Rhodes>JMS>Curriculum 2022>Journalism and Media Studies Masters

Journalism and Media Studies Masters


MA co-ordinator: Prof Lorenzo Dalvit

Room: 204

Email: l.dalvit@ru.ac.za


The Masters in Journalism and Media Studies is a NQF 9 level qualification offered full-time over two calendar years. The MA programme is designed to provide a broad understanding of the field of Journalism and Media Studies and aims to ensure that you graduate with a broad view of the different components that constitute the field. It purposely avoids an approach that focuses on themes related to the media in favour of one that is conceptually based and that provides a critical theoretical understanding of the interrelationships between media and society. This requires that students understand how issues of media content, platforms and context are all intricately linked. Thorough research in any one of these areas depends on an understanding of their interrelationship. The School of Journalism and Media studies has a range of specialist knowledge in the broad fields and can supervise across a range of important areas. The MA is weighted at a minimum of 180 credits.


The MA degree can be undertaken in a number of ways:
  1. By thesis only.
  2. By coursework and half thesis.
  3. By media production and half thesis (this option is known as the Practice MA).


Students doing the MA by coursework and half thesis are required to complete three core and two elective courses. Each course is worth 18 NQF credits, corresponding to approximately 180 hours of work (the split between contact and independent work may vary).


Core modules

Critical media studies and social theory – Prof Lorenzo Dalvit

The study of media is central to our understanding of changes in our social arrangements, our epistemological positioning and our ways of being in the world. These are not all equal in terms of power, hence the emphasis on the "critical" lens. Media studies is an inter-disciplinary field that draws on theoretical understandings from a wide range of disciplines. During this course you will familiarise yourself with these understandings to develop your own overview or map of theoretical approaches to media. You will learn to locate what you read and (eventually) your own contribution within the broader field and within your lived social experience. You will also familiarise yourself with critical ways of theorising and understanding how society works, with a particular emphasis on the role of both traditional and digital media.


Research methodology – Prof Lorenzo Dalvit and Dr Priscilla Boshoff

In this course, students are expected to become active participants in a vibrant community of scholarly practice. The programme draws on a range of relevant activities within and outside the School, such as:

  • Seminars by active researchers in the School as well as invited guests.
  • The Research Design course offered by the Education Faculty and open to all students.
  • A selection of workshops and seminars offered by the Centre for Postgraduate Studies.

The programme has a deliberately qualitative orientation and covers a range of methods and approaches. It is geared towards supporting students in the development of their research proposal. 


Academic writing – Prof Anthea Garman

This course runs in parallel with the postgraduate coursework in 2020. It is intended to enable postgraduate students to:

  • Familiarise themselves with the range of academic practices of thinking, talking, reading, writing and research which take place within the humanities and social sciences.
  • Learn how to develop a practice of such thinking, talking, reading, writing and research in ways that empower them to operate as emerging members of the media studies community in South Africa.
  • Learn how to operate as independent researchers who can develop research questions and research projects



Different electives are offered each year depending on staff availability and student preferences. (see postgraduate electives)

Centre for Postgraduate Studies Programme 2022


Postgraduate Gateway

Research proposal submission dates

Thesis proposal cover sheet

Thesis proposal format (Humanities)

Thesis Supervision Policy

Last Modified: Mon, 14 Mar 2022 16:07:40 SAST