Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS). The School was formed
in 2012 as a result of the amalgamation of four programmes:
Psychology is located on both the Pietermaritzburg and Howard College campuses with the rest of the programmes based on the
Howard College campus. The School has produced eminent scholars and leaders of note over the years, including
Professor Adrian Furnham, who has authored more than 1000 scientific papers and 70 books; the current
Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, and A-rated scientist, Professor Linda Richter.
The School has a number of collaborations and partnerships with universities in Africa and the
rest of the world while staff are involved in cutting edge interdisciplinary research projects which
have attracted funding from major donors such as the Wellcome Trust, the NIH, CDC, NRF Blue Skies, The
Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, UNICEF-USAID, and the SA Department of Health. Our degrees are recognised
internationally and many of our graduates hold important portfolios in South Africa, the rest of Africa
The School has established itself as a destination of choice for students and researchers interested
in the social and cultural aspects of health, illness, and health communication.
Vision and Mission of the School
The vision of the School is to be an institution of excellence providing African-centred and innovative research, teaching
and human service interventions which contribute to the global understanding of the human condition in
all its manifestations. The mission is to establish the School as a destination of choice for students
and scholars seeking a deeper understanding of Media and Health Communication, Criminology & Forensic
Studies, Psychology and Social Work models informed by African and other indigenous perspectives, while
remaining cognizant of the internationalisation imperative.
The School offers a range of exciting professional and general degree programmes at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
The four-year Social Work programme leads to registration with the South African Council for Social Service
Professions as a professional social worker. The Psychology programme offers general as well as structured
(focused) degrees at the undergraduate level. Upon completion of the Honours programme, students can
choose from a range of specialisations at Masters level, such as Educational Psychology, Health Promotion,
Counselling Psychology, Industrial and Organisational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Research Psychology,
and Research Ethics. Most of these lead to registration with the Health Professions Council of South
Africa (HPCSA) as a psychologist. The Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) is the premier
African graduate research facility specialising in public health and development communication, political
economy and history of media and in cultural tourism studies. The Centre offers Honours, Masters and
Doctoral programmes in Culture, Communication and Media Studies, with a particular focus on media and
health communication. Its graduates have attained high office in African media and cultural industries,
in academia, and in state agencies and NGOs. Likewise, the Criminology and Forensic Studies programme
offers undergraduate as well as postgraduate training with a strong emphasis on Victimology and Corrections.
Students attain practical experience through the School’s links with the Criminal Justice system. All
programmes offer training up to doctoral level.
Staff are involved in a range of exciting research projects involving race, gender and identity; research
ethics including the ethics of HIV clinical trials; community psychology and mental health; African
Indigenous Knowledge Systems including African approaches to peace building; child development; inclusive
education; child abuse and neglect; child trafficking and social justice; victimology, policing,
psychology and spirituality; wellness in the workplace, and primary health care.
Thank you very much for your interest in the School of Applied Human Sciences. For further information about our degree programmes,
please visit the links as indicated above.
Prof N. Mkhize, PhD
Dean & Head: School of Applied Human Sciences