MA Journalism

Master’s level of study specialising in 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 two years for a student to complete a master’s degree – with the possibility to apply for an extension.

Programme convener 2024

Dr Marenet Jordaan
Senior Lecturer
Office: +27 21 808 2625

Programme Coordinator

Prof Gabriël Botma
Associate professor
Office: +27 21 808 3488

Programme details

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. Students who qualify can also be admitted through the process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Entrance test: Proposal, writing sample and academic record

All applicants must submit the following at by not later than Saturday 14 October 2023 (late or incomplete submissions will not be considered):

1) A research proposal of 2 000 words according to the following template:

  • Problem statement (why is the topic important to research and what is the main research question you want to answer?)
  • The theoretical point(s) of departure that is/are applicable (which theory or theories would help you to understand the topic better?)
  • What the relevant methodology/ies would be (how would you go about gathering the information to answer the research question?)
  • What will the main impact of your research be (how will your research improve the knowledge available about the topic?)
  • A complete reference list of sources formatted according to the Stellenbosch-Harvard referencing system (see the SU Library style guide online).

2) An academic writing sample from the latest academic study

3) A transcript of the latest academic record

Course content

Option 878: 100% thesis after BA Honours (180 credits)
Compulsory module: 12834 Thesis (100%) (Journalism) 871 (180) (A/E)
NB: It is compulsory for students to attend the Theory and Method Review workshops during the first and second seminar week.

Option 889: 50% (90 credit) thesis (180 credits)
Compulsory modules
Theory and Method Review 871 (90) (E)
12834 Thesis (50%) (Journalism) 883 (90) (A/E)

The course work of the compulsory module is assessed through assignments and examination. Theses will be assessed according to the University’s guidelines.

Course detail
The MA in Journalism is based on two 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 mini thesis is done in one area of spescialition in which the topic is situated.

MA programme in Journalism (Code 38725 )
878 (180) (100% thesis) (MA after BA Honours degree)
888 (180) (50% thesis) (MA after BA Honours degree)

Application deadline

Applications close on 30 September and a research proposal must be submitted in October. Acceptance into the programme is dependent on meeting the requirements.