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AZA4020: Selected topics in journalism

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal datesfor the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Mr Tula Dlamini


South Africa

  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


BSocSci or similar degree at another institution, with specialization/major in Journalism


AZA4450, AZA4778 and AZA4779


The unit aims to integrate current theories, research methods and specific research topics for journalism students, aimed at developing both critical and analytical skills in their research areas of interest. The unit will concentrate on current debates in journalism and students will examine a variety of topics in line with their research focus which may include social media, digital journalism, journalism and the law, photojournalism in the digital age, the future of feature writing, citizen journalism, political journalism and economic journalism. Students will be active learners through the presentation of seminars and will lead discussions and provide written review of topics that are related to their specific interests. The course delivery will incorporate all lecturers in journalism, who will concentrate on their areas of expertise and interest.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an in depth knowledge of journalism theories in general and applying them to current debates in journalism;
  2. integrate journalism theories into core research interest;
  3. examine and discuss the underlying assumptions that underpin ideas and research in journalism;
  4. identify key areas of study in journalism and explain their relevance in understanding contemporary debates in journalism;
  5. engage in contemporary debate in selected areas of journalism, specifically focusing on the digital age;
  6. develop a broad capacity to conceptualize an explanatory model for an honours dissertation;
  7. critically review the scientific literature relative to a defined research topic.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Tula Dlamini

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Journalism studies – South Africa

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