Bachelor of Arts |
Media Studies

( Minimum 3 years; minimum 360 credits; NQF 7)

Time Commitment

• Three years full-time
• Up to six years part-time
• No evening classes On campus only January and July intakes

Modes of delivery

Contact and Distance mode


Registered as Cornerstone Institute (RF) NPC with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No 2001/HE08/006; NQF 7; SAQA ID 87406.


The major in Media Studies is designed to help students develop the analytical, critical and creative communication skills required to engage meaningfully with a wide range of media. Building on a robust understanding of media’s political, economic, technological, social and historical contexts, each student will find his/her unique voice through real-world experience provided by contact with industry professionals and practical projects. This qualification introduces a broad scope of potential career paths, including print and online journalism, writing for television, documentary filmmaking, news reporting, advertising, and social media communications. During the first year, the student will also take the foundational set of modules, referred to as the ‘Cornerstone Core’. These include History, Sociology, Ethics, Philosophy, Economics and Leadership Studies. These modules are embedded with the core values of our institution namely inclusivity, excellence, integrity, unity, respect and creativity.

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  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a bachelor’s pass or equivalent
  • A Matriculation Certificate (with university exemption) or equivalent
  • A Higher Certificate or Advanced Certificate or Diploma in a cognate field
  • Matriculation Certificate (with university exemption) or equivalent 
  • National Benchmark Test (NBT) results
  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate Vocational with a diploma pass (or equivalent) combined with the NBT results 
  • Mature age of 23 and over during the first year of studies and a National Senior Certificate (or equivalent). The conditions of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy for access and the results of the NBT are determining factors for admission. Contact the admissions office regarding RPL
  • Mature age of 45 years can be admitted, determined by the RPL conditions and the results of the NBT

Applicants in the first category under Alternative Admission Requirements must register for the Extended Programme for Academic Development. The Programme extends the completion of the prescribed subjects over a minimum of four years.

Students who are admitted based on prior learning and who want to complete the degree in three years, but who fail more than 20% of modules taken during the first semester, are required to take the first year over two years. 

The BA aims to provide access for those who have completed Grade 12 to a degree programme equipping them with skills to be more effective leaders in the community in the areas of Psychology, Theology, Media Studies, Alternative Education and Sociology and Community Development.  In addition to a career path for sociologists, psychologists, and media specialists. The programme is also intended to provide students who are considering a career as teachers to advance to a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with the required teaching subjects at an undergraduate level.

BA students must choose between a major in Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Alternative Education or Media Studies. Each focus has its own specified core and elective modules from the curriculum below. Outcomes are set for each area of focus, as outlined below. Each module within the curriculum also has its own set of outcomes.

Media Studies students who have completed the qualification must be able to:

  • Apply critical and theoretical models for analysing a variety of media content and practices in relation to relevant political, economic, technological, social and historical contexts
  • Trace the development of media and relate current practices to historical antecedents in South Africa and globally
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply and defend professional ethics and the laws that govern the media industry in South Africa 
  • Conduct independent research, drawing on both primary and secondary visual and written materials, to develop and present a cohesive argument using appropriate academic and professional discourse
  • Compose coherent visual and text-based media messages, adapted to clearly defined audiences, contexts and purposes, showing knowledge of fundamental media production principles     
  • Engage in critical analysis and evaluation of personal creative work in a reflexive mode
  • Collaborate with peers to produce media content that demonstrates an ability to both provide and apply critical feedback within a group context.

Module descriptions and credits

For a description of each module, see ‘Module descriptions’ towards the end of this document.

Cornerstone Institute
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