Master of Science and Technology Studies

Science and Technology Studies (STS) interrogate and understand science as a social system and as a force that influences and shape society and life. The postgraduate programme in STS at Stellenbosch University will introduce students to these different dimension and aspects of science as a complex social system, with a focus on Africa and South Africa. The MPhil programme in STS is modular and non-residential, and students can choose between three options (General STS; Research Management and Evaluation; Science and Public Engagement).


Stellenbosch University, Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST)


Master of Philisophy (MPhil)

Aims of the Study Programme

The postgraduate programme in STS will introduce students to these different dimension and aspects of science as a complex social system. The focus is on Africa and South Africa which means that there ist a particular interest in topics related to science and development, the nature and formations of research systems in developing countries, public science engagement in the developing context, and ways of measuring research and its impacts in conditions of adversity (such as de-institutionalised research systems, lack of national funding, poor research infrastructure and continuing brain drain).

Topics / Content

Students follow one of three programme options: (1) General STS, (2) Research Management and Evaluation and (3) Science and Public Engagement. They attend eight coursework modules as specified per option and must also complete a research assignment. All modules are held at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. All course materials are made available to students on SUNLearn, the e-learning platform of the university. This means that all students have access to reading materials and assignments on-line. The medium of instruction is English.


Students obtain the MPhil degree in STS by following any ONE of three options in the programme (see above). Two coursework modules are compulsory for the programme, irrespective of the preferred option. These are Sociology of Science and Science Policy Themes.

Students interested in option 1 need to select six electives from the list of eight provided. The six electives together with the two compulsory programme modules (Sociology of Science and Science Policy Themes) will give the eight coursework modules required. There are no electives for options 2 and 3. Students interested in either of these options must take the six compulsory modules for that option together with the two compulsory modules for the programme (Sociology of Science and Science Policy Themes).

Find more information in the brochure.

Time to complete

It is possible to complete the MPhil programme in one year in the case of full-time students. However, most students take two years to complete. It is recommended that students complete at least six of the eight modules (if not all eight) in the first year of registration. The remaining modules and the research assignment can then be completed in year two.

Start of studies


Requirements and Admission

Prospective students must submit the following:

  • a full CV detailing their academic as well as professional history and experience
  • a certified copy of their academic transcript
  • a certified copy of their degree(s) obtained; and
  • a one- page motivation (typed) for acceptance to the programme. (The motivation should include a description of professional goals, and an explanation of how these align with the MPhil programme in STS.)
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency in the form of an IELTS or TOEFL score are required where English is not the applicant’s mother-tongue.

Target Group

The programme will be of value to a variety of professionals, academics and managers. More specifically the following people will find the course of value:

  • Programme officers in ministries and departments of science and technology and higher education
  • Programme officers in research funding agencies and science granting councils
  • Research directors and professionals working in research management and science engagement offices at universities and scientific institutions
  • Scholars interested in scientific knowledge production: how science is generated, disseminated and utilised
  • Scholars who are interested in the history of science and scientific institutions (such as universities, science councils, institutes) on the African continent.

Deadlines for application

Applications to the postgraduate programme close on 31 August (non-South African citizens) and

30 September (South African citizens) prior to the year that studies will commence.

Further information and contact persons



Mrs Bernia Drake

Postgraduate Administrative Co-ordinator at CREST


Telephone +27 21 808 3394


About CREST.

About the programme.