A-Z list of colleges in South Africa that offer social work courses

A-Z list of colleges in South Africa that offer social work courses

Social work is one of the most marketable courses worldwide. It is a highly respected profession because they devote themselves to helping vulnerable people through everyday challenges. In South Africa, many world-class social work colleges prepare students for their future careers. Learners have to choose the most convenient for them.

Healthcare worker or caregiver visiting a patient
Someone studying social work courses learns about various aspects of human behaviour and society. Photo: Halfpoint Images, Michaeljung (modified by author)
Source: UGC


Deciding to pursue social work courses in college is a good move because there are many jobs one can do. Primarily, they are problem solvers since they help other people cope with problems in their everyday lives. However, you must have the heart to help those in need; otherwise, you may not enjoy the duties.

Colleges in South Africa that offer social work courses

In Africa, South Africa is among the leading countries in education and has invested heavily in the TVET colleges that offer social work. Many competent institutions offer these courses.

1. University of Pretoria

  • Contact: 012 420 3111
  • Email: ssc@up.ac.za
  • Physical address: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

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The University of Pretoria is a convenient institution for various undergraduate and postgraduate social worker courses in college. Since March 4, 1908, it has been in existence and has established itself as a leading research institution.

Prospective graduates can enrol for a Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) degree at the University of Pretoria. Those seeking postgraduate studies can find several programs.

2. Wits University

  • Contact: +27 (0)11 717 1000
  • Email: ask.wits@wits.ac.za
  • Physical address: 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein 2000, Johannesburg, South Africa

Wits University is one of the leading universities in South Africa and a good place to enrol for these programs. It takes just four years to complete the degree at Wits University.

This department has put a lot of emphasis on ethics, processes, intervention models, and legislative work in this line of duty to ensure it becomes one of the top social work colleges in South Africa.

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3. Stellenbosch University

  • Contact: +27 21 808 9111
  • Email: info@sun.ac.za
  • Physical address: Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Stellenbosch University is a renowned university that offers several degree programs. The college established its community service department in 1932 and offers a four-year degree program. Stellenbosch University ensures that its students graduate with honesty, integrity, innovation, good leadership and accountability.

4. University of Johannesburg

Portrait of a woman is leading a group of volunteering during a community cleanup day.
Social work education often includes opportunities for self-reflection and personal growth. Photo: SDI Productions
Source: Getty Images
  • Contact: +27 11 559 4555
  • Email: mylife@uj.ac.za
  • Physical address: Johannesburg, South Africa

Founded on January 1, 2005, as a public institution, the University of Johannesburg offers these programs at the Auckland Park Campus. In addition, these courses are found in the Faculty of Humanities. Typically, students can choose to major in this course during their fourth year of study alongside other courses like sociology and psychology.


  • Contact: +27 12 429 3111
  • Email: myUnisaHelp@unisa.ac.za
  • Physical address: Preller St, Muckleneuk, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa

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The University of South Africa (UNISA) is among the oldest in the country, established in 1873. Students looking for colleges that offer social work in Pretoria enrol in this institution for the best programs. As a public institution, UNISA aims to promote ideals such as justice, democracy and community service revolution, which are at the heart of this course.

6. University of Zululand

  • Contact: +27 35 902 6950
  • Email: cmd@unizulu.ac.za
  • Physical address: Corner Guldengracht & 2 Cent Cir, Road, Richards Bay, 3900, South Africa

After its inauguration in 1960, the University of Zululand set out to establish itself as one of the best social work universities in South Africa. It has developed a top-notch curriculum for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. It aims at producing quality employees to deal with the problems of South Africans.

7. University of Western Cape

  • Contact: info@uwc.ac.za
  • Email: +27 21 959 2911
  • Physical address: Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa

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Where can I study social worker courses? The University of Western Cape also offers several programs. It aims to continue developing these faculties that are unique and research based. In addition, it encourages its students to explore essential subjects such as human diversity, human rights, and gender equality.

8. Nelson Mandela University

Smiling young university students sitting with instructor in classroom during psychotherapy
Social work courses often include fieldwork or internships in social service agencies. Photo: Klaus Vedfelt
Source: Getty Images
  • Contact: +27 41 504 1111
  • Email: info@mandela.ac.za
  • Physical address: University Way, Summerstrand, Gqeberha, 6019, South Africa

Named after South Africa's founding father and one of the greatest leaders in the world, Nelson Mandela University is a good college. It opened its doors in 1882 and encouraged students to take up these courses.

9. University of Free State

  • Contact: +27 51 401 9111
  • Email: studentadmin@ufs.ac.za
  • Physical address: 205 Nelson Mandela Dr, Park West, Bloemfontein, 9301, South Africa

Established in 1904, the University of Free State was founded in Bloemfontein. It has a community service department with both degree and master's programs. It is a good college for the students eager to learn about the courses' research.

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10. North-West University

  • Contact: +27 18 299 1111
  • Email: studies@mynwu.info
  • Physical address: Building F1, 11 Hoffman St, Potchefstroom, 2531, South Africa

Having been founded in 2004, North-West University is well-equipped to accommodate the learning needs of over 70,000 students. Social work is among the most famous courses offered at this institution. Students can expect world-class training to be competent employees in the future.

11. University of KwaZulu-Natal

  • Contact: +27 31 260 1111
  • Physical address: 238 Mazisi Kunene Rd, Glenwood, Durban, 4041, South Africa

The University of KwaZulu-Natal is among the premier institutions of higher learning in South Africa. The institution offers multiple programmes in various levels of academic learning and fields. It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in social work.

12. University of Cape Town

  • Contact: +27 21 650 9111
  • Email: admissions@uct.ac.za
  • Physical address: Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa

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The University of Cape Town is the oldest university in the country. It is a world-renowned university consistently ranked among the top universities in Africa and the world. UCT offers social work programs through the Department of Social Development. This qualification enables students to register as professional social workers with the South African Council for Social Service Professions.

13. University of the Western Cape

  • Contact: +27 21 959 2911
  • Email: info@uwc.ac.za
  • Physical address: Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa

The University of the Western Cape commits itself to ensuring that learners are exposed to quality teaching, research and learning. The university offers social work courses under the Department of Social Work. They also offer Master's of Social Work and Doctor of Social Work postgraduate programmes.

Female home caregiver talking with senior woman, sitting in living room and listening to her carefully
Being a social worker, you learn various intervention strategies, including counselling, advocacy and community organizing. Photo: Izusek
Source: Getty Images

Social worker college requirements

Social worker course requirements differ from one institution to the other. The major general requirements are:

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  • National Senior Certificate/National Certificate (Vocational) or equivalent.
  • Senior Certificate (pre-2008) with endorsement or an equivalent school-leaving certificate.
  • Higher Certificate (NQF 5) or a SAQA-verified equivalent qualification.
  • An Advanced Certificate or Diploma in a cognate field.

How much does it cost to study social work in South Africa?

The fees to study social work in South Africa can vary depending on the institution you choose. On average the social work colleges in South Africa fees may range from R35,000 to R65,000.

What subjects are needed for social workers in South Africa?

Students with disciplines in the arts and humanities can pursue this course. English and mathematics are mandatory subjects.

What is the APS score for social workers?

Most universities require a minimum APS of 28-32 for admission to a Bachelor of Social Work program.

Are there private social work colleges in South Africa?

Social work education is primarily offered at public universities. However, there are a few private colleges that offer social work diplomas or certificates.

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Which course is best for social work in South Africa?

This will depend on your goals and interests. Some of the best courses include Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Applied Social Science. You can also opt to go for short courses in social work, which can provide you with the skills and knowledge to work in a specific area.

Social workers help improve the lives of vulnerable people. Before one starts to work in this profession, one must first enrol at the colleges in South Africa that offer social work courses. After completing the course, you can seek employment in different areas, such as hospitals and non-governmental organizations.

Briefly.co.za recently published an A-Z list of bursaries for private colleges in South Africa. Most people assume that students who opt for private colleges are rich enough to gain admission.

However, this is not always the case. At times, students join institutions of higher learning but become financially incapacitated; hence, they face the risk of dropping out of school.

Source: Briefly News

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