Post apartheid South African government inherited appalling housing conditions and these conditions continue to be exacerbated by the 21th century urban phenomena of increasing urbanization, population growth, globalization, and rural-urban migration. While these urban growth processes contribute positively to human development, they also have negative implications for how urban governments are able to react to demand for basic services such as housing and related services. Informal settlements, slums, homelessness, lack of access to basic water and sanitation are a manifestation of these challenges.
This structure Bachelor of Social Science in Housing degree teaches students about human settlements and its multiple dimensions, focusing on skills that will allow students to contribute to the housing sector and urban development. Coursework in the programme includes the social and behavioural sciences, public policy, development planning, housing nance, economics, and technology. The structure of the programme exposes students to key housing concepts and theories. With an intention to bridge the gap between policy, technical and social dimensions of human settlements. Students are allowed to take relevant electives from a broad range of courses offered within the College of Humanities.
At 1st year level students are introduced to theoretical, conceptual and technical aspects of housing. The programme recommends selected electives for students to
supplement their foundation into their Bachelor Degree of Social Science in Housing from fields of Community Development and Economics.
At 2nd year level which is building up form the first year, students take on intermediary dimensions of housing studies. During this phase students begin to go into depth of what housing is about as both a process and a produce a field of study. There is a continued focus on developing technical skills and academic skills, project planning, development theories and academic skill of critical enquiry and articulation of ideas.
At 3rd year level students are then introduced into advanced housing concepts and theories. They are consolidated to housing as an academic discourse and they are taught critical research techniques the housing sector. There is advanced engagement with key policy and implementation issues from both technical and social perspectives.
Areas of Focus
The programme focuses on both national and international issues of human settlements. Although with a national focus, through a number of case studies students are introduced to international housing trends. The degree uses low income contexts to analyse housing issues doe o its rich and complex nature. However, the degree is not a ‘low income housing degree’ but encompasses a broader range of housing issues pertaining to access to housing market from low-income to high income sector. Through this degree students are exposed to a variety of built environment.
Issues such as the following:
- Policy development
- Development planning
- Housing technology
- Housing implementation
- Urban poverty
- Rural-urban migration
- Population dynamics
- Sustainable development
- Property development
- Community development
- Project management
- Project management
- International perspectives
The form of assessment used depends upon the aims of particular modules, but includes essays, oral presentations, student-led seminars and portfolio exams. Care has been taken to balance the variety of assessments strategies across the degree and to employ methods that will enable students to develop and practise a range of transferable skills.
Teaching & Learning
A range of teaching and learning techniques are employed on the programme, most of which stress the active involvement of students in discussion and debate. The programme also emphasises reflective, independent learning, both by individuals and groups, and students are well supported to achieve this through, for instance, tutorials, workshops and seminar discussions.
After completion of this degree, our housing graduates usually choose to pursue further studies by enrolling for a Masters programme within the Discipline or a Master of Town & Regional planning. Career opportunities include working for:
- Government departments (National, Provincial and Local)
- Non-governmental sector
- Private sector (Property Developers, Banks, Project Management Companies etc.)
- International development sector
- Research and academic institutions