South Africa is rich in biodiversity and natural assets. South Africa’s diverse and different people, as well as foreign communities depend on these natural systems for ecosystem services, goods and services for health, wellbeing and leisure. Understanding social and natural interactions and dependencies provide insights for sustainably managing the natural environment without compromising the health, wellbeing and rights of people to these resources. Sociology studies the interconnections and dependencies between people and the natural or biophysical environment.

Sociologists study society, social institutions and social relationships and the systematic development, structure, interaction and collective behaviour of organised human groups in relation to their environment. They design research projects that test theories around social phenomena and make recommendations for policy development based on analyses and findings. Some become lecturers, educating and supervising students around social theories.

Sociologists can collaborate with policymakers and other specialists in investigating diverse social aspects of society. They work mainly in an office environment, and occasionally travel to interact with, interview and observe people within their communities.


Sociologists need a sound theoretical knowledge of society and the ability to apply social theories in varied contexts. They will further benefit from:

  • Extensive research competence
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Strong objective analytical skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills


Conduct research and prepare scholarly papers and reports

Develop theories, models and methods to interpret and describe social phenomena

Advise on practical applications of research findings in the formulations of economic and social policies

Evaluate the outcome of political decisions concerning social policy


B.A., B.A. (Hons), M.A. in Sociology at NWU, RU, SU, UCT, UFS, UJ, UKZN, UL, UMP, UNISA, Unizulu, UWC and Wits

B.Soc.Sc., B.Soc.Sc. (Hons), M.Soc.Sc. in Sociology at UFH, UFS, UKZN and UP


National, provincial and local government.

NGOs, community-based and development organisations and private consultancies.

Research institutions.

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