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Programmes MA in Lexicography

Programme coordinator

Prof. Rufus Gouws, Tel. +27 21 8082164, room 622.




General aims

  • The aim of this programme is to train students to work as practical lexicographers and as metalexicographers and to be able to offer lexicography training as teachers and lecturers.


Nature of the contents of the programme

  • Different aspects from the field of metalexicography enabling students to understand the theoretical basis of lexicography as a discipline as well as the theoretical basis of dictionaries as practical instruments.
  • Implications of metalexicography for the lexicographic practice.
  • Aspects of the lexicographic practice, e.g. dictionary typology, the structure and contents of dictionaries, lexicographic functions, the user perspective.
  • A critical analysis of dictionary material.


Admission requirements

Students who are in possession of a BAHons in a relevant language or in General Linguistics, or of another degree qualification that is accepted by the Senate as being equivalent to such honours degree,

are admitted to this programme.


Programme structure

Students write a full-length thesis on a topic that is chosen in consultation with the supervisor concerned. The thesis must show evidence of independent research by the student.


Exit point

Students who obtain a pass mark of at least 50% for the thesis obtain the degree MPhil in Lexicography.



The focus is metalexicography and a scientific approach to the lexicographic practice. Special attention is given to the nature, extent and problems of the South African lexicographic environment. The topic of the thesis is selected in consultation with the supervisor and presents the student with an opportunity to conduct an empirical investigation into a problematic area in either metalexicography or the practice of lexicography. The research is undertaken in terms of a clearly defined set of theoretical points of reference. This thesis must comply with the usual conditions for Master's theses.

The thesis can be written in either English or Afrikaans.



The thesis is examined like any other Master's thesis and contributes 100% of the final mark.

Terms and Conditions(.pdf)
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