The University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa recently formed the School of Applied Human Sciences by bringing together existing programs in Psychology; Communication, Media and Society; Social Work; and Criminology. Joining these programs into a single school created a dynamic, interdisciplinary atmosphere that naturally produces well-rounded and highly capable graduates.
South Africa’s inclusion in the BRICS trade alliance is prompting greater interest in South African programs such as those offered by UKZN. Those who enroll now join a fast-growing international network with strong ties to China and India along with many Western nations.
The following are the four main subject areas offered through the School of Applied Human Sciences:
Social work is an increasingly important discipline internationally, and it’s officially recognized by the United Nations. Improving quality life is its central aim, and this is accomplished on several levels. Students in this program learn strategies for promoting human rights, social justice and peace between people groups and nations.
The program adheres to global standards and has been approved by the South African Council for Social Services Professions and the South African Qualifications Authority. During their second year, students pledge their commitment to ethical practice and sign a code of ethics with the School of Social Work.
In all, more than 15 undergraduate courses are taught through the School of Psychology, and these attract upwards of 2,000 registrants every year. Students can pursue a general degree in Psychology, or they can hone in on a variety of specialties. At the master’s degree level, specializations include Research Ethics, Counseling Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Educational Psychology and Health Promotion.
Communication, Media and Society
The Centre for Communication, Media and Society is a specialized research facility operated through UKZN that operates teaching modules at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It was established in 1976 after the Soweto uprising with the aim of establishing strategies for cultural resistance through media channels.
Today’s graduates go on to a variety of careers. Some assume positions with non-governmental organizations or community development projects; others work as journalists, in the film industry or in marketing.
Criminology and Forensic Studies
Students studying Criminology and Forensic Studies at UKZN learn to effectively deal with crime, conflict and victimization. This is underpinned by a commitment to promoting human rights, social justice and equality as laid out in legal international framework. The curriculum centers on the social, psychological and biological dimensions of criminal behavior, and as such emphasizes interdisciplinary learning and research through other areas of the School of Applied Sciences.