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An overview of our academic programmes

BAHons Journalism

The postgraduate BA Honours course in Journalism is probably the most popular of all the courses offered by the University of Stellenbosch’s post-graduate Department of Journalism. More than 100 applicants apply each year to be admitted to this one-year full-time degree.

Dr Marenet Jordaan2

Programme Coordinator
Dr Marenet Jordaan
Email: marenet@sun.ac.za
Tel: 021 808 2625

Admission requirements 
Students who wish to apply for admission to Honours in Journalism must either have a bachelor degree or be in their final year of study for such a degree. Only 20 to 25 students are admitted to the course each year.

Entrance test and interview
All applicants must write an entrance test in September to assess their general knowledge, language skills, interests and cultural literacy. An individual interview will also be conducted with applicants who achieve a sub-minimum in the test.

Plagiarism
Plagiarism is regarded in a very serious light in journalism and in the training provided by this Department. Students that commit plagiarism, will get zero for an assignment and will not be allowed to hand in any other assignment in a specific module. Follow this link to the library’s website for more information on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

Duration of the course
The course normally commences during the first week of February, while the final exams and projects have to be handed in by the end of November. Hereafter, students still need to complete a practical internship of at least four weeks at an approved media institution of their choice before graduating in March the next year.

Course structure
Students should expect to be occupied with assignments, classes and other related journalism activities most of the time, Mondays through Fridays, and often most weekends. A large part of the learning experience centres on the work published on the student-run digital publication, MatieMedia.

The course consists of six modules. Each of these modules forms an integral part of the training and guidance of aspiring media professionals for the digital age.

Module 1: Journalism Practice (30 credits)
This module provides the foundation for writing and editing for both print and online platforms. To successfully complete this module, students also have to complete a four-week-long internship at a recognised media institution.

Module 2: Multiplatform Journalism (15 credits)
This module complements the Journalism Practice module by guiding the students in designing content for various platforms: print, online, social media, radio, podcasts and video.

Module 3Media Studies (20 credits)
Critical thinking and engagement with the role of the media in society is key to a well-rounded university education in Journalism. This module provides students with a background in media ethics and the context the media have to provide in order to contribute to a well-informed society.

Module 4: Media Entrepreneurship (10 credits)
This exciting new addition to the course will equip students with the essential skills to enable them to think about a career beyond traditional mainstream media. 

Module 5: Specialist Journalism (15 credits)
Another highlight of this course is the involvement of working industry professionals to share their knowledge and experience with the students. Specialists present courses in subject areas such as Science and Technology, Business, Arts, Politics and Lifestyle. 

Module 6: Research assignment (30 credits)
This module serves to test the whole range of skills the students acquire throughout the year. The assignment requires an academic research proposal on the one hand, and on the other hand, more importantly,  an industry-standard media product in the form of a series of articles, video, audio or digital publications.

MA Journalism

The MA in Journalism is a 180 credit programme based on a virtual classroom system and is the only modular course of its kind in South Africa. Students are only required to visit Stellenbosch for specific periods during the programme for seminars. The course is particularly popular with mid-career professionals who want to extend their qualifications and enhance their careers. The SU allows altogether four years for a student to complete a master’s degree.

Dr Gawie Botma2

Programme Coordinator
Dr Gawie Botma
Email: gbotma@sun.ac.za
Tel: 021 808 3488

Admission requirements
Because of the multidisciplinary nature of a career in journalism, the requirement for entry is an honours degree in an appropriate area in the humanities, or any other honours degree plus five years practical experience in journalism.
 
Entrance test and interview
All applicants must write an entrance test in September to assess their research interest. Applicants can choose to write the test in either Stellenbosch pr Johannesburg. Should an applicant be unable to travel to these venues he/she must contact the Department to discuss possible alternative arrangements.
 
MA programme in Journalism (Code 38725 )
878 (180) (100% thesis) (MA after BA Honours degree)
888 (180) (50% thesis) (MA after BA Honours  degree)
898 (180) (30% assignment) (MA after BA Honours  degree)
 
Admission and selection requirements
For 878, 888 and 898: The SU BA Honours Journalism, Media Studies or Communication from another university, or another honours degree qualification plus five years journalism experience.
 
The MA in Journalism is based on three selection structures as per module details below. The programme is based upon individual interaction between lecturer and student, but the attendance of residential seminars is compulsory. A thesis or research assignment is done in one of the elective modules chosen:
 
Components of the Modules
 
878: 100% thesis after BA Honours  (180 credits)
  • Compulsory modules
         12834 Thesis (100%) (Journalism) 871 (180) (A/E)
NB: It is compulsory for students to attend the Mass Communication Theory as well as Research Methodology courses during the first seminar week.
 
889: 50% thesis (90 credits) after BA Honours  (180 credits)
  • Compulsory modules
         11547 Mass Communication Theory 871 (30) (E)
         10169 Research Methodology 871 (30) (E)
         12834 Thesis (50%) (Journalism) 883 (90) (A/E)
 
  • Elective modules (one required; one in which the research for the thesis will be conducted)
         Media Culture and the Digital Society (30 credits)
         Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation (30 credits)
         Media Ethics (30 credits)
         Science Communication (30 credits)
         Media History
 
899: Research Assignment (60 credits) after BA Honours  (180 credits)
  • Compulsory modules
        11547 Mass Communication Theory 871 (30) (E)
        10169 Research Methodology 871 (30) (E)
        10159 Research Assignment (60 credits) ( Journalism) 872 (60) (A/E)
  • Elective modules (two  required; NB in one of these the research for the research component will be conducted)​
         Media Culture and the Digital Society (30 credits)
         Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation (30 credits)
         Media Ethics (30 credits)
         Science Communication (30 credits)
         Media History (30 credits)
 
Assessment
​Modules are assessed through assignments and examination. Research assignments and theses will be assessed according to the University’s guidelines.

PhD Journalism

Admission to the PhD programme in Journalism requires the candidate to be in possession of a recognised Master’s degree in Journalism or Communication or an appropriate qualification acceptable and within the guidelines of the University. Admissions to doctoral studies will be considered on the grounds of a research proposal.

Dr Gawie Botma2

Programme Coordinator
Dr Gawie Botma
Email: gbotma@sun.ac.za
Tel: 021 808 3488

Code 38725 978 (360)

Admission and selection requirements

Admission to the PhD programme in Journalism requires the candidate to be in possession of a recognised Master’s degree in Journalism or Communication or an appropriate qualification acceptable and within the guidelines of the University. Admissions to doctoral studies will be considered on the grounds of a research proposal.

The writing of a dissertation. Also consult Part 1 (General) of the Year Book.

Components of the Module

  • Compulsory module
         38725 Journalism 978 (360) (A/E)
 
Assessment
The thesis is examined according to the University’s guidelines.

Applications for 2022 close on 31 August.
The selection tests for the honours and master’s programmes will take place on Saturday 11 September from 9:00 to 12:00.
Please note: Candidates will need uninterrupted internet access to complete the test.

Any questions can be sent to journalism@sun.ac.za

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