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Master of Arts in ICT Policy and Regulation (MA ICTPR)

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 information and communication technolog (ICT) ecosystem relevant to broader social and economic digital transformation. This degree equips its graduates to deal effectively with policy and regulatory dimensions pertaining to the evolution to digital economies in Africa.

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 policy and regulation for the digital economy
  • 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

Course entry requirements and registration details.

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; national electronic communications regulators and regional 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 honours 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.

Applications for acceptance will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Evidence of research writing experience and ability. Before commencing the application process, each prospective student must submit evidence of previous research writing, and a detailed research concept paper (including research problem statement, foundational literature review, and indication of research methodology), to LINK Centre Short Course and Degree Coordinator Nokhanyo Yolwa at nokhanyo.yolwa@wits.ac.za. Only upon receipt of LINK Centre written approval of these two documents should the prospective student proceed with the application.
  • Evidence of a Bachelor's degree with Honours, or post-graduate diploma or equivalent, achieved at a suitable level and preferably related to one or more of the following fields: digital technologies, media studies, public policy, law, economics, regulation, development theory.
  • Evidence of at least three years of work experience in an appropriate field.

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 from institutions 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 South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) certificate of verification
  • verification of your international qualification(s) must be obtained from SAQA
  • the SAQA verification of qualifications must accompany the online application to Wits
  • you should apply as soon as possbible for SAQA verification of your qualifications (see SAQA Evaluation of Foreign 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 policy and regulatory frameworks for the digital economy
  • apply high-level conceptual and analytical tools to the digital policy and regulatory environment in African and developing-country contexts
  • critically analyse, assess and evaluate the complex and rapidly changing organisational, regulatory and policy environment for the digital economy
  • undertake and present critical comparison of the African ICT environment with international models and best practice benchmarks
  • undertake advanced independent research into issues pertaining to the digital economy in Africa, 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 sectors, as well as in other domains of digital transformation.

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. Go to LINK Centre "PhD and Master's Student Research" page to see examples of successful MA research projects.

Fundamental and core courses (compulsory):
SLLS7067A: Global trends in ICT policy, law, market structures and regulatory reform
SLLS7068A: ICT infrastructure, technologies, resources, applications and innovation
SLLS7069A: Research methods in ICT policy and regulation

Research Report (compulsory):
MA ICTPR Research Report:
SLLS7054A: Research Report Part 1
SLLS7055A: Research Report Part 2

2024 fees
SLLS7067A (global trends coursework) = ZAR12,135
SLLS7068A (tech and innovation coursework) = ZAR12,135
SLLS7069A (research methods coursework) = ZAR12,619
SLLS7054A (research report part 1) = ZAR17,735
SLLS7055A (research report part 2) = ZAR17,735

Postgraduate International students must also pay:
International Registration Fee (IRF) of ZAR6,970 (this fee is non-refundable)
Tuition fees for individual courses
(75% of total cost is payable before registration)

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

Venue
All lectures are offered on a hybrid, interactive basis.

Contacts
The Degree Convenor is LINK Centre Director Dr. Lucienne Abrahams, available at witslinkcentre20@gmail.com, who can assist with academic queries. The Wits University Student Enrolment Centre, tel: +27-11-717-1888, will assist you with your application. Administrative queries can be directed to the LINK Centre's Short Course and Degree Coordinator, Nokhanyo Yolwa, on nokhanyo.yolwa@wits.ac.za.

To apply
Applications for postgraduate studies should be done online at:  https://www.wits.ac.za/postgraduate/applications/

The degree is offered in the Faculty of Humanities, School of Literature, Language and Media (SLLM). Look under the list of degrees for Master of Arts and choose ICT Policy and Regulation (or Information and Communications Technology Policy and Regulation), whichever is available.
 
Please upload the following supporting documents:
1. Certificates of all degree qualifications stamped by a Commissioner of Oaths
2. Full academic transcript of the most recent degree qualification
3. SAQA certificate of evaluation if your degree is from a university outside South Africa
4. CV
5. Short note (no more than one page) giving reasons why you wish to study for this degree programme. Please include your possible topic of research and the reasons why you wish to conduct such research.
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