Frequently asked questions:
National Diploma: Video Technology


1. I am only interested in sound engineering. Will I be able to specialize in sound engineering in this course?
No, you cannot specialize in sound engineering in this course. However, the subject is covered along with many others and you can valuable hands-on experience with recording, mixing and editing sound. If you progress to degree level you will work on Pro Tool, which is the industry standard for final mix.
2. I am only interested in animation. Can I specialize in animation in this course?
No, we do not specialize in animation.

3. Is there any subject in which I can specialize?
Yes, the specialization is directing. It is expected that by third year students are able to competently direct broadcast quality programmes. At this level students can also focus on camera, script writing or editing.

4. So what is the course actually about?
We hope that you have done some research by visiting the DUT website and the link to Video Technology, as well as reading the information pamphlet so that you know what you are applying for! To summarise: this course will teach you about every aspect of making television programmes, including: camera, lighting, sound, editing, script writing, directing, production management, single-camera directing and multi-camera directing.

5. I am interested in acting. Is this the course for me?
No. This course focuses on behind-the-camera operations. It is about making video programmes, not acting in them. Try Drama.

6. I want to make films. Is this the course for me?
There is a lot of over-lap between film and television, and a lot of differences. Our focus is specifically television production and this is the industry in which most of our graduates are employed. We do not use any film cameras or film-specific equipment. However, you may end up moving from television to film, as some of our graduates have done.

7. Do I have to own my own equipment?
No. All equipment is supplied at no additional cost. This includes full camera rigs, edit suites, studios,the outside broadcast vehicle and computer labs.

8. How much is the course?
In 2010 the fees for first year were R24 590.00. On acceptance a deposit of R500 is required and at registration an amount of approximately R3000 is payable. These two amounts are then deducted from the course fees. Please note that these figures are approximate and are subject to annual increases.

9. Is there anything else I will be expected to pay for?
When you are doing a production you may need money for transport, costume hire, catering for your actors and so on. It is possible to keep these costs to a minimum and it really depends on what kind of script you write.

10. Will I get a job when I graduate?
We certainly hope so! Our graduates enjoy a high rate of employment and this course has an excellent reputation in the industry. In your third year you are required to complete a 17 week internship. Production houses and broadcasters regularly approach us for interns and we recommend suitable candidates, but ultimately the choice is up to the employer. We cannot, therefore, guarantee you a place in the industry.

11. I’ve heard that I have to go to Johannesburg for work. Is this true?
The seat of the broadcast industry in South Africa is Johannesburg. However, there are independent production and post-production houses located all over South Africa, including in Durban. Graduates have also worked overseas but it is recommended that you get some experience before trying this option.


1. I have done a BA/ short course in film. Will I be accepted into the B Tech programme?
The pre-requisite to the BTech is the National Diploma: Video Technology, or equivalent. This means you will need to have completed a 3 year, full time, nationally recognized qualification that covers all the aspects of the National Diploma: Video Technology. Without this you will not gain entrance to the BTech programme. If you believe your qualification meets these requirements you will need to submit the full curriculum for the courses completed, as well as a certified copy of your academic results and a DVD copy of your final year directing project. This will then be assessed against the department’s and DUT’s requirements.

2. If I have obtained the National Diploma: Video Technology will I be automatically accepted into the BTech programme?
You will not automatically be accepted. There are only 10 places available and we take the top ten candidates based on results for prior theory and practical subjects. In addition candidates with additional industry experience, especially directing and producing, are considered favorably.

3. I hear that you emphasis under-water camera work. I can’t swim and I don’t want to do this module.
Marine Videography is covered in both theory and practical classes. It is one module out of four, in the theory component and one module out of five training components in the practical subject. Students complete a Discover Scuba course and then embark on practicals where there shoot underwater at UShaka, in the shore break off the beach and out at sea. It is possible that you could do only top-side and shore break work and be assessed for this.

4. How difficult is the Jimmy Jib module?
It is not difficult, but it does require some strength and stamina. You need to be able to maneuver the jib and lift the weights.

5. Do I have to do a research project?
Yes. All students are required to complete the two research based subjects: Research Methods and Research Project. If you are not interested in these subjects then the BTech may not be for you. As this course leads to a post-graduate qualification and is awarded by a University of Technology it is essential that you demonstrate an understanding of research methods and display an ability to write a research project. You will be allocated a supervisor who will work with you to assist you towards a successful outcome for your research project.

6. I only want to make my programme. Why do I have to do the research project?
See point 5 above. Please be aware that the BTech: Video Technology, whilst having many attractive practical modules and affording the opportunity to make a long-form production, is still an academic qualification. As such, you need to satisfy the requirements of the University. The research projects should be around questions of interest to the television industry and therefore this research work is relevant and valuable.

7. How do I apply for the BTech: Video Technology?
Write to Cary Burnett, Programme Leader, at