Course Overview

Studies in Setswana, for both first and second/third language speakers, expose students to both the literary works and grammatical aspects of this African language. Our academic undergraduate course runs from the first-year up to third-year level, after which admission to an honours degree is available.  Completion of an honours degree enables a student to apply for a master’s degree, enabling admission doctoral studies (given that minimum requirements are met).  The undergraduate programmes for the two groups of speakers (native and non-native) differ in respect to the literary works, grammar and communicative skills taught. 

It is the dominant language of the North West Province and it is taught in the medium of Setswana (Setswana-ka-Setswana).  A major in Setswana opens up major career opportunities such as teaching, court interpreting, translation and editing as well as broadcasting and journalism.

Setswana first language users:

Teaching Setswana for first language speakers focuses on:

  • Literature: Traditional and modern poetry (the work of L.D. Raditladi and B.E. Chwenemang among others) prose (the work of D.P.S. Monyaise and K.D. Kgatea among others), and drama (the work of L.D. Raditladi and M.J. Magasa among others)
  • Linguistics: Phonetics, morphology, syntax
  • Communicative skills: Practicing listening, reading, writing and speaking skills

Setswana second/third language users:

Teaching Setswana for second/third language speakers is aimed at beginners and entails:

  • Basic knowledge of Setswana linguistics
  • Practicing listening, reading, writing and speaking skills
  • Gaining basic knowledge of the Setswana culture
  • Gaining knowledge of traditional and modern Setswana literature

 “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” - Nelson Mandela.


Career opportunities

  • Teaching (combined with postgraduate teaching certificate)
  • Academia & research (usually within environment)
  • Freelance writing
  • Translation & interpreting work
  • Journalism
  • Communications sector - radio broadcasting & television industry
  • Public relations
  • Copy-writing & editing
  • Publishing
  • Lexicography
  • Content management
  • Language practitioner work (government & private sector)
  • Administrative work
  • Language technology (when combined with language technology degree)
  • Useful in addition to careers in law, library and social sciences


For more background on Setswana as a language, you can consult the following sources: