Our Postgraduates

The School of Social Sciences offers a range of postgraduate programmes, from Postgraduate Certificates to PhD programmes. If you are interested in joining one of our programs, please click on the following links:

  • Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma programmes
  • Masters Degree programmes
  • Doctor of Philosophy

When you are sure that a program is right for you, then download, print and complete the appropriate application forms and hand-deliver or mail to the School of Social Sciences in Building 091.

Forms can be found on the SAS website. Download the USP Handbook and Calendar, available on the USP Home Page, for more information on applying to USP.

For the latest postgraduate research handbook, scholarship opportunities, policies and other resources, please visit the USP Research Office Postgraduate Affairs page. The Research Office’s Postgraduate Research Portal (PGRP) administers postgraduate research student process and streamlines the management of postgraduate research. Additionally, the Research Office also provides the Directory of Experts and Supervisors that provides data on prospective research supervisors, which can guide students’ selection of appropriate supervisors for higher degree research.

Our PhD Scholars:

Rev James Bhagwan

James is a PhD candidate in History. He is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church in Fiji, and a graduate of the Pacific Theological College (Suva) and Methodist Theological University (Seoul). His thesis is tentatively titled “For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory: Compromise, Collusion and Paradigm Shifts in the Wesleyan Mission in Fiji’s Ecclesiology”.

Cassandra Harry

Casandra Harry is an Erasmus Mundus Scholar pursing a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. She holds a M.Sc. in Global, and a B.Sc. (Hons), specialising in International Relations from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. Her research interests are multidisciplinary in scope spanning Sociology, Criminology, International Relations and Public Policy. Her thesis title is “Post-Conflict Institution Building Interventions: A study of stakeholder perceptions of the contributions of Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to Police reform in the Solomon Islands.” This phenomenological study aims to explore the perceptions of RSIPF officers on institutional change, understand the factors that account for these views and uncover how these perceptions changed having experienced institutional reform.

Zena Sherani

Zena Sherani is a part-time Ph.D. candidate in Sociology. In 2009 she graduated with a Master of Arts in Sociology. Zena’s passion/interest involves examining women and youth-related issues in the Pacific, Asia Pacific migration, corruption, civic education and dialogue and peacebuilding initiatives. Zena is currently a Coordinator-Sociology at Pacific TAFE USP. She is a recipient of the 2019 Faculty Teaching Excellence award at Pacific TAFE. Her research is titled ‘Culture, identity and adaptation amongst young Indo-Fijian adults in New Zealand’. The proposed research will explore the dynamic ways in which diasporic Indo-Fijian youths’ identities are reconstituted, reproduced and negotiated as they adapt to the lifestyle in New Zealand.

Joseph I. Cruz

Joseph I. Cruz is a native to Guam whose professional career spans 33 years serving in the US Marine Corps, the US Army and eventually becoming the Chief of Police in the Guam Police Department. He holds BS in Criminal Justice and a MPA from the University of Guam. His thesis is tentatively titled “Assessing the Guam Police Department’s Commitment to the Mandaña Community-Oriented Policing Strategy”.

Tima Tuvuki

Tima is a PhD candidate in Psychology and is also working as a teaching assistant in the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies. Her research focuses on families who were severely affected in Koro Island, Fiji by TC Winston. This qualitative study employs Talanoa methodology to gain an in-depth understanding of the iTaukei’s psychological experiences.  The study explores coping strategies and resilience mechanisms displayed by children within the family context in 3 villages in Koro Island, Fiji.

Anawaite Matadradra

Ana is a PhD History candidate and a Teaching Assistant with the School of Social Science. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in History & Politics and a Master of Arts in Development Studies (USP). Her current research thesis is “A Comparative Study of a Minority Community: The Case of Melanesian Communities in Fiji and Samoa (1980-2000). It is an extension of her ongoing interest in conducting historical research on the marginalized, disadvantaged and minorities in society. She hopes to document the interesting phenomenon of the labour trade migration and cultural adaption by utilizing case studies from Melanesian communities in Fiji and Samoa.


Our MA Students:

Name Discipline Topic
Augustron Asial History Leadership, church and decolonization in Vanuatu: A case study of Christian churches’ contributions towards Vanuatu’s independence, c1960s-1980.
Monitra Devi History A History of the Development of the Vatukoula Community in Fiji
Epi Raikivi History Shifting iTaukei Perceptions on the Chiefly System (Veiliutaki Vakaturaga) Since 1970 – A Case Study of Yavusa Navadra in Cakaudrove, Fiji
Sonia Soakai History Tongan Migration & Identity in Fiji: An Oral History Of ‘Api Tonga & Tongan Women since c1960
Eparama Veivuke History Decolonising Fiji’s History Curriculum
Penina Waqatabu History Village Leadership challenges in the modern era: A case study of Vuninuku village, Cikobia Island, Fiji Islands. 1928-1968
Malia Vaurasi Sociology Weaving Gender and Culture; An exploratory study of expressions of “strong femininity” in Rotuman culture
Kuini Vuli Sociology Pains and Gains of Women’s Rugby:  Fijian women’s experience of a male-dominated sport
Iresh Lal (SRP) Sociology Evolution and Status of Care Services for Juveniles – The Critical Importance of Formal and Informal Education and Skills in Prevention of Re-Offending
Priyam Singh Sociology Perceptions of Masculinity and Fatherhood in Fiji
David E. Merrick Social Policy The Impact of Youth Unemployment in Vanuatu
Kesaia Vasutoga Social Policy A critique of the Fiji School Leaving Certificate History Curriculum