Afrikaans today

What do authors such as Karel Schoeman, Antjie Krog, Alexander Strachan, and Jaco Jacobs have in common?

They are all alumni from the University of the Free State’s Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, and thus form part of a proud tradition reaching back to 1919, when the author DF Malherbe became the very first professor in Afrikaans in the country. You can also become part of this tradition! If you love linguistics and literature, Afrikaans and Dutch is the course for you.

Why Afrikaans and Dutch?

By studying Afrikaans and Dutch, you acquire:

  • the necessary analytical and writing skills needed for many situations in life and for careers;
  • the basis for success in any other university course;
  • the gateway to a multitude of career possibilities, such as journalism, language practice, teaching, and publishing, as well as the advertising and hospitality industry;
  • the opportunity for study overseas, because annually, Afrikaans students get bursaries for study in the Netherlands and in Belgium.

Why the University of the Free State?

The UFS offers you one of the very best Afrikaans courses in the country, with outstanding lecturers, recognised authors, and opportunities for further (international) study. You get:

  • expert guidance
  • a wealth of choices
  • personal attention
  • participation in intellectual discourse and cultural interaction

What does the undergraduate course entail?

The course has three branches for three target groups, namely:

  • first language
  • additional language
  • first learners

The latter is aimed at persons without any prior knowledge of Afrikaans, while in the other two branches, you gradually become immersed in:

  • Afrikaans linguistics (syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics)
  • Afrikaans literature. You read novels, short stories, poems and dramas and learn to analyse and convincingly write about it
  • You also do this in Dutch! The Dutch literature and acquisition of Dutch enjoys attention and the top candidates are entered for the International Dutch examination, CNaVT
  • You learn to think critically and independently

What do the postgraduate options entail?

Your undergraduate study equips you for study up to the highest level: honours, master’s and doctoral degree. Furthermore, if you are a prospective author, the department’s Master’s degree in Creative Writing is specifically geared to enabling you to deliver a publishable manuscript.

The details of all the postgraduate courses van be found in the Rule Book of the Faculty of the Humanities.

At honours level, you can specialise in either linguistics or literature, or a combination of both fields. You can also do a multidisciplinary honours degree, for example, by combining Afrikaans, French and German; Afrikaans and English; or Afrikaans and Communication Science.

Honours classes mostly take place in the afternoons and are contact based – one hour per week per module, or two hours every two weeks.

At master’s level, you have two options: a research dissertation on a topic chosen in conjunction with your promoter and the head of department, or a structured MA in Creative Writing. Under the heading Academic, you will find the link Postgraduate, where all the details about the MA in Creative Writing can be found. In brief: this is a two-year course that you have to be selected for and during which you have to attend ten work sessions of five hours ach per year.

For a PhD (doctoral degree), you have to write a thesis on a topic approved by your promoter and the head of department.

Prospective postgraduate students must apply before 31 October.

We spark!

It is important for the department that the public participates in and benefit from all our extra-curricular activities, such as the monthly popular lecture series, literature festival, film evenings and memorial lectures. Send an e-mail to the departmental secretary (see Contact Us) to add your name to the address list and thus ensure that you are invited to all our events.

Click under the heading Academic Information on the link Short Learning Programmes to find out more about our courses, Gesellig Afrikaans 1 and 2, which are specifically geared towards persons with no knowledge of Afrikaans.

Feel free to contact us

Should you need any information or assistance with applications, please send an email to the departmental secretary, Ida Meiring ( Remember, admission applications must reach us by 31 October.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

Humanities photo next to contact block

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