-mail: [email protected]

Closing date for applications: 31 July (in the year prior to the year of planned registration)

A maximum of 10 students are selected per course per year.

Enquiries about the specialised master’s programmes in social work can be directed to the programme manager of the specific course.

Information on the costs involved can be obtained from the Prospective Student site on the University of Pretoria webpage.

Please note that all applicants for the specialised master’s programmes also need to complete the Departmental Information Form and submit it with their application form and required documents.


MSW (Social Development and Policy)


This programme has an international, African and South African focus. Students will be challenged to contextualise social development with individuals, families, communities and organisations in various practice settings; to analyse, evaluate and design social development strategies and programmes that promote integrated and sustainable economic and human development; and to apply a range of methods and techniques in the conduct of policy analysis, policy-making, policy influencing and policy communication.

Theory is complemented with a practical focus, enabling students to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in their respective working environments.

The fundamental modules are:

MWT 864 – Research Methodology
MWT 895 – Mini-dissertation

The core modules are:

MWT 851: Social Development 1:

Social, economic and political context of developmental social welfare from an international, Southern African and South African perspective; socio-economic inequalities and social development; developmental policy framework and social work; theories for developmental social work.

MWT 852: Social Development 2:

Poverty and inequality; social development, social work and social change; social, economic and environmental development; environmental and green social work; social entrepreneurship and social work; sustainable development.

MWT 853: Social Policy:

The nature and scope of social policy; theories, models and approaches to policy making; the policy communication process; phases and stages of policy making and models of policy analysis; the impact of social, economic, political and global factors; integration of theory and practice.
Programme manager:
Prof A Lombard
(012) 420-2325

MSW (Play-based intervention)

This programme equips the social worker to understand the child client and to communicate in the best-known language for children, namely play, on their own developmental level. Play therapy is intended to help relieve the emotional distress of children through a variety of techniques and play materials, within the context of their families and communities.

This programme has three components: theory, practice training and research. The practice training entails the application of theoretical knowledge and play therapy techniques with the child client.

The fundamental modules are:

MWT 864 – Research Methodology
MWT 895 – Mini-dissertation

The core modules are:

MWT 861: Play therapy wit the child

Developmental social work and child welfare; play therapy approaches; child development theories; the multidisciplinary team; the Gestalt play therapy process; therapeutic relationship with the child; sensory awareness and contact; enhancing the sense of self; utilisation of projection; play techniques: drawing.

MWT 862: The child in the family

Play techniques: clay and sand tray work; the child in the context of the family; assessment in different contexts (e.g. therapeutic, forensic, safety and risk); trauma and loss; play-based family intervention.

MWT 863: The child in the community

The effect of adverse conditions; play techniques: biblio play, drama and sociodrama, puppets and music; prevention, early intervention and early childhood development; resilience in individuals, families and communities.

MWT 869: Play Therapy Practice:

The practical training requires students to conduct play therapy sessions with children under supervision of the lecturer.

Programme manager:
Mrs J Chiba
(012) 420 5321
E-mail: [email protected]

MSW (Healthcare)

This programme is suitable for social workers who wish to specialise in the multidisciplinary health care field, focusing on prevention and primary health care, as well as intervention with vulnerable people in specific priority areas of health. These include women’s health, children’s health, geriatric health, mental health, persons with disabilities, chronic care, HIV and AIDS, acute care and trauma, end-of-life care and bereavement. Social workers will be equipped to practise in any health-related setting, such as state or private hospitals, clinics, medical practices, private practice and rehabilitation centres. This programme has three components: theory, practice and research.

The fundamental modules are:

MWT 864 – Research Methodology
MWT 895 – Mini-dissertation

The core modules are:

MWT 855:Social health care 1: Policy and primary health care:

Health policy, structure and trends; primary health care; the multi-disciplinary team approach, allopathic, alternative and indigenous health care providers; conceptualisation of social work in health care; theoretical framework; cultural, indigenous and religious aspects of health; experience and psychosocial impact of disease, treatment, hospitalisation on the patient, family and community.

MWT 856: Social health care 2: Vulnerable people in health care:

Women’s health, child health, geriatric health, mental health, persons with disability.

MWT 857: Social health care 3: Specialist fields in health care:

Acute care and trauma counseling, chronic care; HIV and AIDS; end-of-life care and bereavement.

MWT 870: Social health care: Practical:

Integration and demonstration of theoretical components of social work in health care in practice. This includes work with communities, families, groups and patients with health care needs in the health field.

Programme manager:
Prof CL Carbonatto
(012) 420-2410

Research-based master's and doctorate programmes

The Department offers research-based master's and doctoral programmes in Social Work and in Criminology. A minimum entry level of 70% in the previous degree is required. Admission of learners for research master's and doctoral programmes are subject to various factors including personnel capacity and expertise, relevance of the research topic and references from other academic institutions or a UP supervisor.

Further enquiries can be directed to:
Social work:

Prof A Lombard (Head: Department of Social Work & Criminology)
Tel. (012) 420-2325
MA and DPhil (Criminology):
Prof F Steyn
Tel. (012) 420 3734
Closing date for research-based master's and doctoral applications: 30 November (in the year prior to the year of planned registration)

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