WHO SHOULD APPLY
The Career-Entry Honours is geared towards graduate students who have a three-year first degree in any field and who would like to become journalists. If you already have more than three year's working experience in journalism, then please refer to the Mid-Career Honours.
Only 20 students per year are accepted in the Career-Entry Honours on the basis of their academic record, writing skills and commitment to the profession of journalism. Students who have worked in any media (such as campus media or community media) will be strongly favoured. Students will be required to take a writing test and sit an interview.
This degree consists of five courses that provide a thorough grounding in the practical skills necessary for a journalist, as well as the theory, knowledge and command of media issues needed to operate effectively in the profession. The course starts in February and can only be taken on a full-time basis.
Students do four compulsory courses (Journalism Practice A and B; Journalism Studies A and B), described below, and a fifth course from the options offered in the programme and listed below.
Students will be involved in producing a weekly campus newspaper, and radio programming for campus broadcast if they take the radio option, and a television news piece if they take the television option. This ensures that students get the hands-on practical experience which will enable them to operate effectively in newsrooms when they graduate.
All our teaching is done by experienced professionals. The programme includes regular workshops and seminars with leading journalists and professionals from the media industry. This has in the past included such journalists as Tim Modise, John Perlman, Max du Preez and Jon Qwelane.
First Semester (Feb-June) – Compulsory Courses
- Journalism Practice A – This is a practical introduction to the foundation skills needed by a journalist to write news stories. It covers all the basic skills, including research, interviewing and writing, as well as an understanding of how news and newsrooms operate. Students in this class also produce our weekly campus newspaper, Vuvuzela, and should expect to be working on this at least 2-3 days a week.
- Journalism Studies A – A study of issues in journalism and the role of the media in comtemporary South Africa.
Second Semester (July-Nov) – Compulsory Courses
- Journalism Practice B – This course provides a practical framework in which students explore different types of reporting for different audiences. It covers a variety of writing specialities such as feature and opinion writing. Classes are held one morning a week and at least two days are spent in production of the student newspaper.
- Journalism Studies B – This course builds on the foundation of Journalism Studies A.. Students are broken into research groups to undertake a research project.
For their fifth course, students may choose one of the following courses:
(Note: These course do not run every year, depending on demand and the availability of teachers. Please check what courses are being run in each particular year.)
- Radio Journalism – The course examines the history, practice and theory of radio journalism, teaching students to be able to report, write, research, produce and edit various forms of news stories and documentaries and to critically assess such work. This course is a block release course (it is taught in three full-time blocks of 3-5 days each).
- Television Journalism – This course will give students a grounding in the history of television journalism, current analysis and critiques of television journalism and critiques of the practice in South Africa. The practical component will be based on news reporting, but also deal with other current affairs programme-making, such as news documentary-making. This course is a combination of weekly seminars and a block release production period of three days.
- Online Journalism – This course is designed for students with a basic foundation in journalism skills to learn to be effective journalists for online digital media. The course gives students a background to the structure, development and practice of online journalism, including a survey of current online journalism as well as an examination of the likely future of online journalism and its demands on the profession. Students will run their own Weblog in this course. The course is run as a combination of weekly seminars and Saturday practical workshops.
On completion of the degree, students may enter an internship programme, which is designed to introduce them to the world of work and allow them to build up contacts and a portfolio to facilitate finding a job.
Applicants require 65 percent average in the final year of an undergraduate degree or 60 percent in previous Honours courses. They are required to take an entrance test and undergo an interview. Places are limited and therefore students who meet the technical requirements may not necessarily be accepted.
Applications close in August/September of the previous year (check withour administrator for the latest information) and should be forwarded directly to the Administrator, Journalism Programme, Graduate School for the Humanities. Please provide a current e-mail address and phone number so that you can be reached.
Admission tests should be scheduled in October and interviews in November.
Fees for the Honours degree (four courses and the long essay) are about R12 000, although some courses may have extra costs. For exact details, see the official Fees Booklet.
For financial assistance, please contact the Bursaries Office or find details online.
International students: Please pick up an International Students handbook from the Graduate School Reception or the International Office.
An application form is available.
For further information, please contact the Programme Administrator.