Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences & Law

Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences & Law

The primary mandate of the Faculty is to prepare and provide learners of quality that will contribute meaningfully to the development of the region, South Africa and neighbouring countries; to equip those with interest in community engagement with relevant scientific knowledge and skills and promote interest in and cultivate research proficiency   as a precondition for developing a critical mass of scholars and researchers in the field of humanities.

The Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law strives to be a prestigious faculty that will become a faculty of first choice for learners, by providing reputable programmes handled by efficient professionals. The faculty has as its mission contribution to rural development.

The information provided in this booklet is intended to enable you to get deeper insight into the vision and mission of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, its organisational structure and programmes. The vision and mission of the faculty is aligned with the broader vision and mission of Walter Sisulu University, and places emphasis on responding to the needs of the communities and alignment with regional and national imperatives.

The vision of the University namely, ‘to be a leading African comprehensive university focusing on innovative educational, research and community partnership programmes that are responsive to local, regional, national development priorities, and cognisant of continental and international imperatives‘ resonates appropriately with that of the HSL Faculty. The Faculty programmes are also aligned with the mission of the University which refers tothe provision of affordable, appropriate, career-focused and professional programmes that address rural development and urban renewal with primary emphasis on science, technology and development studies. The Faculty is actively involved in community engagement as the Street Law programme reaches out to communities in rural areas like Mbekweni, Baziya, Mhlakulo as well as Ngangelizwe. Communities also benefit from the Legal Aid Clinic which provides free legal advice and representation where the matter goes before court. The Department of Social Sciences has wide scope to participate in community engagement and research, and a reputation as one of a few university with population development as its focus. The same can be said of the Department of Arts which is strong on  research and community engagement. Social Work is well-known to produce social work professionals who fulfil their social responsibility through employment in rural and urban areas alike. With the restructured Faculty, opportunities for cooperation between the various departments of the faculty have developed.

In order to deliver on its mandate, the faculty has identified four programme focus areas, namely: Department of Arts

Department of Legal Studies

Department of Social Sciences

Department of Social Work and Psychology

These focus areas are interlinked and complement each other in various ways, and will be developed to facilitate articulation.

The Department of Social Sciences addresses an indispensable field of study in higher education namely, a scientific investigation into human nature, human interaction and development. The study of such social sciences as sociology, anthropology, political studies, criminology and administration of criminal justice and so on cannot be  underestimated.


The Department of Arts focuses on languages which are a sine qua non in any field of study. The culture and identity of a nation can also not be divorced from its languages and history.

The Department of Legal Studies develops students to become attorneys, magistrates, prosecutors, advocates,  judges and legal advisers and academics. This is evidenced by the quality of self-employable learners that are  carrying the flag of the department high in their workplaces.

The department of Social Work and Psychology houses two prestigious professional programmes, the Bachelor of Psychology and the Bachelor of Social Work. In each department students have the option to proceed to post- graduate studies.

Plans are underway to infuse HIV/AIDS and rural development in all programmes of the Faculty, as well as  conducting investigation into the nature, scope and significance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

The faculty is committed to the pursuit of excellence through teaching and learning, community engagement and research.

Allow me to extend a special welcome to those staff and students who are joining the faculty for the first time this year, and to wish everyone success in 2016.

Professor PN Makiwane, LL.D

Dean: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law