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MPhil specialising in Theories of Justice and Inequality (180-210 NQF credits)

Introducing the new interdisciplinary MPhil degree specialising in Theories of Justice and Inequality

We are delighted to announce a new interdisciplinary MPhil degree specialising in Theories of Justice and Inequality at the University of Cape Town. This new degree programme formally housed in the Department of Sociology is being offered in collaboration with the Poverty and Inequality Initiative. The programme, which commences in 2019, will seek to answer the call for curriculum transformation by approaching questions of injustice and inequality from a non-elitist stance. The course offerings will put various disciplines in conversation with one another, so that students affiliated with the programme will:

  • Learn to historicize and contextualize the categories and instruments through which we have understood and sought to undo injustice and inequality—in South Africa, other parts of the continent, and the rest of the postcolonial world.
  • Become attuned to the lived understandings of ideas and ideals of justice, equality, sovereignty, humanity and humanism.
  • Learn to mobilize these lived understandings of justice and equality together with literary and other artistic sources as sources of new theories and concepts to grasp our socio-economic and political worlds.

Who may be interested in this programme?

The programme is aimed at a new generation of scholars and/or members of the civil and political society sectors keen to generate knowledge and theories that abide by concrete realities of life in the Global South. It will appeal to especially those who are keen to bring different methodologies and disciplines together—for instance sociology and law, environmental studies and education, philosophy and arts, politics and literature, as well as film and urban studies, and so forth.

How is the degree structured and how long does it take to complete?

The MPhil degree specialising in Theories of Justice and Inequality runs over two years. In year one, students complete the coursework component with a range of compulsory core and elective courses accords faculties, totalling a minimum of 90 credits. In the second year, students focus on conducting independent research and completing their minor dissertation, with a minimum of 90 credits. Depending on the student’s specialisation, suitable affiliated academic staff based different departments and faculties will be offering supervision.

What are the requirements?

We welcome graduates with a major or specialisation within the Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as students with majors or specialisations in Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Commerce, or Law. Students from other specialisations and degrees not mentioned here may be admitted at the discretion of the Conveners and the Postgraduate Committee of the programme. However, kindly note that such students may be required to take appropriate supplementary access courses.

The minimum requirement to this degree is an upper second-class pass for the four-year bachelor’s degree. Applicants to the MPhil specialising in Theories of Justice and Inequality must obtain a strong average for their honours coursework as well as a strong mark for the honours independent research project. Other criteria taken into consideration for admission include practical, political or policy work experience where it is relevant to the programme specialisation.

Is there funding available?

Limited scholarships are available within the programme. Preference will be given to Black South African candidates and students with disabilities. However, applicants are encouraged to explore additional funding opportunities via the postgraduate funding office noticeboard.

How can I apply and when is the closing date?

Candidates applying to the MPhil programme specialising in Theories of Justice and Inequality are required to apply online and include the following supporting documents:

  1. official transcript and degree certificates
  2. detailed CV
  3. letter of motivation
  4. sample of academic writing

The closing date is 31 October 2019.