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English Studies

About us

For almost seventy years we have offered quality English-at-a-distance (both literature and language) to such luminaries as Professor Es'kia Mphahlele. Our Chair of Department is Professor Lesibana Rafapa. His speciality is South African literature, in particular the work of Professor Mphahlele himself, but Professor Rafapa also holds a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics.

In line with the imperatives of this continent, our courses are rooted both in African environments and the worldwide context of English; not only in literature but, to a greater degree, also in language. Our English major now offers an equal balance between language and literature.

Our staff members are involved in a multitude of wide-ranging projects, including research, conferences and publications.

Our influence does not end with Unisa. Previous colleagues and our graduates have gone on to become senior members of (sometimes Chairs/Heads of) other Departments of English in this country and elsewhere, Deans of Humanities, University Registrars, members of PANSALB and the like. We are very proud of this record.

The department has also accumulated a number of useful web resources which can be used as an aid to those interested in the field, and range from technical elements of the English language, such as grammar and style, through to subjects we simply find interesting and enjoyable!

We'd like to share with you our current (2014) vision and mission:


In pursuit of excellence and innovation in the changing environment of English Studies


Dedicated to embracing diversity and excellence in tuition and research

Committed to quality service delivery in English Studies.