Institute for Social and Health Sciences (ISHS)


The ISHS is an Africa-centred, internationalist home to community-engaged scholars and activists who situate themselves in compassionate, transdisciplinary liberatory knowledge practices in the service of contextualised human development. Recognising our diverse positionalities, the ISHS builds on the collective and individual contributions of its people and their expertise in the social, psychological and public health sciences. The ISHS aims to produce knowledge and enactments to deepen the understanding of social and psychological health phenomena, and enable the transformation of psychology and cognate disciplines.

The ISHS finds expression for its vision, mission, values and objectives through three programmes. They are the Violence, Injury and Peace Promotion Research Unit (VIPRU), Research Unit on Men and Masculinity (RUMM) and the Transdisciplinary African Psychologies Programme (TAP).

A flagship of the College of Graduate Studies, the Africa-centred Institute derives its mandate from:

  • The university’s vision, “Towards the African university shaping futures in service of humanity”
  • Its accreditation as a Safe Communities Certifying Centre
  • Its co-directorship of the Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit (VIPRU), formerly known as the Presidential Crime, Violence and Injury Lead Programme.

These synergistically linked mandates offer the Institute specific and well-established, strategic platforms for research, community service and postgraduate training in the social and health sciences. Recognised as a regional resource and international expert in specific niche areas, the Institute is well placed to function as a strategic and flagship initiative of Unisa’s College of Graduate Studies, focused on growing Africa-oriented research, expertise and community development.

Last modified: 2020/05/07