Copy-editing online short course

Course starts 4 February 2021

Course information

Registration Closes:
29 January 2021
Course Starts:
4 February 2021
10 weeks, excluding orientation.
7–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online.
ZAR R13,500
Payment Options
University of Cape Town (UCT)


The effectiveness of any published piece of writing can be significantly enhanced by the work of a skilled copy-editor. It’s the editor’s job to ensure that written material is clear, concise, compelling and error free, and the University of Cape Town (UCT) Copy-editing online short course is designed to prepare you for this task. 

Guided by an expert, you’ll learn how to apply the complex rules of grammar, restructure text for improved flow, and correct errors through proofreading. You’ll also discover more about book editing and working with authors, and you’ll improve your knowledge of the book publishing process.

Armed with the ability to critically review copy, you’ll have the foundation to become an invaluable asset to any company that works with words.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • The ability to assess and critique the underlying structure of documents, manuscripts, and book chapters
  • The skills to identify and correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style errors in text
  • An understanding of the various elements of a book, and the tools to prepare a manuscript for typesetting
  • The expertise to recognise copyright infringement and cases of plagiarism, and handle these appropriately

Is this course for you? 

This course is suitable for aspiring copy-editors, proofreaders, and writers looking to move into a new in-house or freelance role. The content is also designed for publishing professionals who want to update their editing knowledge, and those in related professions who are eager to expand their current skill set and improve their understanding of English grammar and syntax.

Students must have a working knowledge of Microsoft Word to complete this course.

Course curriculum

Learn how to improve and structure copy as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Introduction to editing
  • Module 2 Spelling, consistency and style
  • Module 3 Punctuation
  • Module 4 Grammar, usage and style
  • Module 5 Working with authors
  • Module 6 Quotes and sources
  • Module 7 Structural editing
  • Module 8 Editing creative works
  • Module 9 Elements of a book
  • Module 10 Working as an editor or proofreader

Earn a certificate from the University of Cape Town (UCT)

Develop your copy-editing skills and earn an official certificate of completion from the University of Cape Town. 

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements. 


Your teaching team

At GetSmarter, we improve lives through better education. One of the ways that we achieve this is by bringing rich industry context to an academic environment through our expert facilitation and engagement. We work with university faculty and industry experts to provide a practical, industry lens on the world's leading university subjects.

When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 4 February 2021.

Get More Information

Enter your information below to view the course prospectus from GetSmarter.

* Required fields

* Please enter a first name
* Please enter a last name
* Please enter a valid email

Yes, I want to receive additional information about Copy-editing online short course. Please contact me:

* Please select a value
* Please select a value

By consenting to receive communications, you agree to the use of your data as described in our privacy policy. You may opt out of receiving communications at any time.

Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.