Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Master's in Journalism


Journalism Studies research for the 21st Century

So, you

  • have completed your professional training as a journalist, but you're going to miss the library?
  • have been working as a journalist for a number of years, but want to find out more about the story-behind-the-story, the theories and concepts that can help you understand your work better?
  • have a background in media studies but want to specialise, do more research, go further on your quest for knowledge?
  • are tired of running against deadlines?
  • are not able to reflect critically on your profession?
  • want to "sharpen the sword"?
  • need a new qualification to get ahead?
Then one of the MA (Journalism) options at Stellenbosch University's Department of Journalism is the right choice for you.
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 altogether four years for a student to complete a master's degree.
Depending on your interests, experience and circumstances, you can choose between several structured (assignments and a limited research component) or research (full research thesis) options. ​

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.

Entrance test and interview
All applicants must write an entrance test in September to assess their research interest. Applicants can choose to write the test in either Stellenbosch pr Johannesburg. Should an applicant be unable to travel to these venues he/she must contact the Department to discuss possible alternative arrangements.

MA programme in Journalism (Code 38725 )
878 (180) (100% thesis) (MA after BA Honours degree)
888 (180) (50% thesis) (MA after BA Honours  degree)
898 (180) (30% assignment) (MA after BA Honours  degree)

Admission and selection requirements
For 878, 888 and 898: The SU BA Honours Journalism, Media Studies or Communication from another university, or another honours degree qualification plus five years journalism experience.

Programme Structure and Content
The MA in Journalism is based on three 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 research assignment is done in one of the elective modules chosen:

Components of the Modules

878: 100% thesis after BA Honours  (180 credits)
  • Compulsory modules
         12834 Thesis (100%) (Journalism) 871 (180) (A/E)
NB: It is compulsory for students to attend the Mass Communication Theory as well as Research Methodology courses during the first seminar week.

889: 50% thesis (90 credits) after BA Honours  (180 credits)
  • Compulsory modules
         11547 Mass Communication Theory 871 (30) (E)
         10169 Research Methodology 871 (30) (E)
         12834 Thesis (50%) (Journalism) 883 (90) (A/E)

  • Elective modules (one required; one in which the research for the thesis will be conducted)
         Media Culture and the Digital Society (30 credits)
         Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation (30 credits)
         Media Ethics (30 credits)
         Science Communication (30 credits)
         Media History

899: Research Assignment (60 credits) after BA Honours  (180 credits)
  • Compulsory modules
        11547 Mass Communication Theory 871 (30) (E)
        10169 Research Methodology 871 (30) (E)
        10159 Research Assignment (60 credits) ( Journalism) 872 (60) (A/E)

  • Elective modules (two  required; NB in one of these the research for the research component will be conducted)​
         Media Culture and the Digital Society (30 credits)
         Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation (30 credits)
         Media Ethics (30 credits)
         Science Communication (30 credits)
         Media History (30 credits)

​Modules are assessed through assignments and examination. Research assignments and theses will be assessed according to the University's guidelines.