This programme prepares language professionals for work in translating, interpreting, journalism, publishing, language policy planning.


The masters degree in Linguistics (by coursework or research report, 7000 level) is a significant opportunity for advanced training and application of theory in the broad field of Linguistics.

Students of Linguistics have now reached the position where they can both gain profound theoretical training, and where they can enter more deeply into the messy empirical world of data-gathering than has been possible at earlier Linguistics stages at Wits.

Advanced grounding in Linguistics has been proven to be highly desirable in preparing language professionals for work in translating, interpreting, journalism, publishing, language policy planning, and language education. The masters degree also prepares the student for potential work in allied and rapidly expanding fields such as computational linguistics, linguistic structuring of knowledge databases and digital corpora.

To find out more about the Linguistics Division, visit our web page.


Masters by Coursework and Research Report:

  • Approved Topic in Linguistics
  • Advanced Historical Linguistics
  • Advanced Morphology
  • Advanced Phonetics
  • Advanced Phonology
  • Advanced Psycholinguistics
  • Advanced Sociolinguistics
  • Advanced Syntax

3 courses (1 required formal course; 2 electives) 1 research report.
Supervision during preparation of research report.

Masters by Dissertation:

  • No coursework.
  • Students must complete a research proposal (7,000-8,000 words) within 6 months of registration (1 year for part-time students).
  • The complete dissertation must include a valuable empirical contribution to the chosen field in Linguistics and be between 40,000 and 45,000 words.

Entry Requirements

Masters by Coursework and Research Report:

  • A bachelor’s degree with honours from Wits or another university with a 65% total mark aggregate.

Masters by Dissertation:

  • A bachelor’s degree with honours from Wits or another university with a 70% total mark aggregate.
  • A supervisor from the Faculty of Humanities must be identified and approached prior to application.

Additional entry requirements may apply.

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.