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Master of Arts in ICT Policy and Regulation

This degree its graduates to deal effectively with policy and regulatory dimensions of the global and African information and communication technology (ICT) sectors.

The Wits Master of Arts in the field of ICT Policy and Regulation (MA ICTPR) is a formal post-graduate academic qualification that provides capacity to operate in Africa's dynamic ICT ecosystem.

This degree is designed to meet the needs of policymakers, regulators, operators, communications managers in large and small organisations, user and consumer groups, NGOs, and others involved in or affected by ICT sector policy and regulation. The degree provides participants with an opportunity to improve their professional skills and/or refocus their expertise through:

  • expanding and updating their knowledge of ICT ecosystem policy and regulation
  • investigating research problems and exploring new ideas and experiences
  • interacting and networking with leading academics and practitioners
  • reflecting on their personal goals, values and career paths

Who should attend?

This degree is designed for middle- to senior-level managers and practitioners working in the broad electronic communications and ICT sector across the African continent. The sector includes telecommunications and electronic communications operators; the IT industry; the broadcasting and digital audio-visual content services sector; trade unions; regulatory associations; government policy departments, including communications, trade and industry, science and technology; science councils; university teaching departments; consumer advocates, and development sector entities.

Entry requirements

The MA ICTPR is a higher degree in policy and regulation. As well as an honour's degree or equivalent, you will need to have at least three years of relevant work experience. This may be salaried or voluntary but must include organisational experience, either in management or in policy design. RPL (recognition of prior learning) may be requested on an individual basis.

The following criteria are applied in the evaluation of applications for acceptance:

  • a Bachelor's degree with Honours, or post-graduate diploma or equivalent, achieved at a suitable level and preferably related to one of the following fields: information and communications technology (ICT), media studies,  public policy, law, economics, regulation, development theory
  • evidence of research writing at Bachelor's or Bachelor's-with-Honours level
  • at least three years' working experience in an appropriate field
  • satisfactory completion of Wits admissions tests measuring cognitive, arithmetic and general reasoning abilities.

For South African applicants, and for international applicants who have South African qualifications and who do not require a visa (e.g., from the SADC region), applications close on 30 November.

For applicants with qualifications obtained outside South Africa:

  • the closing date for applications is 30 September and applications after that closing date will be considered only if the applicant has a SAQA certificate of verification
  • verification of your international qualification(s) must be obtained from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
  • the SAQA verification of qualifications must accompany the online application to Wits

For international applicants who have foreign qualifications:

  • please note that applications close on 30 September
  • you should apply as soon as possbible for SAQA verification of your qualifications
  • early application to SAQA will enable you to have the application processed by Wits in time for you to apply for a study visa (should a study visa be required)

Objectives

Upon completion of the degree, the successful student will be able to:

  • demonstrate an advanced understanding of a comparative range of ICT policy and regulatory frameworks;
  • apply high-level conceptual and analytical tools to the ICT policy and regulatory environment in African and developing-country contexts;
  • critically analyse, assess and evaluate the complex and rapidly changing ICT organisational, regulatory and policy environment;
  • undertake and present critical comparison of the African ICT environment with international models and best practice benchmarks; and
  • undertake advanced independent research into ICT issues, and formulate and present appropriate results and conclusions.

Methodology

This is a research-intensive degree, comprising 50% coursework and a 50% research report. An intensive and interactive teaching methodology is used on the coursework component, comprised of several learning methods including lectures, syndicate group work, case studies, structured online learning activities, and presentations from local and international experts in the field. Intensive reading preparation is required for the coursework modules, with assessment conducted via grading of group work presentations, of individual assignments, and written exam-equivalent assignments (or examinations). In this way, participants develop a strong practical focus, directly applicable to their own organisations, that prepares them to engage with policy and regulatory matters in the electronic communications and ICT sector.

Curriculum and schedule

The curriculum comprises three coursework modules (the 50% coursework), including a dedicated 2-week module on research methods; and a compulsory research report  of 25,000 to 30,000 words (the 50% research). The research report provides a sound foundation for those students wishing to proceed to PhD studies in this field, as well as for practitioners engaged in research-based decision-making in industry pr government in a range of economic sectors.

Candidates may complete the degree on a part-time basis over a two-year period if they are in full-time employment. A maximum period of study of four years is allowed for completion of the degree.

In the first year of study, candidates are expected to complete the three coursework modules, which are each provided in two-week blocks.

In the second year of study, candidates are expected to complete the 25,000- to 30,000-word research report.

Fundamental and core courses (compulsory):

  • Global trends in ICT policy, law, market structures and regulatory reform
  • ICT infrastructure, technologies, resources, applications and innovation
  • Research methods in ICT policy and regulation

Research Report (compulsory):

  • MA ICTPR Research Report

Fees

The full fee schedule for students registered on the MA ICTPR degree can be obtained from the Wits Finance Office, +27-11-717-1533, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 46 

Registrations to attend individual MA ICTPR courses, for non-degree purposes, are also accepted.

Venue

All lectures are held at the University of the Witwatersrand main campus in Braamfontein. For a map showing accommodation in the vicinity, click here.

Contacts

The degree convenor is LINK Centre Director Dr. Lucienne Abrahams, luciennesa@gmail.com, who can assist with academic queries. The Wits University Student Enrolment Centre postgrad.senc@wits.ac.za, tel: +27-11-717-1888, will assist you with your application.

To apply

Applications for registration should be done online, and submitted with supporting documentation (brief curriculum vitae, transcripts of previous academic achievements, etc). You will also be required to complete an admissions test. Taken together, these allow us to undertake a balanced assessment of your suitability for the programme.

See examples of Research Reports by previous students

 

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