WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$2,740 for the full programme
Applications Begin:April 2021
Final Award:Master of Arts (MA)
Start Date:January 2022
Academic Unit:Faculty of Humanities
Campus:East Campus
Course Type:Master by Coursework & Research Report
Application Deadline: 30 June 2021
Programme Overview

This MA programme aims to train postgraduate students in the use of statistical methods to conduct data-driven research in the social sciences and humanities and will create opportunities for students to develop an interdisciplinary perspective on the emerging fields of Data Science.

The curriculum prepares candidates in Social Sciences and Humanities for the growing areas of data science. This contributes to national priorities such as improving service delivery and developing a competitive knowledge economy, and it creates opportunities for graduates as professional researchers in academia and the public and private sectors.

The programme forms part of the DST-funded National e-Science Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NEPTTP). Students will register with their Home Institution but will attend the coursework component at Wits University in Johannesburg, Gauteng, in the first year. On completion of the coursework modules, students will move back to their Home Institutions for their second year of study.


The programme comprises compulsory and elective modules. Cross-disciplinary data-driven projects are offered both within the University and from a wide range of industry partners. A candidate must undertake modules to the value of 180 credits and must successfully complete the following courses:
Compulsory Coursework Modules (Year 1 at Wits University)
– Research Methods and Capstone Project in Data Science (15 credits)
– Data Privacy and Ethics (15 credits)
– Principles of Quantitative Social Research (30 credits)
– Advanced Topics in Quantitative Social Research (30 credits)*

* Alternative MSc courses are available by special permission to students who meet the prerequisites. 
Research Report (Year 2 at Home Institution)
– Research Report: Data Science (90 credits)

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements
– A bachelors degree with honours from Wits or another university with a 65% total mark aggregate.
Additional Entry Requirements
Applicants are required to have a Bachelor’s degree with Honours (NQF level 8 qualification) from a relevant discipline or field in the social sciences or humanities. Along with strong substantive knowledge in a relevant discipline or field, they must have demonstrable knowledge of basic principles of quantitative social research (but need not have a previous specialisation in statistics or statistical computing).

Applicants require a minimum of 65 per cent in their NQF level 8 qualification to be considered, and they must fulfil any additional institutional application requirements of the institution through which they are applying, and must be co-approved by the Consortium.

Application Process
Application Fees for South African & SADC Students: $12
Application Fees for International Students: $12

How to apply
– Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
– Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
– Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal, view academic application status, accept an offer (once certified hardcopies have been received by SEnC), apply and check residence application status, and generate a fees estimate.
– Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the programme can find data-oriented roles within academic institutions, social and policy research organisations (governmental and non-governmental), and the private sector (technology, healthcare companies and the finance sector).

Tuition Fees Details
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Tuition Fees for South African & SADC Students: $2,740
Tuition Fees for International Students: $2,740

*Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries pay the same annual tuition fees as South Africans plus an International Registration Fee (IRF). The SADC member countries are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
*Students sponsored by the Government of Rwanda will be treated as and pay the same amount as SADC students.
*Students from all other countries (Non-SADC) will pay the same amount as South African Students
*Diplomats and their dependents stationed in South Africa & International Wits employees and their dependents will pay South African tuition fees + International Registration Fee (IRF).

Relevant Contact

Miss Madile Moeketsi
Postgraduate Faculty Officer
Mr Veli Mongwe
Faculty Officer
Miss Casey Sparkes
Administrative Office (NEPTTP)
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