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Wits Devcom Logo 2Made up of two post-graduate certificates, the programme targets communicators from all spheres of government and civil society organisations. The programme promotes the notion of participatory communication as a catalyst for behavioural change and social development. Its premise is that unless stakeholders, particularly communities, are informed and actively involved in projects they will not support the developmental process.  In the course of these studies students receive a grounding in development and communication theory and explore the use of the mass and social media to disseminate information and encourage participation. Because it is housed in Wits Journalism, students are offered the benefit of enhancing their journalism skills for communication and interacting with working journalists.
Why Development Communication certificates?
Development requires the engagement and participation of target audiences and communities. Government alone cannot drive the process, but needs buy-in from the private sector and civil society organisations.
The corporate private sector is growingly aware that doing business in South Africa entails communicating its investment in development. In all sectors, development communication demands skilful employment of techniques, critical thinking and an ability to evaluate outcomes within a structural framework.

How is the programme structured?

There are two certificates, Development Communication A and B, both made up of three one-week full-time blocks. Certificate A needs to be completed before enrolling for Certificate B.

Certificate A

Certificate A offers an introduction to the theory and practice of development communication with a practical focus on core media skills.

Module 1

  • Development communication in the South African context
  • The development media environment and media channels

Module 2

  • Evaluating development communication tools
  • Effective use of media releases and social media
  • Speeches that communicate development

Module 3

  • Publishing to communicate development
  • Writing features and profiles
  • Critical evaluation of advertorials

Certificate B

Certificate B offers additional development and communication theory and more advanced communication tools.

Module 1

  • Setting up a communications strategy for development communication
  • Assessing development communication systems
  • Reporting development communication initiatives

Module 2

  • Civil society and advocacy in development communication
  • Writing developmental case studies

Module 3

  • Development Journalism theory and practice
  • Writing opinion and analysis for development communication
  • Broadcasting and development communication

Facilitators and coordinators

The programme was jointly developed by Felicity Levine and Prof Anton Harber. Teaching is now led by Boikaego Seadira, and includes range of Wits lecturers in journalism and media studies as well as guest lecturers and practitioners.

Cost of Programme
Each certificate costs R17,500 per student
For information and a registration form, contact: Boikaego.seadira@wits.ac.za or Linda.Sowden2@wits.ac.za

Click here to download our DevCom e-brochure | Click here to download DevCom Applications Form

*An MA in Journalism and Media Studies, with a Development Communications specialisation. Entry requires an equivalent of our BA Hons degree. Students will do a Masters-level course in Development Communication and a Research Report in this field. Click here for further details.

MA specialization in Communication for Social Change

An MA in Journalism and Media Studies, with a specialization in Communication for Social Change (or Development Communication)s specialization is available. Entry requires an equivalent of our BA Hons degree. Students will do a Masters-level course in Communication for Social Change and a Research Report in this field. Click here for further details.

Click here for 2017 dates.

Accreditation: Please note that these certificates are issued by the University of the Witwatersrand in its own right, as it is entitled to do as a public university. They do not appear on the SAQA list of courses.  Click here for a full explanation of the relevant legal provisions.