Social Sciences involves the scientific study of society and of how cultural forms, structures and power relationships emerge, change over time and affect human lives in multiple contexts. Social Sciences is used to understand and explain how society works, how it changes and how it influences our futures – from the causes of unemployment or what drives economic growth, to how and why diseases spread. From how categories such as gender, race and ethnicity are produced, to how social solidarity is achieved. From how products are made meaningful, to how consumerism affects the climate.

Social scientists are influential because the work they do helps determine government policy, marketing strategy, civil society agendas and economic policy. Social Sciences is robust because it can change how we interact with institutions, with environments and with each other. Social Sciences is a fundamental academic field, and social scientists are sought after to inform policy, to inform marketing, and to provide data to civil society, product designers, governments and multilateral organisations.

Fields of study


NWU History Seminar Series: Bernard Mbenga on the Oorlam Community of Welgeval