MA Degree Structure

The MA in Journalism and Media Studies course consists of 50% coursework and 50% research and is aimed at students who are keen to explore areas of journalism and media studies in greater depth. Students need to understand that they are reading for a degree (there is no practical component to the MA), and they must be capable of independent study. It is also essential that students should be interested in engaging in media research.

The coursework component consists of four courses. 

  1. Media and Society (15%)
  2. Media and Texts (15%)
  3. Media Research Methods (10%)
  4. New Media (10%)


1. Media and Society (Prof.  Lynette Steenveld)

This module provides students with an introduction to some of the core issues of concern to media studies scholars.

These include:

  • competing perspectives of the media/society relationship • understanding the relationship between media, culture and ideology
  • the different approaches to understandings of the impact that media texts have on their audiences
  • key understandings of journalism within the wider context of media studies.

2. Media Texts (Prof.  Jeanne Prinsloo)

This course is concerned with media texts and textuality and sets out to provide a theoretical framework to inform the way media texts can be investigated and interrogated. It proposes a range of textual strategies to investigate how texts mediate the world and engage us in different ways.

3. Media Research Methods (Prof.  Larry Strelitz)

Writing an MA thesis involves three processes:

  • first, the identification of a problem or issue worth researching;
  • second, the collection of relevant data using appropriate research methods,
  • and third, a reflection on one’s research findings.

This course will help students to clarify what is required at each of these stages of the research process. The research methods course also provides an overview of the key theoretical frameworks in social science research and the research methods associated with them.

2. New Media (Prof.  Lorenzo Dalvit)

This module’s scope ranges from the theoretical underpinning of New Media, to media coverage of technological developments. A focus of the course is on New Media and mobile devices in the African and South African context – examined from a variety of different perspectives.

Coursework component (50%) Coursework commences in January and exams are written in the third term.

Research component (50%) On completing the coursework satisfactorily, the fourth term of the first year and the whole of the second year is devoted to a 30 000 word mini-thesis.

All students are required to first develop a thesis proposal which has to be submitted for approval by the Humanities Faculty Higher Degrees Committee. Writing the proposal is part of the research and must be submitted and approved before substantial work is done on the mini-thesis. The choice of research focus is subject to MA Committee approval and will depend on the availability of an appropriate supervisor. Students are required to consult with their supervisors at regular intervals, and deadlines for submissions are agreed upon in consultation.

Please note that continuation with the mini-thesis is not automatic, but is subject to departmental approval once coursework is completed.

More information on the MA can be found in the Rhodes Calendar (prospectus) on page 203 CLICK HERE or in the JMS Student Handbook

Last Modified: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:48:46 SAST