Nelson Mandela University offers an exciting programme in Political Science that will cater for all needs in the market. This postgraduate programme will expose the student to research, political thinkers, African politics and democracy, international relations and South African Politics. This year-long Honours programme will ensure that students have the necessary skills to engage in effective socio-political analysis around various issues in Africa, South Africa and the world. 


With a postgraduate qualification in Political Science, you will not be short of opportunities and exciting careers. You will enter the job market as a highly qualified professional with all the skills necessary to embark on a career in the political field.

There are no limits to your dreams, whether you are a future academic, political economist, political journalist, diplomat or foreign policy expert. 

The curriculum

Research theory and application

This module introduces the student to the research process and provides the student with the necessary skills to successfully conduct a research project. It is a skills orientated module that will equip the students with essential research skills in a knowledge-generating era. 

Political Philosophy (SLP 400)

Classical political philosophy. Contemporary political philosophy. African political philosophy. 

Political Dynamics (SLR 400)

The relevance of political theory. Understanding the debates surrounding democracy. State transformations and democratisations. Forms of state and governments. Types of legislatures. The dynamics of political participation, political organisations and political leadership. 

Trends in South African Politics (SLP 404)

Literature review of post-1999 South African Politics. The politics of coalitions and opposition. The politics of development, delivery and demonstrations. Obstacles to the stability of the South African democracy

Conflict and conflict processes (SLU 400)

Definitions, theories and approaches to conflict. Analysing and explaining conflict from various theoretical framework. The process of conflict. Conflict resolution techniques and models.

Political Trends (SLT 400)

Debates surrounding the state in an era of globalisation. Debates surrounding the compatibility thesis and globalisation. Theories and debates on an emerging new world order. New issues in political studies. Religion, terrorism and politics in the post-Cold War era. 

International Relations and world politics (SLZ 400)

Theoretical perspectives on the study of international relations. Hierarchy and structure of the international system. Relationship between state and non-state actors. International relations, globalisation, and the spread of democracy. Terror and nuclear proliferation in the era of globalisation. Economic development and globalisation: Paradoxes in the First and the Third World.

African Politics (SLX 400)

African politics and society. Historical contexts of African politics and society. Theoretical perspectives to the study of African politics and society. Socio-cultural environment of politics and society. Change and state  nsformations in African politics and society. Africa’s foreign affairs and international relations. Pan-Africanism, unity and the African Union. African Renaissance and the re-birth of Africa. 

Admission Requirements

Any B.A. degree in social sciences. Third year political science is a prerequisite or a minimum of 8 modules of political science to the value of 60 credits

Structure of the programme

Students are required to accumulate credits to the value of 120. The fundamental and core modules are compulsory. From the list of electives students can design their own area of expertise. A maximum of two modules may be taken from another postgraduate programme.

Fundamental modules:

Research theory and application [20]

Core modules: 

  • Political Philosophy  [24]
  • Political Dynamics [16]
  • Trends in South African Politics [20]


  • Conflict and conflict processes [24]
  • Political Trends [17]
  • International Relations [20]
  • African Politics [20]
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