Political Science
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

BA International Studies

​The growing role of South Africa in the global community creates a demand for people who are trained in understanding global affairs, and who are able to operate and communicate effectively in multicultural contexts. The BA in International Studies enables students to: 

  • gain a solid understanding of the international system, in particular the international political economy;
  • develop their knowledge of the peoples and traditions of diverse parts of the world;
  • appreciate and manage cultural diversity in practical, decision-making contexts; and
  • gain command of a foreign language.

The University of Stellenbosch offers a unique and exciting BA programme for people who are aiming at careers in:

  • the diplomatic service
  • the international offices of the Departments of Labour, Trade and Industry, and Defence
  • the international section of Parliament
  • the National Intelligence Agency
  • the international telecommunications industry
  • international journalism
  • the tourism industry
  • management consultancies
  • research institutions
  • regional or country-wide organisations which promote foreign trade and investment (e.g. WESGRO)
  • headquarters or branch offices of international governmental organisations (the UN, World Trade Organisation, SADC, the Commonwealth, etc.)
  • International non-governmental organisations (Amnesty International, World Economic Forum, etc.)
  • global relief agencies such as Save the Children, OXFAM, etc.
  • multinational corporations
  • the export and import business

Unique features:

  • combines the study of languages, culture, economics, history and international relations
  • explores the challenges posed by cultural diversity, both in the South African context and globally exposes students to top-level local and international lecturers
  • provides intensive exposure to areas that are of major importance to South Africa, such as Africa, the United States, Asia and Latin America
  • provides interesting opportunities for students to continue with their studies in other countries, especially at the post-graduate level.

​Click here for Specific Admission Requirements

Basic level (first year) (126 credits)

Compulsory Modules

Information Skills172(6)
Political Science114(12), 144(12)
History114(12), 144(12)
Decision Making and Value Studies114(12), 144(12)
English Studies178(24)


Elective Modules

Plus one of the following (24 credits):

German178(24)  or 188(24)
French178(24) or 188(24)


Intermediate level (second year) (128 credits)

Compulsory Modules

Political Science212(8), 222(8), 242(8), 252(8)
Decision Making and Value Studies252(8)
Social Anthropology242(8) or 252(8)


Elective Modules
Continuation of language taken during the first year (32 credits):

German278(32), 288(32)

Advanced level (third year) (120 credits)
Compulsory Modules

Political Science314(12), 324(12), 354(12), 364(12)
History318(24), 348(24)

Elective Modules
Plus 24 credits from the following modules subject to the timetable

Social Anthropology324(12)  and/or 354(12)
Decision Making and Value Studies344(12) and/or 354(12)
Meta Science324(12)
German318(24) (follows German 278) 328(24) (follows German 288)
Chinese318(24) provided that there are no timetable conflicts

An overview of module contents can be found under each departmental entry in Section 4, Undergraduate Subjects, Modules and Module Contents (refer to the Table of Contents for page numbers). For the contents of Economics 288, refer to Calendar, Part 10, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.  
Programme Assessment
Students are assessed through tests, exams, research assignments, essays and participation in practical exercises, including simulations of international negotiations. Enquire from participating departments for details regarding assessment.

Although the programme is predominantly bilingually, some modules in Political Science are taught by foreign academics and are therefore presented in English.


Programme Co-ordinator: Prof J van der Westhuizen, Political Science
Tel: +27 21 808 2502    E-mail: jvdw2@sun.ac.za