Honours Programmes



The Department of Sociology offers three Honours degree programmes. These are:

BSocSci (Hons) Gender Studies

BSocSci (Hons) Industrial Sociology and Labour Studies

BSocSci (Hons) Sociology


The duration of the honours programme is one year. An average of at least 70% in your undergraduate third-year studies is required. See more details via the programme links above. 


  • As we have a limited number of placements on offer every year, selection takes place before admission. To that end, we conduct interviews with candidates who meet the requirements stated above.
  • Where students have not yet completed their undergraduate degrees, they will be invited for interviews if they have achieved the required average for the relevant majors in the first semester. If successful, such applicants will be granted provisional acceptance, pending their final results.
  • Additional information and documentation may be sought where deemed necessary.
  • Students may be required to write an essay or to submit evidence of previously assessed academic work.

Closing Date:

  • We accept applications until 30 September. However, we have a limited number of placements on offer each year, so early applicants have a better chance of securing a place.
  • Applications for international students close on 31 August. Students should endeavour to apply early in order to acquire the required visa documentation in time for the start of the next academic year, as it is a requirement that students attend courses from the outset.

Application procedure:

  • Follow this link for the application form:https://www.up.ac.za/online-application
  • Complete this form. (Because of limited placement numbers, you may want to indicate a 2nd or 3rd choice – i.e. if you are interested in doing an honours in Industrial Sociology, but you would also consider Sociology or Gender Studies, put those down as your 2nd and 3rd options). 
  • Attach to this form the following documents:
    • A full academic transcript of all years of undergraduate study at all institutions attended.
    • SAQA accreditation (only applicable to International Students)
    • (Please note, we do not require copies of your degree certificates at this point)
  • Submit this set of documents either directly to the Client Services Centre or by mail. Physical address: Client Services Centre, University of Pretoria, Corner Lynnwood and Roper street, Hatfield, Pretoria.  Postal address: Client Services Centre, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa.
  • Once we receive your application, your application will serve before the departmental postgraduate committee for consideration. If you meet the minimum requirements and you have submitted all the required documents, you may be invited for an interview.  (In some cases, we may be able to arrange a telephonic interview).
  • The Department of Sociology conducts postgraduate interviews in the last week of October and November.
  • If you want to check that your application has been received by the Student Client Services, please contact: +27 (0)12 420 4111 or [email protected].
  • If you want to track the progress of your application in the Sociology department, please contact Dr. Charles Puttergill on +2712 420 2715 or at [email protected] 

More information: 

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you need additional information contact Dr. Charles Puttergill on +2712 420 2715 or at [email protected] 



Honours infographic

I can only start the honours programme mid-year. Is that allowed?

Unfortunately, this is not an option. We teach the theoretical and methodological components of all our specialisations in the 1st semester. These are foundational modules required in order to do the independent research project. In addition, the independent research project runs over a nine-month duration, starting from the second quarter. It is therefore not possible to start mid-year.

I do not meet the minimum requirement of 70% for my major. What should I do?

If your mark range falls between 68% and 70% you should apply. If your mark range falls below a 68% average, we strongly recommend that you consider redoing your third year in Sociology (or an equivalent major), as your mark range indicates that you are not adequately prepared for honours-level study.

I am an international student. I have been told that I need a SAQA certificate. Why do I need this and how do I go about acquiring it?

A SAQA certificate is issued by the South African Qualifications Authority. Such a certificate certifies each of the thousands of international qualifications that exist and interprets these in relation to the South African qualifications framework. It is, therefore, necessary to obtain such a certificate to ensure that applicants are given access to the correct level of study. SAQA certification can be obtained online or by hard copy submission. Details can be found on the South African Qualification Authority’s web site: http://www.saqa.org.za/index.php

I am interested in doing an honours degree in Gender studies, but I already have an honours degree in another discipline. Can I do another honours degree?

Yes, you can. But keep in mind that if you did well enough in your honours (i.e. achieved at least 70% in your core modules), and if your honours is in a field that is broadly aligned with the social sciences or humanities, we may consider admitting you to a coursework master’s degree in Gender Studies.  If you are interested in pursuing this option, simply indicate on your application for that the MSocSci (Gender Studies) is your 1st choice and BSocSci Gender studies your 2nd choice.

I am nervous about the interview. What can I expect to be asked and how should I prepare?

Interviews are generally quite informal. Expect to meet between three and four staff members. We use the interview as an opportunity to get to know you better. What we would like to know from you in particular is what makes you interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in your chosen field. We would also like to get a sense of your undergraduate training. What did you learn; which of the courses you did you enjoy most;  why is that? Because the honours programme requires of students to do independent research, we would like to talk to you about your interests and whether there are particular topics or themes that you are interested in doing research on.  Finally, the interview provides you with the opportunity to get to know the department and some of the teaching staff. It is also a good place to find out if what the programme offers matches your expectations.

I need a bursary. Can you assist?

For more details: https://www.up.ac.za/postgraduate-study-and-research 

I need student financing. Can you assist?

What are the possibilities for a tutorship appointment or part-time work in the department?
We do have a tutor programme in our department and we welcome applications. However, it is important to note that at least half of our tutors are usually master’s students and that the number of positions available each year depends on funding. Once you have received confirmation that you have been accepted into the programme, indicate to us that you are interested in a tutorship, student assistant position or general part-time work. 

I have been unsuccessful in my application. What should I do if I still want to pursue postgraduate studies in UP sociology?

If your application is unsuccessful, you may consider applying for honours programmes both inside the university and at other universities where different entry requirements apply. Should you do well in such an honours degree, you can re-apply to UP Sociology for a Masters or a second honours degree. Alternatively, you can consider enrolling for third-year sociology again, both at UP or at another institution. If you achieve a 70% average, you can re-apply for the honours. (Prospective Gender Studies students who do not meet the entry requirements can consider redoing one of their majors – but it is best to do so in consultation with us, so that we can indicate which of your majors will be most helpful in preparing you for an honours programme in Gender Studies. Please contact Dr. Charles Puttergill at [email protected].

More information:

For further queries about our honours programmes, please contact Dr. Charles Puttergill on +2712 420 2715 or at [email protected].

- Author Mariana Pietersen

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