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20 copywriting bursaries up for grabs through new ad industry initiative

The official industry body for the advertising profession, the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) has secured funding to provide 20 academic bursaries to prospective students looking to enter the world of copywriting.
© abstract412 – 123RF.com

The initiative has the full backing and support of the Creative Circle, an organisation dedicated to maintaining high levels of creativity in the South African advertising industry. Both the ACA and the Creative Circle have a vested interest in addressing a skills shortage in copywriting within the advertising industry.

The courses on offer are a BA in Creative Brand Communication with a Specialisation in Copywriting and a Diploma in Copywriting, and will be provided by the AAA School of Advertising at its Johannesburg campus. Acceptance to the courses however remains dependent upon the results contained within the academic transcript of those individuals applying for the bursary.

Says Peter Khoury, Creative Circle chair: “The Creative Circle is fully committed to working with the ACA in providing opportunities such as these in order to ensure prospective students have the best chance at a successful career in the industry. In order for them to succeed, the Creative Circle will assist in designing a course that will provide a platform for success.”

Interviews in home language


In a first for the industry and proof of the commitment from the industry, shortlist interviews can be conducted in the applicant’s mother tongue should they so wish. Says Mathe Okaba, CEO at the ACA: “This transformative approach affords applicants the opportunity to express themselves and tell their stories in the language they feel most comfortable with expressing themselves. Historically, students have been limited to expressing themselves in English when applying to study copywriting, which possibly excluded certain individuals from entering the field.”

The industry is looking for those that see themselves as poets, story tellers, essay writers, debaters and those with a good command of their language. This qualification offers careers in creative direction, digital writing, copywriting, journalism, public relations and social media, amongst others.

“The Creative Circle, through its members, will play a major role in influencing and guiding these young story tellers throughout their studies, during their holiday breaks whilst they spend time at our agencies and after completion as interns at our agencies,” adds Khoury.

Applicants need to be aware that the AAA’s medium of instruction remains English, however execution throughout the course can be in another language which fits the creative brief requirements. This change in the course application and execution substantially moves the needle in terms of industry relevant education and instruction.

Criteria for assessment:


  1. Transformation: The student must be of Previous Disadvantaged Individuals status, which includes females of all races.
  2. Academic Performance: The student must achieve consistent good grades (a minimum “C” or 60% average).
  3. Endorsement: the applicant’s lecturers endorse their work ethic, behaviour, manners, diligence etc.
  4. Financial Need: Submit a Tax Clearance Certificate or proof household income (pay slip)
  5. Quality of the motivation written by the applicant
  6. Applicants must attach the following:
    • Certified copy of South African identity document
    • Certified copy of Senior Certificate

Terms and Conditions:


  1. The applicant must:
    • be a South African citizen aged 17 years or older.
    • have a South African ID.
    • have a senior certificate to qualify for post-matric studies.
    • be able to register for full-time studies
  2. The application will be assessed by academics, advertising and communication industry experts.
  3. The bursary will be awarded for academics only.
  4. Renewal and continuation of the bursary will be instated if the student maintains a total average of 65% during the study year.
  5. Opening date: 21 June 2019
  6. Closing date: 7 July 2019

Applications will only be accepted online via the ACA website until 7 July 2019. For more information or to apply, visit: www.acasa.co.za
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