Applications are currently open for our Honours in Media Studies postgraduate degree. To qualify for Honours, students must achieve an average of 65% in third year Media Studies or a related discipline. Applications should apply through the Wits online enrolment centre, and select Honours in Media Studies, NOT Honours in Journalism and Media Studies (which is a separate programme offered by the department of Journalism).
Some commonly asked questions from applicants:
1. Can I work full-time and also do an Honours course?
We have found that many students find this very difficult. While it is not impossible, you should be aware that all Honours classes take place during normal teaching hours (between 08h00 and 16h00) and that attendance is compulsory. You will need to negotiate time off from your employer to attend class. In our experience, students who work full-time and are able to negotiate time off for an Honours are happier enrolling for the Honours degree part-time, which means that you do it over two years instead of one. Honours is an intensive programme and students are expected to take the work and deliverables very seriously. A full-time job will make this very difficult.
2. Will I be doing my own research?
Yes, in addition to four courses you will be undertaking an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisor who will be allocated to you. You must take charge of your research project and make it your own rather relying on your supervisor to chase you, or do the project for you. You must make regular appointments with your supervisor to ensure that you do well. Your supervisor is there to guide and encourage you and also to assess the quality of your work. You can get the most out of supervision by asking for the help you need, delivering on what you promise, and being pro-active about setting up meetings and asking for feedback.
3. Is Honours hard? Will I cope?
Honours is a postgraduate degree, and as such it represents a serious step up from expectations at undergraduate level. Past students have said that they find the course very intense and time-consuming, but also very rewarding. Student take two courses per semester, and are expected to arrive at class prepared having read all the assigned material in advance. We cannot over-emphasize how important it is to prepare for classes, as this allows you participate in a rewarding manner. Another important piece of advice for Honours students is to manage your time, and make sure that you keep on top of all of your work in advance, rather than leaving it to the last minute. All this said, we have an excellent pass rate, and our graduates report that they found their Honours year formative in terms of their careers and directions in life. The Honours cohort typically develops into a very tight-knit group of students who see themselves as friends as well as colleagues, and who are able to keep contact with their networks throughout their careers.
4. Will I get to choose my courses?
Yes, in addition to two compulsory courses, you will have choices in the optional courses that you do. Please have a look at the course overview here.
5. Is it hard to get in to the Honours in Media Studies programme?
Each year we receive around 100 applications for approximately 25 spaces. We make our decision based on academic performance, so if you have achieved the necessary grade average in third year (note that we only look at third year results, so don't worry too much if you didn't do too well in first or second year), you are very likely to be offered a place.
Any other questions? Get in touch.