Stellenbosch University | Political Science


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What is Political Science? Why Political Science?

The Department’s flagship undergraduate programme is the BA (International Studies). Political Science also forms an integral part of a number of other degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Arts that have been carefully designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for a variety of exciting careers.

Political Science plays a key role in the following programmes:

  • BA (Human Sciences)
  • BA (Social Dynamics)
  • BA (Socio-Informatics)
  • BA (International Studies)
  • BA (Human Resource Management)
  • BEcon
  • BA (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) [PPE]
  • BA (Law)


Global Political Economy

What is the interaction between politics and economics?
What are the impacts of globalisation?
What role do organizations like the World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade Organisation play?
How can we address global inequalities?

What do you know about your continent: Africa?

What are the legacies of colonialisation?
Are Africa’s solutions to Africa’s challenges viable?
Why is there so much conflict in Africa?
Will we be seeing more resource wars in Africa?
What is the nature of the state in Africa?

International Relations
Why do states go to war?
How do we manage global problems like climate change?
Is the United Nations an effective body?
What role do non-state actors (multi-national corporations, non-governmental organisations, terrorist groups) play?
Should the international community intervene when a state is not protecting its citizens?

South African Politics
The challenges of poverty, unemployment, HIV/AIDS
What are the implications of South Africa’s one-party dominant system?
Who are the main political parties and what are their policies?
Is the country’s electoral system good for democracy?
Is the South African Constitution under threat?
The effects of corruption and crime on political culture.

Public Policy Studies
What does public policy mean?
Who are the key actors in public policy processes?
How do political leadership take policy decisions?
What role does power play in public policy processes?
Why does policy research not automatically inform public policy processes?

Conflict Studies
Is the two-state solution a viable option for Israel and Palestine?
How did the 9/11 terrorist attack on USA impact on the world?
How can we recognize the conditions that may lead to genocide, as happened in Rwanda in 1994?
Is lasting peace attainable?


A major in Political Science enables you to join a broad range of interesting and practice-oriented post-graduate programmes, at this university, elsewhere in South Africa, and internationally. Political Science graduates go on to become, amongst others:

  • Managers in the private and public sector
  • Business entrepreneurs
  • Journalists and public relations specialists
  • Diplomats
  • Lawyers
  • Political analysts
  • Organisers and activists in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements
  • Officials of international organizations such as the United Nations
  • Consultants
  • Aid and relief workers for international bodies
  • Managers of political and other public campaigns
  • Researchers on national and international public affairs
  • Negotiators
  • Peace builders
  • Military and security specialists
  • International election monitors
  • Political advisors