School of Languages | About us | Vaal Triangle Campus

Faculty of Humanities

School of Languages


About us

Welcome to the homepage of the School of Languages. On this page you will find information on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Language Practice, Communication, Language and Literary Studies and Humanities. You will also find information on our research activities in UPSET (Understanding and Processing Language in Complex Settings) and our language office, CTrans (Centre for Translation and Professional Language Services) where we provide translation, editing and subtitling services.

The School of Languages has experienced a sustained period of growth over the past decade. In 2004 the total head count in all modules taught by the School was around 1000, and in 2013 this has increased to more than 6500 heads. In 2004 the School consisted of the subjects Afrikaans, English, Sesotho, Language Practice and Communication Studies (the latter only at first-year level). Since then we have introduced French and German, and expanded Communication Studies to the BA Honours (with specialisation in journalism). In terms of staff numbers, we have expanded from around 10 permanent members of staff in 2004 to more than 30 permanent members of staff in 2013.

This growth has obviously had an impact on the day-to-day functioning of the School, and it has brought a significant broadening of our basis of expertise. Where we used to have one or two staff members per subject, we now have three strong undergraduate programmes, although the teaching and marking load is still comparatively high.

The School of Languages aims at delivering graduates to the market who can make a difference to their environment, and who have relevant skills that will ensure meaningful employment opportunities. Our graduates are in demand, particularly in the language professions, but also in secondary and tertiary education, and we are beginning to make our mark in the communication sector.

We offer education and training in a variety of fields such as computer-assisted translation (CAT), desktop publishing (DTP), Web design, audiovisual translation (subtitling and audio description), editing, translation, publishing, journalism and language teaching. This training incorporates a balance of practical application and theoretical underpinnings. Our language office (CTrans) provides on-the-job training to students from third-year level. This office provides professional translation, editing and subtitling services at competitive rates.

We also pursue research in the first NWU-recognised research focus are on the Vaal Triangle Campus, called UPSET (Understanding and Processing Language in Complex Settings). For more information on our research activities, visit our blog at

The School is also active in the field of African Languages in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as in the involvement of staff in national and international forums on Arican language and literature and in the Sesotho Lexicography unit of Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).

Please feel free to contact me at if you would like to learn more about any of our programmes or activities.

Jan-Louis Kruger

February 2013

Updated by Dumile Mlambo - 21/07/2016