Film and Television

This programme aims to stimulate learning at a postgraduate level through the application of theory with practice.


Masters of Arts by research, Film and Television Programme Code: ARA00

If you are interested in pursuing self-driven research  to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in your chosen field, the Film & TV Department has two options available for the part-time or full-time MA student Part-time students have two years to complete the degree, while full-time enrolment means you can commit to doing it all in one year.

The written dissertation in the form of a scholarly written document of 40 000 words, addressing a focused research question.

The creative research option is also available which involves a substantial body of practical output (e.g. short film or screenplay/scriptment) alongside a written dissertation of 20 000 words. Each component is weighted at 50% of the final mark.

Both options require that the research process is conducted through regular consultations with an appointed supervisor.


Master of Arts by Research is suitable for those students interested in pursuing supervised, independent research in a specialised field. A purely written (conventional dissertation) option is available, as well as a creative option. The latter requires a combination of a shorter written dissertation alongside  a practical-creative output, such as a short film or screenplay. The dissertation needs to at least partly address the intentionality and production of the creative component.

NB. The creative option is only available to students who are deemed proficient in filmmaking by the department, by virtue of prior film production experience.

Entry Requirements

  • Applicants must have an NQF 8 qualification in a cognate field (with at least a 65% average), and should have an extensive undergraduate grounding in film & television theory and media & cultural studies.
  • A film/TV creative practice and/or industry experience is highly recommended and may increase chances of acceptance.
    NB – this is a prerequisite for the creative option
  • Applicants must submit a Short Research Proposal (no less than 750 words and no more than 1500 words), describing their intended research. This is a key part of the application and It is advised that it is carefully prepared and honed, before submitting.
    • This document must coherently express a specified and focused research idea or question.
    • If you are interested in the creative option, a description of the conceptual underpinnings of the project should be included here. i.e. what is it you are wanting to do or explore in the process of making?
    • The document must display an understanding of both the topic/terrain, relevant literature and research methodologies to be used.
    • The document must evidence writing skills commensurate with a Masters’ degree, including academic referencing.
  • Applicants may be required to attend an interview

Required documents

  • Certified academic transcript/s
  • Certified copies of tertiary qualification/s
  • CV (detailing all work experience, creative works & any portfolio links)
  • 1 page Letter of Motivation
  • Short Research Proposal (see above)
  • Sample of Written Academic Work

Note that the application will only be assessed once all the documents have been submitted.

Recognition of Prior Learning Applications (RPL)

Applicants who do not meet the minimum criteria for a Masters Degree can also apply via RPL processes. All RPL Masters applicants who wish to take this route must adhere to the following:

  • Must be 26 years of age and older
  • Must submit a comprehensive CV
  • Must have a matric certificate
  • Must submit a Short Research Proposal (as specified above)
  • Must have 6 – 8 years professional experience in the field of film and television (detailed in CV)
  • Must submit 1 page Letter of Motivation
  • Must submit a showreel of filmic works sent via a Youtube link (in letter of motivation)
  • Must attend an interview by the selection committee

Additional entry requirements may apply. RPL candidates should approach the departmental PG coordinator directly.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.