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.

  • CCA staffers attend National Arts Festival thanks to Humanities DVC

    At the Grahamstown festival are (from left) Mr Sakhile Gumede, Ms Sylvia Vollenhoven, Ms Siphindile Hlongwa and Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

    [21 Jul, 2016] Two Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) staff members, within the College of Humanities, Ms Siphindile Hlongwa and Mr Sakhile Gumede, recently attended the film festival section of the prestigious National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

    Full story

  • Humanities student publishes book

    Mr Khethani Njoko with his book: The Man in Me

    [21 Jul, 2016] Social Sciences student Mr Khethani Njoko recently launched his book The Man in Me at the Durban Botanical Gardens. The book, with a foreword by KZN MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, seeks to respond to the challenges facing a man in today’s society.

    Full story

  • Youth Participation in Post-Apartheid SA Debated by Panel

    At the panel discussion were (from left) Mr Marshall Dlamini (EFF), Mr Sanele Mthembu (ANC), Mr Hlanganani Gumbi (DA) and Ms Nomzamo Nxumalo.

    [21 Jul, 2016] The School of Education, through the Community Development Association’s (CDA) Masakhane Youth Leadership Course, recently hosted a panel discussion titled: Identifying Our Issues: Youth Participation in a Post-Apartheid South Africa.

    Full story

  • Durban International Film Festival award winners announced

    Together are some of the Film Festival Award winners.

    [07 Jul, 2016] Award winners at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) - hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities - were announced during the closing ceremony at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban.

    Full story

  • UKZN academic wins Sunday Times Literary Award

    At the Sunday Times Literary Awards are (from left) Alan Paton Award winner Ms Pumla Dineo Gqola; Sunday Times Editor Mr Bongani Siqoko, UKZN’s award winner Dr Nkosinathi Sithole and Advocate Thuli Madonsela.

    [07 Jul, 2016] UKZN’s School of Arts academic Dr Nkosinathi Sithole has won the 2016 Barry Ronge Sunday Times Fiction Award for his debut novel Hunger Eats a Man.

    Full story

  • UKZN part of doctoral school launched in Madagascar

    Professor Bernard De Meyer flanked by Philippe Bataille (AUF Director for the Indian Ocean region), answering questions from journalists.

    [07 Jul, 2016] A new regional doctoral school in Social Sciences and Humanities, titled Languages, Plurality and Development or Prélude, has been launched in Antananarivo, Madagascar, as a project of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF).

    Full story

  • UKZN students participate in DIFF media lab

    The UKZN student media lab team at the Durban International Film Festival.

    [07 Jul, 2016] A team of students under the wing of UKZN’s Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) recently participated in a media lab for the 2016 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).   

    Full story

  • SA and Nigeria have high levels of poverty

    UKZN’s Dr Andrew Okem.

    [30 Jun, 2016] South Africa and Nigeria, despite being among countries with the largest economies in Africa, both suffer from high levels of poverty and inequality, says a UKZN researcher.

    Full story

  • Play by MA Drama student published

    Mr Kline Smith with his recently published play, Mob Feel.

    [30 Jun, 2016] Mob Fee, a play by a master’s student and creator of UKZN’s tagline Inspiring Greatness, Mr Kline Smith, has been published by Junkets Publishers in the Junkets10 Series.

    Full story

  • Community Psychology conference addressed on homelessness by UKZN academic

    At the conference are (from left) Professor Jose Ornelas, Professor Beth Shinn, Professor Geoffrey Nelson, Professor Ernest Khalema, Professor Tim Aubry and Professor Arvin Bhana.

    [30 Jun, 2016] Professor Ernest Khalema, academic leader in the Discipline of Community Development in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, recently presented a paper as part of an international panel at the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology at the Durban ICC.

    Full story

  • African trade union history examined during seminar

    Emeritus Professor Bill Freund.

    [30 Jun, 2016] Emeritus Professor Bill Freund of the School of Social Sciences presented details of his research on African Trade Union History at a School of Built Environment and Development Studies seminar series. 

    Full story

  • 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

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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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