The list below contains the range of courses offered for various degree programmes.
 

 STAND-ALONE CERTIFICATES

Many of the courses are available as stand-alone options for which you receive a certificate once the course is completed and passed. This means you do not have to register for a full degree. Subject to certain rules, up to two certificates can be turned into credits for an Honours degree, provided you are accepted for that degree. Classes take place either once a week in the evenings over 12-14 weeks, or as full-time courses for 1-2 weeks.

What you need to earn a certificate: Attend the course and fulfil the assessment requirements to receive a Wits University Certificate of Competence. If you are accepted into Honours at a later point, you can apply for up to two of these courses to be credited towards your degree.

When to apply: At least one month before the start of a course.

How to apply: All certificate courses cost R9 000 (except Development Communication and Radio Academy Certificates). To register, fill in  the application form and email it to journinfo@wits.ac.za

Accreditation: Please note that these certificates are issued by the University of the Witwatersrand in its own right, as it is entitled to do as a public university. They do not appear on the SAQA list of courses.  Click here for a full explanation of the relevant legal provisions

 

SHORT COURSES ON OFFER

These courses do not run every year, depending on demand and the availability of teachers. Please note that entry to all courses is subject to the agreement of the course coordinator since some courses may require minimum levels of previous experience. Please see the 2020 timetable for course days and times. Find out more about the Wits Radio Academy’s certificate courses and Development Communication Certificates.

First Semester (3 Feb – 14 May 2020)

Click here to view the Wits Journalism timetable.

 

Journalism for Communicators

This course is designed for communicators in government, private or NGO sectors, or anyone who would like to learn the basic skills of journalism. These include news judgment, newswriting, interviewing, research, ethics and some basic skills to promote pro-active, strategic communication. Weekly seminars. Co-ordinator is Enoch Sitholeenochs@live.co.za . This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Media Law and Ethics

Presented in conjunction with the Wits Law School, this is an intensive look at the law and ethics affecting our profession. It equips participants with the skills needed to deal with difficult situations that may arise in newsrooms and is ideal for a journalist in need of a thorough update. Weekly seminars. Co-ordinator is Adj Prof. Franz Kruger, fkr@mweb.co.zaThis course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates. 


Writing Immersion: Southern African Non-Fiction Narratives (SLLS 4062A)

South Africa has a rich tradition of narrative accounts stretching back in the case of the Bleek-Lloyd archive to hunter-gatherer times. There is also no shortage of works written by visitors such as mercantilist Jan van Riebeeck, scientist-explorers, missionaries, and, in more recent times, journalists such as Sol Plaatje, Nat Nakasa, Noni Jabavua and Bessie Head. The chosen texts aim to showcase compelling storytelling and to understand the authors in the political-economic context of their times. This course will examine and dissect writings by these authors in the context of present debate and discussion around decolonisation and develop the African narrative. Students will also examine the techniques of creative writing, a form sometimes called literary journalism. They will be required to produce their own long-form story or essay which contributes to the South African narrative. Evening class: Mondays 5 to 7, first semester.

Inquiries: Kevin.davie@wits.ac.za


Financial Journalism

This course is for those who want to specialize or any journalist who wants to conquer the language of business and finance. At the end of the course, journalists should understand basic principles/techniques of how to cover the economy with a focus on fiscal and monetary policy, companies, the equities and commodities markets. They should have mastered writing on technical subjects clearly and without jargon. They should have a particular understanding of reporting the Reserve Bank and the National Treasury. They should also have basic skills to cover markets and general business. This course can be followed by our Advanced Financial Journalism course. Inquiries: Kevin Davie Kevin.Davie@Wits.ac.za. Read more about three courses in financial journalism. This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Creating the Media

This is a course in media entrepreneurialism for those who want to start a new media venture. Students will look at new media business models and their implications and research and draw up a plan for their own venture. This will involve learning all aspects of the media business, including understanding audiences and their relationship to content, design, marketing, the regulatory and legal environment, etc. Co-ordinator Indra de Lanerolle on indra.delanerolle@wits.ac.za

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Radio Studies

The course aims to introduce students to the study of radio and audio and to consider their changing shape and social impact. It will analyse critically the way a range of contextual factors – including politics, history, culture, language, technology and others – impact on radio as medium and industry. It will probe its place in the media ecology, both in SA and other countries, and its role as the public sphere. Students will engage with debates and options for different kinds of regulatory frameworks that balance economic issues and the public interest and will be able to critically analyse debates and controversies around radio, as well as possibilities for its future trajectory. There will be a particular emphasis on the growth and impact of new media, and the course will also expose students to the range of genre and format possibilities of the medium, and consider the aesthetic of audio.

The course is offered on a blended basis: a face-to-face component (an introductory two-and-a-half day seminar); online work and a few short seminars that can be attended via Skype, and a final face-to-face seminar of one day.   The coordinator is Adj Prof Franz Krüger franz.kruger@wits.ac.zaThis course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Investigative Journalism 

The investigative journalism course can be taken as a short course or as part of a Masters. The course is led by experienced professionals. This course will take you through the history, ethics, tools and practice of investigative reporting. It includes data journalism, research, storytelling, planning and organising your investigation and using access to information laws. Participants will undertake an investigation as part of the course.

Students can take our MA in Journalism and Media Studies (Investigative Reporting). The course requirements are to study Reading the Media (core MA course), the course in Investigative Journalism (outlined above), one other course of choice, and a Research Report related to Investigative Reporting.

Applications and queries: journinfo@wits.ac.za.


Data Journalism 

Data Journalism (Journalism Special Topic): This is an introduction to the cutting edge of computer-assisted reporting. Students will do their own data-driven project, learning the necessary skills along the way. This will include finding publicly available date, identify the data-based story, cleaning and verifying data sets, using spreadsheets, data visualisations and how to bring the story to life. Students will be mentored by award-winning data journalists. Co-ordinator is Anton Harber. Applications and queries: journinfo@wits.ac.za.

Block Release Courses (1 June - 10 July 2020)

Click here to view the Wits Journalism timetable.

Online Journalism 

This course will introduce students to the concepts and practice of online journalism, taught half as a lecture/seminar and half as a practical lab course. In the lecture component, students will examine the origins of online journalism and its current trends, what online journalists are expected to do and the particular issues they face, how to use the online space for research and verification. The course will look at how people understand information on the Web and how stories should be structured for the best readability. It will examine the phenomenon of participatory journalism and the increasingly important question of who calls themselves a journalist. It will also look at some of the ethical issues facing journalism in the digital era. Furthermore, social media challenges and opportunities for journalists are explored. Students will also learn how the web works and gain experience in creating their own pages. Students will explore both the practice and theory of online journalism by building an online portfolio. The course runs full-time over two weeks.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Photojournalism 

This course covers the technique and language of photography. The course will combine hands-on workshops, reading and discussions. Alongside practical work, students will learn how to engage in the issue of representation and its significance in photojournalism. Guest photographers will present their work and share their experiences with the students. Students will learn not only how to take newsworthy pictures but also how to read and analyze images. Weekly seminars and some full-day practical workshops. Contact: journinfo@wits.ac.za.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Radio Journalism

This course offers a practical introduction to the skills needed in radio journalism, covering everything from fast-paced bulletin work to the richness and depth of longer packages – the features of the airwaves. The course includes live broadcasting experience on campus. Full-time over two weeks, followed by requirements for further practical work in students’ own time. Course co-ordinator is Nazeem Dramat: nazeemdramat@mweb.co.za.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Reporting on Children 

Presented by Media Monitoring Africa in conjunction with Wits Journalism, this course aims to challenge the common representation of children and their issues in and by the media, as well as open up new possibilities for alternative representations. It will allow participants to develop practical strategies in the development of a human rights-centred approach to reporting on children and will allow participants to integrate the learnings and experience of other journalists and experts into the way in which they report children’s stories. Course co-ordinator is Taryn Hinton (taryn@hintonlee.co.za or 082 940 6188).

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


TV/Video Journalism 

The course will give students a grounding in television journalism that is applicable to television broadcasting as well as to audio visual journalism on the Internet and mobile media. Students on the course will learn how to research, develop, plan, shoot and edit television stories. They will gain an understanding of television storytelling and how it differs from other media. They will learn to analyse television news stories and the narrative techniques employed. They will learn basic skills and concepts in shooting and editing television material. The course is mostly practical with assignments that must be completed against deadlines. Some readings will be given for reading prior to the course. Click here to read the full course description. Contact Linda Sowden on Linda.Sowden2@wits.ac.za  or +27 11 717 4794.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Introduction to Financial Journalism 

This course is geared at journalists who wish to enter this field or want a better understanding of the workings of finance and the economy. The course can be thought of as financial journalism for non-financial journalists. The course material will include numeracy and financial literacy, and an overview of the key financial institutions. It will introduce the key financial terms and metrics used by working journalists, including those dealing with statistics, the economy and finance. It will include sessions on using the Internet as a tool to access information and data. It will include news writing, with students being required to write up a number of stories using statistical, economic and financial data. The course also considers the role of the financial journalist in a modern economy and the debate between the relative roles of the public and private sectors in such an economy. Representatives of key institutions such as the Reserve Bank, the JSE, National Treasury and StatsSA, as well as from the private sector, will be invited to address the class. Inquiries: Kevin Davie Kevin.Davie@Wits.ac.za

Introduction to financial journalism is being offered as a certificate course.


FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES:

Address your inquiries to the programme administrator at journinfo@wits.ac.za, or call 011 717 4028. To register, download and fill out the application form

Second Semester (13 July – 20 October 2020)

Click here to view the Wits Journalism timetable.

 

Creative Writing for Journalists

This course is a writing workshop that shows you how to combine the techniques of fiction with the rigour of journalistic reporting to produce feature stories for the media. Various genres of non-fiction, including reportage, the personal essay, travel writing, humour, the interview and the profile, are examined, and fictional and literary devices that can be used to create excellent stories are identified. Participants are engaged in continual writing, feedback and discussion on work in progress. Many of our writers have gone on to publish in quality publications. Entry to the course is limited to working journalists, writers and freelancers, and a portfolio of work and a short CV must be submitted with your application. Co-ordinator is Lesley Cowling, ljc@icon.co.za.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


The Story of Money

This course has two aims: to improve the understanding of how economies work and to upgrade the writing skills of participants through examining great authors on the subject. Numerous authors, some dating back hundreds of years, who have written about complex economics in clear and understandable terms, are studied as case studies of exemplary writing. Coursework will focus on a research and story component, students being required to show they are able to cover complex economic subjects in a clear, accessible manner. The co-ordinator is Kevin Davie, kevin.davie@wits.ac.za.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Text Editing

This course deals with high-level skills needed by people working with text in a number of formats.  Co-ordinator: Ruth Becker, ruth.becker@wits.ac.za.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


Media Management

The Media Management course is an introduction to management with a special focus on increasing the representation of women in senior leadership (although it is not only for women students) The course introduces students to basic management principles, marketing and promotion, financial management, human resource management, strategic planning and governance. The theoretical principles are presented in the context of print and online media. The course will be delivered through two modules. Students will be expected to attend lectures for both modules, complete a work-based assignment and write an exam. Course co-ordinator is Paula Fray, ptlhale@frayintermedia.com or call: 011 888 0140.

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.

*Media Management block release dates to be advised. 


Feature Writing

This course is for journalists or communicators in the government, private or NGO sectors, who either have extensive writing experience or have completed our Journalism for Communicators course with at least 65%. It deals with more advanced writing skills, such as feature writing, narrative skills, writing columns and opinion. The co-ordinator is Enoch Sithole. (enochs@live.co.za)

This course is available for masters and honours, as well as for certificates.


FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES:

Address your inquiries to the programme administrator at journinfo@wits.ac.za, or call 011 717 4028. To register, download and fill out the application form.