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Department of Historical & Heritage Studies

Postgraduate Programme Overview


The Department of Historical and Heritage Studies offers courses in four subjects, at postgraduate level:

If you obtain your BA degree with a minimum average of 60% in the appropriate final-year subjects, you will qualify to enrol for an honours degree specialising in History or Cultural History. Full-time students can complete the course in one year. Part-time students are encouraged to do the degree over two years. Classes are scheduled for after 16:00, for two-hour sessions.

Then, if you obtain your BA honours degree with a minimum average of 60% for the methodology section of your honours degree or related qualification, as approved by the programme manager, you will qualify to enrol for a master's degree specialising in History or Cultural History. Besides the master's degree by dissertation, the Department also offers an opportunity to enrol for a coursework, or rather structured, master's programme. Students are required to present five seminars in the chosen field of study, followed by the writing of a mini-dissertation based on own research.
If you obtain a minimum of 65% for the dissertation in the related master's degree programme, you will qualify to enrol for the doctoral degree programme in History or Cultural History.

If you obtain your BHCS (Heritage and Cultural Tourism) degree (or any other first degree as approved by the programme manager) with an average of 60% for the final year, you will qualify to enrol for an honours degree specialising in Heritage and Cultural Tourism. If your first degree did not cover subjects in Heritage and Cultural Tourism, you will be admitted conditionally and will have to take EFK 310 and EFK 320 concurrently with the honours degree.

Then, if you obtain your honours degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism or a directly related discipline with an average of at least 60% for the coursework (seminars) part of the degree, you may qualify to enrol for a master's degree specialising in Heritage and Cultural Tourism. Selection takes place before admission: (1) Prospective students may have to submit an admissions essay; or (2) sit for an examination; or (3) do additional modules to enable them to reach the desired level of study.

If you obtain a minimum of 65% for the dissertation in the related master's degree programme, you will qualify to enrol for the doctoral degree programme in Heritage and Cultural Tourism.

Students wishing to specialise in Heritage and Museum Studies, can enrol either for a postgraduate diploma or an honours degree. The minimum requirement for admission to the diploma is a bachelor’s degree (obtained with an average of at least 55%), with a major in any subject in the human or natural science field which would, in the opinion of the programme manager, justify admission to the course. A minimum of 60% in the Diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies is required for admission to the honours course or a bachelor's degree with an average of at least 65% in the approved major. If students take the honours course directly after the bachelor’s degree, they must take the module MKD 708 (Museum orientation) as an elective. The duration of the diploma course is one academic year, from February to October, and lectures are offered twice a week, ie on Fridays and Saturdays.

As far as the honours course is concerned, the lectures are offered weekly and attended after hours. Students complete the research essay in their own time. Honours students must also make provision for the possibility of requiring an additional six months besides the first academic year to complete their research essays. Students should take note that, according to the regulations of the South African Qualifications Authority, the diploma qualification cannot serve as an entry level to any master’s degree. Only students who have obtained a minimum average of 60% for the methodology section of an honours degree (in a related field), can apply for admission to the master’s programme in Heritage and Museum Studies.
Of the two postgraduate qualifications, the diploma is the most practice-oriented, and therefore more sought after among museums employers. On the other hand, the honours qualification provides additional academic depth and prepares candidates for decision-making and management in the museum and heritage environment.