MA by Coursework and Research Report in the field of e-Science
This Masters programme aims to train postgraduate students in the use of statistical methods to conduct data-driven research in the social sciences and humanities. The programme will create opportunities for students in the social sciences and humanities to develop an interdisciplinary perspective on the emerging fields of Data Science. The programme forms part of the DST-funded National e-Science Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NEPTTP). Students will register with their Home Institution but will attend coursework at Wits University in Johannesburg, Gauteng, in the first year. On completion of the coursework modules, students will move back to their Home Institutions for their second year of study.
Applicants are required to have a Bachelor’s degree with Honours (NQF level 8 qualification) from a relevant discipline or field in the social sciences or humanities. Along with strong substantive knowledge in a relevant discipline or field, they must have a demonstrable knowledge of basic principles of quantitative social research (but need not have a previous specialisation in statistics or statistical computing). Applicants require a minimum of 65 percent in their NQF level 8 qualification to be considered, and they must fulfil any additional institutional application requirements of the institution through which they are applying, and must be co-approved by the Consortium.
The Masters programme extends over eighteen months of full-time study. The programme comprises compulsory and elective modules (with alternative MSc courses available by special permission to students who meet the prerequisites). Cross-disciplinary data-driven projects are offered both within the University and from a wide range of industry partners. A candidate must undertake modules to the value of 180 credits and must successfully complete the following courses to obtain a Master of Science by Coursework and Research Report in the field of e-Science.
Compulsory Coursework Modules (Year 1 at Wits University)
- Research Methods and Capstone Project in Data Science (15 credits)
- Data Privacy and Ethics (15 credits)
- Principles of Quantitative Social Research (30 credits)
- Advanced Topics in Quantitative Social Research (30 credits)*
*Alternative MSc courses are available by special permission to students who meet the prerequisites.
Research Report (Year 2 at Home Institution)
- Research Report: Data Science (90 credits)
Competitive DST-CSIR MA bursaries, covering tuition, accommodation and stipend, are made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to qualifying offer holders with a record of excellent academic achievement. Priority for bursaries will be given to South African Citizens and Permanent Residents.
Career opportunities vary depending on graduates’ areas of specialisation in the social sciences or humanities, but they fall in two main categories. The first consists of newly emerging data-oriented research positions that explicitly target those with expertise in the social sciences and humanities — in academic institutions, social and policy research organisations (governmental and non-governmental), and the private sector (for example, in the legal, finance, health care, and technology industries). The second consists of positions that have traditionally targeted social science and humanities graduates, but in which data and computing expertise is increasingly valued as a complementary “scarce skill.” The competitive advantage of MA graduates is their unique ability to combine expertise in the social sciences or humanities with data-oriented research skills.
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. For more information, see your Institution’s application webpage.