Application process for admission to doctoral degrees
The best route to registering for such a degree is to first approach academic members of the Psychology Department in order to discuss your proposed project.
You should consider what specific area you would like to conduct research in and then look for staff members that work in this particular area of interest. You then contact the relevant staff member/s and make an appointment to discuss your proposed project with them (or do this by email). Although the first meeting can be relatively informal, you should send a 3-5 page document to the staff member in which you outline your research interest, your research aim, and your proposed research methodology, as well as a copy of your academic record. If you are unable to visit the Psychology Department then you may wish to hold a telephonic meeting with the particular staff member during this preliminary stage if they are open to such an option (or do this by email).
Once there is clear interest from a staff member then applications are approved in two ways:
Students approaching the department independently will be asked to submit the following documents to the Department’s Administrator:
An up-to-date academic record which indicate all your course marks for your various degrees.
A completed application form which includes a section that should be completed by your potential supervisor prior to it being submitted to the Administrator.
A research outline of the proposed research project (of no more than 5 pages and one additional page for references). These must follow the format indicated in the Guidelines for Writing a Research Proposal (2nd edition)
This will then have to be vetted by the Department’s Research Projects and Ethics Review Committee (RPERC) who will decide whether the candidate has the academic potential to complete a thesis and whether the department has the expertise to provide supervision in the relevant area. People with less than 70% in their Honours year (and less than 70% for their Honours research projects) will not normally be admitted to a Masters-by-thesis degree. If the Psychology Department does not have the requisite expertise or resources, the candidate will be referred elsewhere either within Rhodes University or to another university.
The deadline set for Doctoral applicants hoping to register from February 2013 is 23 November 2012. However, there is some flexibility around this deadline.
All documents should be submitted to the Administrator before 12h00 on the day. In some cases we would have already received some of these forms from you. In such cases it is recommended that applicants please check with the Administrator which documents she has on record. It will be assumed that applicants have approached and discussed their proposed projects with potential supervisors and that interest has been indicated by at least one such staff member. Such interest should be reflected in the application form section that is completed by the potential supervisor. The RPERC will meet soon after these dates to consider and finalise the applications received.
Please note that according to the University’s Higher Degrees Guide the closing date for registration for full-time students is mid-February whilst for part-time students it is usually the end of April. Given the lengthy application process that needs to be followed you thus need to initiate the process well in advance of these dates.
Students may apply to join a staff member’s research project/s when these positions are advertised. The same procedures as above will normally apply except that the decision is made by the staff member rather than the RPERC.
Successful students, once registered, must then submit a research proposal to the RPERC and the Higher Degrees Committee of the relevant faculty. These committees sit at specified dates across the academic year and the student has to have their proposal accepted by these committees before the end of the first year of registration at the very latest.
All postgraduate students are also required to present their work in a public forum or colloquium during their period of registration. It is also expected that you will meet with your supervisor face-to-face regularly during the course of your degree. You are also expected to complete a certain amount of work during each year to qualify for re-registration in the following academic year - this is specified in the Department’s document on deliverables.
Rhodes University general information booklets and documents can be obtained from the Student Bureau at (046) 603-8276.
For official application forms and Guidelines for Writing a Research Proposal see the Resources tab.
General guidelines for writing a thesis
General guidelines for writing a thesis at Rhodes University are set out in the University's Higher Degrees Guide. See the following link for a copy of the guide: https://www.ru.ac.za/research/postgraduates/guides
For the citation and listing of references, follow the specifications of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association currently in its 5th edition. Most of the important features of this are summarised in Guidleines for writing a research proposal.
Referring to material on the world-wide web:
If you want to include references to material on the world-wide web, you must:
ensure you have the correct www address for the material
save an electronic copy of the relevant web page(s). This electronic copy must be cut on to a CD and the CD submitted with your thesis for examination.