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Course breakdown for postgraduate degrees

Postgraduate Admission Process

Student(s) interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree (MA or Ph.D) with the Media Studies Department should email the Postgraduate coordinator (PGC) directly on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Upon receiving such enquiry, the PGC will respond requesting for expression of interest, transcript and letter of referee.

Please, before submitting these documents to the PGC ensure that you have met the requirement of attaining distinction or achieved close to or over 70% in your previous qualification/study.

Only when the PGC has being able to secure a supervisor for the potential student, only then can the student apply formally through the Student Enrollment Centre.

Once the entire process has been completed, the student can register.

PhD in Media Studies

Admission to this programme is limited to students with a strong Media Studies background and an average score of 70% or a distinction for their Masters. Students can only be admitted if there is an appropriate supervisor available. The degree can be undertaken part- or full-time.

Interested students can apply online on the main Wits website, where they will be expected to upload an Expression of Interest in line with this template. If there is supervision available for your project, you will need to undertake a writing test and to provide two confidential references from academic sources. 

Prospective students should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the postgrad coordinator, Dr Ufuoma Akpojivi before applying. Please have a look at the Media Studies staff profiles, where you can find out about our research interests and consider potential supervisors for your work.

If you're not sure if a PhD is the right degree for you, this article from The Conversation Africa might be useful reading.  

Masters of Arts in Media Studies

Admission to this programme is limited to students with a strong Media Studies background and an average score of 70% in a BA Honours programme. The degree is available by research only; there is no coursework component. Students can only be admitted if there is an appropriate supervisor available. The degree can be undertaken part- or full-time.

Interested students can apply online on the main Wits website, where they will be expected to upload an Expression of Interest in line with this template. If there is supervision available for your project, you will need to undertake a writing test and to provide one confidential reference from an academic source. 

Prospective students should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the postgrad coordinator, Dr Ufuoma Akpojivi before applying. Please have a look at the Media Studies staff profiles, where you can find out about our research interests and consider potential supervisors for your work. 

Honours

Students take four courses during the year (two per semester). Critical Media Analysis and African Media Systems are compulsory, while the additional three courses can be chosen from the list below. Each student is assigned a supervisor during the first block and must submit a 10,000 word research report at the end of the second semester. 

FIRST SEMESTER

Critical Media Analysis

The course explores critical theories and analytical approaches to the context and production of media content as constructed narratives and representations in a range of media genres and the implications for audiences and the media's role in reproducing or contesting power relations in society. The course aims to bring together the theoretical and practical elements of researching media institutions, texts and audiences. The course strengthens and consolidates theoretical knowledge gained from undergraduate media studies courses and methodologically prepares students for media research.

Global Cinema and Society

This course introduces students to a range of contemporary feature films from varying countries around the world, taking in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. It offers an introduction to critical methods within film studies and emphasises the ideological underpinnings of popular cinema across the world. The selected films are used as a means of discussing the way in which cinema both depicts and impacts on global social issues including race, gender, sexuality, class, labour, religion and the tensions between tradition and modernity. The course places South African media production in conversation with film industries elsewhere in Africa, the global South and the rest of the world.

Sociology of News Production in African Languages

This course introduces students to theories of news production and contexts/factors affecting the production of such particular texts and related sociolinguistics theories. After synthesizing the two theoretical frameworks, students will be required to identify and respond critically to issues which are pertinent to African language media productions in a South African context. Students will choose a medium (e.g. television, magazine, newspaper, radio etc) that they will focus on and from which they will present a seminar paper and submit a written essay based on the seminar presented.

Sociolinguistics (taught in the Linguistics Department)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to Discourse Sociolinguistics, a strand of research which focuses on unveiling the ways in which power and ideology operate in society through language. Therefore this strand of sociolinguistics is more firmly grounded in the analysis of actual problems facing societies and attempts to integrate social theory into the study of language. The course will look at both analytical tools and different theoretical frameworks for the study of language.

SECOND SEMESTER

African Media Systems

The course seeks to provide students with a critical understanding of the roles of the media in African contexts and to enable students to write research reports on African media systems. The topics include, among others, the institutional roles of the media in relation to democratisation and development, issues of media freedom, historical development of the media, media structures, media content and audiences and policy and regulatory environments.

Media and Gender

This course introduces students to a variety of theories and concepts around gender and the media. Much research has gone into showing the ways in which mass media circulate images of men, women and transgender(ed) people that are limiting, oppressive and violent. At the same time, some African/postcolonial feminist research has highlighted the limitations of focusing on numbers of women journalists and office-bearers since increasing numerical representation does not automatically translate into more nuanced gendered representations in all facets of the media. Literature on the media and sexuality, which covers representations of masculinities and femininities as well as varied media idioms around subaltern sexualities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) informed by developments within interdisciplinary Queer, Feminist/womanist and Postcolonial Studies is of paramount importance here. Strands within Media Studies and/or Cultural Studies have also pointed to the manner in which media outlets co-create, recycle and reinforce larger public sphere understandings of how gender works.

Media and Politics

This course will focus on: Media and Transformation;
Media and the ANC and the looming Media Appeals Tribunal and Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill);
Media and Race
Media freedom and Diversity and, finally,  Media and Fake News

Have a look https://mg.co.za/author/glenda-daniels for more information on what this course will offer.

Take a look at previous honours research topics here

 

 

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Entry requirements for postgraduate degrees

 
Honours: Minimum of 65% pass for a BA, with a major in Media Studies or a related discipline.
Masters: Minimum of 70% pass for an Honours degree in Media Studies or a related discipline.
PhD: Minimum of 70% or an equivalent pass for a Masters degree in Media Studies or a related discipline.

Interested in applying for postgraduate study?

Have a look through our fields of research here

make an enquiry

To make an enquiry please email Ufuoma Akpojivi, the postgrad co-ordinator

study with WITS media studies

Wits Media Studies will help you understand how media work and how they affect us. We critically analyse the role of media in politics, culture and the economy.
We contribute to scholarly debates and research about media and consumerism, and media and democracy in the Global South.
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