Rhodes>JMS>Curriculum 2023>Journalism and Media Studies Masters

Journalism and Media Studies Masters

MA co-ordinator: Prof Lorenzo Dalvit

Room: 204

Email: l.dalvit@ru.ac.za



Master of arts in Journalism and Media Studies


Master of Arts degrees are normally undertaken by full thesis and under the guidance of supervisors. Students are accepted depending on area of interest, academic records and supervision availability. In consultation with the supervisor, a student may opt to study full time or part-time, on campus or remotely and follow either the traditional or a more practice-led format. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to peruse the JMS School’s website and familiarise themselves with the staff’s current areas of research interest.  



An MA is a primarily academic and relatively long-term project. It entails a workload of 40 hours a week over 18 months  for full time students or 20 hours a week over three years for part-time students. As is the case at other institutions in South Africa, students are under pressure to complete timeously and extensions (for whatever reason) are positively discouraged. Extensions beyond three years may not be possible and failure to complete on time can jeopardise your graduation. For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to reflect on whether you are willing and able to put in the required time and effort before embarking on this journey. 

Once you have decided to do an MA you may want to start by reading at least one Master-level theses of your choice (preferably on a topic related to the one you intend to pursue), from cover to cover. This exercise might give you a good indication of the scope of such a project, the commitment required and your ability to set time aside for this. You may also want to consult the resources in the section at the bottom of this page and familiarise yourself with the process, support structures etc. While preparing your application please familiarise yourself with the JMS School website, particularly the sections on research activities and staff members.


Applications should be received by 1 November each year. Only exceptionally strong candidates will be considered after this date and applications received by the School after 15 February will normally be considered for the following year. The below documentation is required:


1. Full academic transcripts. The procedure is very selective and only academically strong candidates are considered for an MA. This includes those who completed their previous qualifications timeously and with good marks (65% and above) from reputable institutions. An academic background in Journalism and Media Studies or a closely related discipline  is an advantage but not a strict requirement.    


2. Curriculum Vitae. While professional experience can be an asset, it does not necessarily prepare one for the type of scholarly work required at MA level. Whenever possible, try to foreground research and publication activities. Please note that recognition of prior learning and AEG admissions are relatively rare at MA level. 


3. Motivation letter. This is an important document which needs to be well written and carefully crafted. Pay particular attention to your writing as this is the selection committee's first impression of your ability. Please be concise (300 to 500 words). Avoid generic claims about yourself or the JMS School and rather focus on:


a) Your personal circumstances (working, moving across disciplines, personal motivation to choose your topic etc);


b) Reasons for choosing JMS at Rhodes over other similar institutions (e.g. alignment with research interests in the School, wish to work with a particular supervisor etc.);


c) Your proposed topic. While this will be developed further in the draft proposal, at this point the committee should get a clear idea of what you intend to do and why. Focus on the theories and methodologies you intend to use.

Draft proposal. Please check the Thesis proposal format (Humanities). This document gives the selection committee and a prospective supervisor a sense of how far you are in your thinking process.


Formal applications are processed through the University's portal [insert link]. Please note it might take several weeks for an application to be processed during busy periods. Applicants who submit all necessary documentation by 1 November should be notified of the outcome on or before 1 December. Should your particular circumstances require you to know the outcome earlier than that, please signal this clearly in the subject and motivate in the body of an email to Ms Belinda De Lange (b.delange@ru.ac.za), Dr Chikezie Uzuegbunam  (chikezie.uzuegbunam@ru.ac.za [make link]) and Dr Priscilla Boshoff (p.a.boshoff@ru.ac.za)), to which you attach the documents listed above. MA students are under enormous pressure to complete timeously so it is important that applicants make the necessary arrangements to start by mid February of each year at the very latest.



Centre for Postgraduate Studies Programme 2022


Postgraduate Gateway

Research proposal submission dates

Thesis proposal cover sheet

Thesis proposal format (Humanities)

Thesis Supervision Policy

Change of registration form

Change of supervisor form


Last Modified: Tue, 19 Sep 2023 11:56:44 SAST