Where and What to Study to Become a Journalist

With a degree in journalism being quite flexible, students are afforded the opportunity to choose from a wide range of courses and institutions when considering a career in journalism.


Choosing a life-long career can be difficult, especially with there being an expectation for South African youth to have their goals clearly ironed out before heading off to university.

In the same way, knowing what one wants to do with their life can also present some issues, as it can be equally as difficult to figure out which courses are required, and where these courses can be studied, in order to achieve your dream occupation.

A career in journalism is one profession in which what to study is not laid out as clearly as other careers may be. In South Africa, there are a number of institutions with departments dedicated solely to a career in journalism.

These institutions include The School of Journalism and Media at Rhodes University, the School of Literature, Language and Media at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), and the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University, to name a few.

However, outside of that, there are many more opportunities for students to attain a background in journalism without having to take courses dedicated solely to media or journalism.

For instance, although the University of Cape Town (UCT) has a course for Film and Media Studies, this course does not encompass a full degree and is only one of many other subjects to choose from .

One can have Media Studies as a major but can also add a number of other courses to make up their Bachelor of Arts degree. Even without a major in some or other sort of media or journalism course, students can still take other subjects that can provide a good background for a career in journalism. 

These courses include subjects in the Humanities faculties such as English Language, English Literature, Historical Studies, Sociology, Communications and even law, depending on what type of journalism the student would like to go into.

The benefit of deciding on which courses to take for a career in journalism is that, a degree that provides a foundation for journalism does not necessarily require a strict set of courses. Therefore, it affords the student more freedom to choose subjects that they may enjoy to form a part of their degree.

This flexibility also allows those considering a career in journalism more freedom in their choice for an institution as they are not restricted by specific courses in their decision-making. 

With the wide range of subjects to choose from, students are also given a greater range of career options that do not apply exclusively to journalism, in the event that they change their minds about their career-path during their studies.


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