Welcome to the College of Humanities
The College of Humanities, the largest of UKZN's four Colleges, is the home of critical thinking, social commentary and robust intellectual debate. It is aptly referred to as "The Soul of the University."

A complex and strategic College, the Humanities comprises six diverse, yet complementary Schools which are located across three of UKZN's five campuses: Edgewood - situated in Pinetown; Howard College - situated in Durban; and Pietermaritzburg.

The College of Humanities is committed to the University's vision of advancing African scholarship and actively contributes to the intellectual development of the region and the world through teaching and learning, research, development and community engagement. It represents a significant repository on the continent, playing a critical role in the enhancement and promotion of arts, culture, social sciences and education.

The College boasts vibrant research, teaching and learning units, many of which are internationally recognised.

The College of Humanities offers a wide array of innovative, enterprising degree programmes which are in line with the diversity of professions found in society.  The choice of study programmes enable students to shape their degrees according to their interests and career aspirations.  The learning environment promotes and respects cultural, religious and political values and enhances student potential through participation and creativity.  The College moulds students into well rounded, skilled and professional graduates who are capable of contributing meaningfully to the local and global context.

School of Applied Human Sciences

School of Arts

School of Built Environment & Development Studies

School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

School of Social Sciences



Welcome to the College of Humanities. Our college, the largest at UKZN, comprises six schools namely:

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am supported by six school Deans as well as a Dean of Teaching and Learning and Research, while  administrative support is provided by the College Director of Professional Services who has the function and role of a College Registrar.

In 2016 we have registered 17921 students. Yes, humanities is the size of some universities!

With the increasing number of students passing Grade 12 in South Africa, our College has found itself the desirable destination for many young people who wish to pursue careers that will allow them to contribute positively in their lives, communities, the country and the world over.

The quality of the teaching, learning and research that we provide cannot be doubted. Over the years, our students have gone on to be accepted in graduate programmes in top universities throughout the world. This affirms the dedication our staff and students display in all their academic endeavors.

The College of Humanities continues to conduct strategic research, which ensures global reach and local impact simultaneously. It is not uncommon to have some of our academics conduct research for, in partnership with or with international organisations such as agencies of the United Nations, the African Union, European Union, the Wellcome Trust and Irish Aid. Our academics regularly serve on various government boards and special committees founded to inform government policy, research and responsiveness to the many societal problems faced in the growing South African democracy.

The College has two SARChi chairs in poverty studies and more than 60 academics rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

The Sneddon Theatre in Durban and the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg are also part of the College of Humanities.

Many people reading this message may have attended College spectaculars such as the Durban International Film Festival, The Time of the Writer, Poetry Africa or the Dance Festival known as Jomba. These festivals are supported by a variety of partners, including the eThekwini Municipality.

The College of Humanities is not only a hub of learning, it is also a place to network, form lifelong partnerships and international bonds – especially for our students. This is because yearly the number of international students enrolled increases. Currently the College has 741 international students from more than 40 countries. This is positive testament that our College has global appeal, further supplemented by its beautiful location on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

The College has expanded its global footprint by engaging in strategic Memorandums of Understanding with Universities on the African continent as well as those in Europe and North America. We are very proud of the doctoral schools and supervision cohorts we have set up in Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Swaziland.  These partnerships allow us to address our own challenges while reciprocally offering knowledge from our unique experiences to our global partners.

This website is designed for current and prospective students and staff members from all corners of the globe to interact with us, receive information, enquire and be exposed to our good work. Each one of the schools within the College has a dedicated webpage, which will assist in getting information that is specific to a student’s study interests, research and/or teaching expertise.

  • Broadway musical Oklahoma! on stage at UKZN

    The main cast leads of Oklahoma! at this year’s UKZN/Southern Methodist University collaboration.

    [23 Jun, 2016] Six young artists from the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas in the United States will work with 37 talented UKZN singers and dancers to present four performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at UKZN’s Opera Studio and Choral Academy (OSCA).

    Full story

  • Decolonisation and Transformation Explored in UKZN lecture

    From left: Mr Eusebius McKaiser, Professor Renuka Vithal, Mr Lukhona Mnguni and Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

    [23 Jun, 2016] Political analyst, author, commentator and facilitator, Mr Eusebius McKaiser, delivered a lecture at UKZN on: Disrupting Conventional Paradigms – Decolonising the Curriculum, Research and Community Outreach for “True Transformation”.

    Full story

  • DIFF opening night a great success

    At the film festival opening night are (from left): Sipho Mpongo, Sean Metelerkamp and Wikus de Wet.

    [23 Jun, 2016] There was praise all round for the opening night of the 37th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) which featured the world premiere screening of the highly anticipated South African documentary, The Journeymen - the latest instalment in the Twenty Journey project. DIFF is hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within UKZN’s College of Humanities.

    Full story

  • IFP leader attends premiere of documentary at Film Festival

    Inset Left: IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi seen with Director Mr Colwyn Thomas and conservationist Mr Tristan Dickerson. Inset right: The imitation leopard skin on show at the documentary premiere

    [23 Jun, 2016] Inkatha Freedom Party leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi attended the premiere at the Durban Film Festival (DIFF) of the documentary To Skin a Cat in which he features.

    Full story

  • UKZN academic member of WHO committee on Zika vaccine

    Professor Douglas Wassenaar

    [23 Jun, 2016] Professor Douglas Wassenaar of UKZN’s School of Applied Human Sciences has been appointed to a World Health Organisation (WHO) Expert Committee to compile guidelines for the urgent development of a Zika vaccine.

    Full story

  • UKZN dance lecturer invited to 2016 National Arts Festival

    FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY performs: days like these.

    [23 Jun, 2016] UKZN’s dance lecturer in the Drama and Performance Studies programme in the School of Arts, Ms Lliane Loots, was awarded one of only four Grahamstown National Arts Festival (NAF) dance-related grants to present her choreographic work at the 2016 festival.

    Full story

  • UKZN Academic Nominated for Prestigious Award

    Dr Angela James

    [23 Jun, 2016] UKZN School of Education academic, Dr Angela James, has been short-listed as a finalist in the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Awards in the category: Research or Engineering Capacity Development.

    Full story

  • Fond Farewell for Long-Standing UKZN Staff Member

    Mrs Aileen Bevis

    [23 Jun, 2016] The Classics Department in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC) recently bade farewell to a good colleague, friend and Classics Lecturer, Ms Aileen Bevis, who has worked at the University for the past 40 years!

    Full story

  • Digital Arts students display work at Jack Heath Gallery

    A selection of works designed by UKZN Digital Arts students.

    [15 Jun, 2016] Senior and honours Digital Arts students exhibited their 3D work and comic books at the Jack Heath Gallery at UKZN’s Centre for Visual Art (CVA).

    Full story

  • UKZN academics launch book on Lewis Nkosi

    Professor Lindy Stiebel and Professor Michael Chapman with their recently launched book Writing Home.

    [15 Jun, 2016] English Studies academics Emeritus Professor Lindy Stiebel and Emeritus Professor Michael Chapman launched their book titled: Writing Home at Ikes Books and Collectables in Durban.

    Full story

  • UKZN Big Band launched at Jazz Centre

    The UKZN Big Band performs at the Jazz Centre.

    [15 Jun, 2016] The Brass Showcase/UKZN Big Band has been launched at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music

    Full story

  • UKZN's Centre for Visual Art unveils refurbished printing press

    Professor Cheryl Potgieter unveils the restored antique Albion printing press at UKZN’s Centre for Visual Art

    [15 Jun, 2016] DVC and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Cheryl Potgieter recently unveiled the restored Albion printing press at the Centre for Visual Art (CVA) in Pietermaritzburg.

    Full story

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  • School of Applied Human Sciences The School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS) was formed in 2012 as a result of the amalgamation of four programmes: Criminology, Psychology, The Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS), and Social Work.

      School Website

    School of Applied Human Sciences
  • School of Arts This School is a diverse and yet cognate set of schools and disciplines. It brings together the major languages of the region and a range of language and arts disciplines to generate creative, critical and transformatory responses to teaching, research and university service, outreach and the development of international links.

      School Website

    Model 2
  • School of Built Environment & Development Studies The School of Built Environment and Development Studies provides answers to some of the long-held questions regarding the relationship between the construction of physical infrastructure and the people who either have to use the infrastructure, or live in and around it locally and internationally.

      School Website

    Model 3
  • School of Education The new School of Education in a new South Africa carries the responsibility and obligation to respond to the inequalities and injustices inherited in the local context of the new university, the province and in the country; and simultaneously it must address the global, the continent of Africa, and the margin or periphery as part of the developing world.

      School Website

    School of Applied Human Sciences
  • School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics As a result of the College reorganisation undertaken by UKZN, a new college model was formed. This gave birth to the new School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics in the College of Humanities.

      School Website

    Model 2
  • School of Social Sciences UKZN embarked on a reconfiguration process which gave birth to a College model. Within the College of Humanities, the School of Social Sciences was formed. The School is comprised of three former Schools: the School of Anthropology, Gender and Historical Studies; the School of Politics and the School of Sociology and Social Studies

      School Website

    Model 3
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