Masters Degree

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

The Masters degree is open to:

Journalists who have an Honours degree in journalism (or equivalent) and at least two years’ professional experience; or working journalists with more than five years’ experience, who have a four-year degree in any field.

PROGRAMME REQUIREMENTS

The Masters can be taken full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Students must take three courses and produce a research report of about 25 000 words. Students are required to take the core course, Media and Society, as well as two optional courses. The optional courses and the research need to reflect whichever stream or specialisation students have chosen.

There is also an option to do a Masters by research only, a much larger project, under the guidance of a supervisor. Candidates would need to apply with a pre-existing topic, and have exceptional research skills.

REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIALISATIONS AND TOPIC AREAS

Students are advised to choose an area of specialisation in order to structure the MA programme and research. Specialisations include the core course, plus one or more courses in the focus area. The following specialisations are offered:

Financial Journalism

Required courses: Media and Society.
Suggested courses: Financial Journalism, The Story of Money.
Research: A project on a financial or economic topic. If the student has done Financial Journalism courses at the Honours level, he or she can substitute an appropriate option, with permission from the specialisation convener.
Convener: Kevin Davie (kevin.davie@wits.ac.za)

Media and Politics

Required: Media and Society.
Suggested courses: Two courses from the Media and Politics options, or, by arrangement with the convener, an alternative option from the university’s MA courses.
Research: A project on media and public debate, political communication, or journalism and publics.
Convener: Lesley Cowling (lesley.cowling@wits.ac.za)

Development Communication

Required: Media and Society.
Suggested courses: Development Communication. By arrangement with the specialisation convener, a third course can be chosen from Journalism or from other departments. Research report on a development communication topic.
Convener: Alan Finlay (alan@apc.org)

 

Radio

Required: Media and Society.
Suggested courses: Radio Journalism, Radio Studies. Students who have done Radio Journalism at Honours level can take a third option, after consultation with the specialisation convener. In addition, a research report in the field of radio will be undertaken.
Convener: Prof Franz Krüger, franz.kruger@wits.ac.za.

For general information on the Wits Radio Academy, the unit which offers this specialisation, click here.

Ethics

Required: Media and Society.
Suggested courses: Media Law and Ethics, and a third optional course, from Journalism or other postgraduate options. The third course will be chosen in consultation with the specialisation convener. In addition, a research report in the field of ethics will be undertaken.
Convener: Franz Krüger, franz.kruger@wits.ac.za

Writing and long-form journalism

Required: Media and Society.
Options: Creative Writing for Journalists, The Story of Money, South African Non-Fiction Narratives, or an option from Wits creative writing programme.
Research report: A journalism or literary non-fiction piece, with a scholarly introduction.  With permission from the convener, the candidate can opt for an academic research report on an aspect of creative non-fiction, literary journalism, or journalism editing and production.

Conveners: Lesley Cowling (lesley.cowling@wits.ac.za); Kevin Davie (kevin.davie@wits.ac.za)

Online/Digital Journalism

Required: Media and Society.
Suggested courses: Online Journalism, Digital Journalism, or a third option, in consultation with the convener from Wits Journalism or other postgraduate offering. In addition, a research report in the area of online/digital journalism.

Convener: Franz Krüger, franz.kruger@wits.ac.za

COURSES

Seminars are mostly scheduled for weekday evenings to accommodate working students, while some are offered on a block-release basis – generally two weeks of full-time work (see timetable). The classes are made up of working journalists from a wide range of backgrounds and media, which results in a dynamic and exciting environment for discussion and debate.

Click here for a full list of courses

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Masters Degree:

Honours degree in Journalism and Media Studies (or equivalent) with at least 65 percent average, and at least two years’ experience working as a journalist;
OR
65 percent average in previous Honours degree in any field, and five years’ experience in journalism. Students may be required to pass an entrance test. Applicants who did not receive 65% or more for their Honours research project may be required to do a research course as a prerequisite.

HOW TO APPLY

For information about the Masters’ degree, and whether you are eligible or not, please contact us. However, once you have decided you would like to apply for the programme, you need to do that through the university’s official structures. You can apply online here, or you can go to the Enrolment Centre, Solomon Mahlangu House (formerly Senate House), to fill in a hard copy application form.

Along with the form, you should provide a work history or short cv, and a copy of your Honours research project or long essay. A letter of reference is not required – just enter the names and contact details of your referees on the form. Please provide your supporting documents before the deadline for applications closes, as we cannot make a decision without them.

Applicants may be required to write entrance tests or language tests. Places in the programme are limited and late applications will not be considered.

YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE OF THE SPECIALISATIONS OUTLINED ABOVE. Please do this by emailing the MA convener lesley.cowling@wits.ac.za  AND journinfo@wits.ac.za. If you are interested in more than one of the areas, please indicate that in your email.

All applications should reach us by September 30. International students are required to submit a SAQA evaluation of their qualifications. This can take some time to reach us, so please prioritise this process.

For students completing an Honours degree, the applications should also be submitted by September 30, but decisions will only be provisional until your final results become available.

If you have not received a response from us letting you know whether you have been accepted by early December, please check your status by sending an email to journinfo@wits.ac.za

There is no mid-year admission for the Masters programme.

FEES

Fees for the Masters degree (three courses and the research report) are about R40 000. Please check the university website for the latest information. International students pay a special fee. Please click here for information on the special circumstances of being a foreign student at Wits.

For more information about the application process, see Wits’ postgraduate website. For information from the Journalism programme, please contact the programme administrator at journinfo@wits.ac.za or (011) 717-4028.

Registration Details

Registration usually happens in January or early February. Wits now offers online registration. You will be sent the information by the university once accepted. At the beginning of each year, we schedule curriculum counselling in the department to help you make your choices. The faculty also schedules a day for those who need to come to campus to register.

Please see the maps of Wits if you are unfamiliar with the campus. More information can be found on the Wits website.