Department of Modern Foreign Languages
The Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Stellenbosch University is one of the largest residential university departments for foreign language learning in South Africa. At postgraduate level, we offer exciting and varied programmes in Chinese, French and German, all of which are combined with possibilities to spend time abroad.
We believe that the limits of our world are determined only by the limits of our language and that the study of literature can serve as a guide to discover and explore new territories and give meaning to our increasingly complex lives.
Some of our postgraduate programmes, such as the Postgraduate Diploma and MA in Technology for Language Learning, the Honours programme in Chinese and the double MA in German with Leipzig University are quite unique to our Department. The PhD in Comparative Literature is offered by several language departments, on their own or in collaboration with each other. This is also a distinctive offering in our Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
areas of specialisation include -
The BAHons is a one-year programme presented in Chinese and designed to deepen students' knowledge of Chinese language and culture. In order to achieve the goal, the programme requires that students spend one semester at Renmin University in Beijing, China. Bursaries and scholarships are made available by the Chinese Government for further studies in China.
The doctoral programme consists of an independent dissertation in the multidisciplinary field of comparative literature in collaboration with the Departments of Afrikaans and Dutch, Ancient Studies, African Languages and English. The student decides on a research topic in consultation with the Department in which supervision will mainly take place. Sources are read in the original language of publication and the dissertation is written in Afrikaans or in English.
BAHons coursework programme is presented in French and is designed to diversify and to deepen students' knowledge of French literature and to further the acquisition of relevant research methodology. Themes include myth and modernity, literature and society, gender and film studies. An introductory module in translation equips students to use French as a professional tool whereas regular seminars develop a variety of competencies, such as stylistics and phonetics. Bursaries are made available by the French Government for further studies and/or training in France.
The one-year MA programme entails the writing of a thesis in French on a topic that is selected by the student in close consultation with the Department. Students maintain contact with the supervisor by means of regular meetings or e-mail.
The doctoral programme requires at least two years of research resulting in a dissertation (with an oral defence). In close consultation with the Department, the student selects a research topic and submits a research proposal which meets the requirements set by the Faculty.
The full time one-year BAHons programme
taught in German enables students to conduct independent research, to reflect on theoretical issues, and to analyse and evaluate texts within an interdisciplinary and transcultural context. Topics include Africa in German literature, themes in contemporary German literature as well as language, society and culture. Bursaries are available from DAAD.
The one-year MA programme (by research)
entails the writing of a thesis topic in German which is selected by the student in close consultation with the Department. Students maintain contact with the supervisor by means of regular meetings or e-mail. The thesis will contribute 100% to the final mark. Bursaries are available for one semester of preparatory research at an overseas university (Leipzig, Hamburg, Tübingen).
The MA double degree (by coursework and research) with Leipzig University in Germany requires that students spend two semesters in Leipzig where they will complete 2 modules of coursework per semester and a
Praktikum (internship) of their choice. Thereafter they will return to Stellenbosch to complete a thesis, counting 50% of the final mark. The thesis will be supervised and examined by both universities. Students will receive a degree certified by both universities. Bursaries are available.
The doctoral programme takes at least two years of research resulting in a dissertation (with an oral defence). In close consultation with the Department, the student selects a research topic and submits a research proposal as required by the Faculty. Bursaries are available from DAAD.
Technology for Language Learning
comprises the study and exploration of technology-assisted language pedagogies leading to a broad, but critical, insight into this field of study. The programme familiarises students with relevant concepts, principles and practices of language learning and teaching, as well as with the practical application of various technologies for language learning. Programme material is available online and the programme is offered in English.
The MA programme
requires of students to undertake independent research on either a theoretical or an applied topic in the field of the use of technology for language learning and teaching. The end product is a thesis which may include language learning material that utilises technology developed specifically for the purposes of the research project.
Please note: These programmes will not be offered in 2022.