Master of Education (MEd) & Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

MEd and PhDHave you considered a Masters of Education (MEd) or Doctor of
Philosophy (PhD) in Social Science Education?

Do you wish to be on the cutting edge of research in Social Science Education, obtain a mastery of your subject discipline, research and scholarship in your field?

If so, consider enrolling for a Masters Degree (MEd) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) School of Social Science Education.

The School of Social Science Education is an interdisciplinary school that promotes African scholarship through its commitment to quality teaching, research and outreach.

The School offers MEd and PhD in Social Science Education (by full dissertation/thesis) in the disciplines of:

  • Arts & Culture Education
  • Commerce Education (Accountancy, Economics, and Business Management)
  • Geography Education
  • History Education
  • Life Orientation Education
  • Travel & Tourism Education
  • Drama Education


Why read for a MEd or PhD degree in Social Science Education?

  1. Advance your career prospects – an advanced postgraduate degree offers you a distinct advantage over other applicants when applying for a leadership position or promotion in Education. Often it is vital for advancement in an academic career.
  2. Personal and professional development – enjoy the challenge and stimulation of mastering your subject and contributing significantly to Social Science Education’s body of knowledge.
  3. Skills development – enhance your skills in critical thinking, research and curriculum development.


What is the selection process and how are the programmes structured?

Entry to Master and Doctoral programmes is highly competitive and is by written application, interview and submission of a research proposal. The School offers prospective students guidance in developing and writing research proposals.

Master of Education (MEd) – by full dissertation

This programme consists of a single dissertation – the results of a student’s personal research on an original topic. While this can include an analysis of existing literature, the results should make a contribution to the body of knowledge. The degree is one to three years fulltime or two to four years part-time. To be considered for selection, prospective students should have a Bachelor of Education Honours or equivalent qualification.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – by full thesis

This programme consists of a single thesis – the results of a student’s personal research. Both the topic and research results should be original and make a distinct contribution to the subject. The degree is two to four years full-time or two to six years part-time. However, doctoral students generally require four years to complete the degree:

  • First year – develop a research proposal
  • Second year – generate data
  • Third year – analyse data
  • Fourth year – write up report

To be considered for selection, you should have a Master of Education or an acceptable equivalent qualification.

MtshaliPast Student Comments



Muntuwenkosi Mtshali


Muntuwenkosi chose to do his postgraduate studies at UKZN and says,

“I graduated with a Masters degree from the Faculty of Education, which enabled me to get a lecturing post in the School of Social Science Education. I am currently registered for PhD study in the School. Postgraduate study has certainly helped in advancing my career. I enjoy the support, mentoring and research supervision I receive from the academics in the School.”

Why choose UKZN’s Faculty of Education – School of Social Science Education?

  1. Excellent reputation – UKZN is a world-class research-led institution. UKZN is ranked in the top 500 universities in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), and rated amongst the top three research universities in South Africa in terms of its research output.
  2. Quality academic staff – with many of the School’s staff who are active leaders in research and teaching, Masters and Doctoral students are assured of quality supervision and support. The School is particularly highly regarded for its research in the Education fields of specialisation.
  3. Top facilities – as a Faculty of Education, facilities at the Edgewood campus are regarded among the best in the country for its lecture venues, state of the art teaching resources, fully equipped AV centres, LAN and library with online access for students. The campus is South Africa’s second largest Education facility and is the leading provider of teacher education in the province.
  4. Special features
    • All full-time MEd and PhD students in the School of Social Science Education do not pay a tuition fee.
    • The School of Social Science Education specialises in niche areas of research into textbooks, teaching and learning.
    • The School has an established ‘cohort programme’ – a highly successful support structure for postgraduates students.

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Download MEd & PhD – Social Science Education Pamphlet (PDF)