A range of courses are 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: Registration is solely online: https://www.wits.ac.za/registration/postgraduate-students/. Course cost to be confirmed.

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 2024 timetable for course days and times. Find out more about the Wits Radio Academy’s certificate courses and Development Communication Certificates.

First Semester

Click here to view the Wits Centre for Journalism timetable.

 
Journalism for Communicators (SLLS4066A); NOT AVAILABLE IN 2024

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, news writing, interviewing, research, ethics and some basic skills to promote pro-active, strategic communication. The course takes place in weekly seminars, and the coordinator is Enoch Sithole – enochs@live.co.za

This course is available for Masters and Honours, as well as for stand-alone certificates.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.


 
Financial Journalism (SLLS4045A)

This course is for those who want to specialise 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

Read more about our three courses in financial journalism.

This course is available for Masters and Honours, as well as for stand-alone certificates.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.


 
Investigative Journalism (JOMS0078); NOT AVAILABLE IN 2024

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.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.


Creative Writing for Journalists

The course coordinator is Lesley Cowling.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za


 

Block Release Courses

Click here to view the Wits Centre for Journalism timetable.

 

Online Journalism; NOT AVAILABLE IN 2024

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.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za. 


 
Photojournalism; NOT AVAILABLE IN 2024

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.

This course is available for master’s and honours, as well as for certificates.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.


 
Radio / Audio 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.

This course is available for master’s and honours, as well as for certificates.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.


 
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.

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

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.


 
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.

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

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za


Second Semester

Click here to view the Wits Centre for Journalism timetable.

 

The Story of Money; NOT AVAILABLE IN 2024

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.

This course is available for master’s and honours, as well as for certificates.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.


 
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 opinions. The coordinator is Lesley Mofokeng.

This course is available for master’s and honours, as well as for certificates.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za


 
Media, Law and Ethics 

The course coordinator is Dinesh Balliah.

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za


 
History of South African Journalism; NOT AVAILABLE IN 2024

This course will provide insight into the history of South African news media and journalism, and the debates around that history. We will use the history to explicate important concepts in journalism theory and enable an understanding of how we got to the journalism practices and media structures of today. We will cover the global and African contexts; the role of technology; the origins and development of the white English, white Afrikaans and black presses and their respective journalism practices and cultures; the alternative media; the roles of the various media types under apartheid; the development of broadcasting; and race, gender, transformation and the media post-1990. The coordinator is Anton Haber (anton@harber.co.za)

This course is available for master’s and honours

Enquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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

This course is available for master’s and honours, as well as for certificates.

Inquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Data Journalism; NOT AVAILABLE IN 2024

Data is everywhere, but being able to craft it into a story is a real, in-demand superpower in newsrooms today.Learning how to use data and tell stories supported by it is not as complicated as you think. This introductory course will get you kickstarted on your data-driven journalism journey with the fundamental skills (sourcing, analysing, visualising) and easy practical takeaways that you can apply immediately.

Inquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za.

 


 
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 Phillip Mogodi.

This course is available for master’s and honours, as well as for certificates.

Inquiries: admissions@journalism.co.za

 

FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES:

 

Address your enquiries to the acting programme administrator Andrea Gumede at andrea.gumede@wits.ac.za or call 011 717 4794. Registration is solely online: https://www.wits.ac.za/registration/postgraduate-students/