General Information


What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism refers to the practice of presenting work material written by someone else as your own, and is thus unethical. Any use of material that is derived from the work of another person constitutes plagiarism, unless the source is clearly acknowledged in the manner described below. You will be guilty of plagiarism if, for example, you hand in an assignment under your own name which, either in part or as a whole: 

  • is copied from an essay or practical report written by another student,
  • is copied from a document downloaded from a website,
  • is copied from a published article or book chapter, or
  • has been written for you by someone else.

How to avoid plagiarism

Acknowledge the source of the material! When writing an essay or laboratory report in an academic setting it is normal to draw on material written by other people. However, when you do this, it is important that you acknowledge the fact that you have drawn on other people’s work. There are standard procedures for doing this - for example by citing a reference and providing details of the source in a reference list at the end of the assignment. You are expected to do this even where you do not quote directly from your source, but merely express in your own words, ideas or arguments which you have taken from that source. In addition, where you quote verbatim from a published source, you must place the quoted material in inverted commas and provide a page number. The only situation in which these rules do not apply strictly is in examinations as these are written without access to books and other reference materials.

Copy and Paste Assignments

While not technically falling under the definition of plagiarism, students should be aware that correctly referenced "copy and paste" assignments, where the student has simply presented numerous correctly referenced quotes as the content of his/her assignment, is not considered acceptable, and would not merit a pass. This is so because such a student has not written anything of his/her own in these passages, and a mark cannot be allocated to the unconsidered words of others. If the entire assignment is composed of such extracts, it will, generally speaking, receive a mark of 0.

Disciplinary action in response to plagiarism

As a University student it is important that you understand and observe the highest standards of ethics, integrity and professional practice in the writing of assignments and laboratory write-ups. The Department of Human Kinetics and Ergonomics therefore expects these high standards to be observed as a matter of course. Many students think that there is no harm in copying sentences from books and articles when composing any written work. However, in terms of the policy stated above, the use of even one sentence without acknowledgement constitutes plagiarism and is not acceptable.

Senate policy on plagiarism

The Senate of the University has adopted an overall policy towards the handling of plagiarism. In terms of this policy:

  • Departments are encouraged to address the matter in their teaching, and to train students in the correct procedures for acknowledging the sources of material used for assignments.
  • Cases of plagiarism must be addressed by disciplinary procedures within the Department and at University level.

In terms of the Senate Guidelines, disciplinary steps may range from giving a warning (for first time and minor offences), to imposing a mark penalty or in more serious cases, to withdrawing the student's DP.

For more detailed information on the Rhodes University Plagiarism Policy, please visit:

HKE Department policy

  • First minor offence: 20% deduction of allocated mark, and student(s)’ name(s) noted within department records.
  • First Major offence: a mark of zero and name sent to the University’s Plagiarism committee.
  • Any second offence: withdrawal of the student’s DP (see below).

"Duly Performed" (DP) rule

Please note that the "Duly Performed" rule applies to all academic departments at Rhodes!

It is particularly important that students understand that no department is obliged to warn students that their performance is not meeting the requirements of the DP regulations of the department.

Students must be responsible for monitoring their own performance. If a department refuses a DP certificate to a student and the student appeals for reconsideration (to the HOD in the first instance and then to the Dean), no consideration will be given to any claim that the student was unaware that performance was such that it did not meet those requirements.

Students are responsible for determining whether they are satisfying the requirements of the department, by checking with the HOD in cases of doubt.

Requirements for the HKE department

In the Department of Human Kinetics and Ergonomics the earning of a DP certificate is dependent upon the following requirements:

  1. Attendance of at least 75% of tutorials for first and second year students.
  2. Attendance at ALL tests and laboratories through the year (see sections 3.2, 4.2 and 5.2)
  3. Submission of ALL assignments and laboratory write ups.
  4. A minimum class mark of 40% or higher will be permitted to write the exams!

In the event of missing a test, a laboratory session or not submitting a laboratory write-up, the lecturer concerned must be given a valid reason for the absence or omission in the form of a leave of absence (LOA) which can be obtained from the secretary’s office. Illness, university sporting events, or serious family issues are the only accepted reasons for having an LOA granted. In case of any doubt the HOD must be consulted BEFORE the student misses a test, laboratory or assignment deadline. If the LOA is not approved, then HOD will be notified, a DP warning will be issued the first time and the student will be given a mark of 0% for the assignment. The second time the DP will be denied. If the reason is approved, it is up to the discretion of the individual lecturers whether to request a make-up assignment from the student .

Be aware that signing on behalf of another person, even if only for an attendance list, is a severe violation of law and will be prosecuted, possibly leading to an exclusion from the University.

Lecture attendance

Attendance at lectures is not compulsory, but it is strongly recommended to attend and participate in all lectures. Subsequent lectures mostly relate to each other, so any missed lecture makes it difficult to follow the course content. Lecture materials dispensed by the lecturers or write-ups from other students cannot replace an own understanding from a lecture. Please note, that 30% of the final mark is based on each semester’s class work. Please also be aware that it is your individual responsibility to acquire the knowledge required to pass the exams!

Tutoring and Research / Laboratory assistance

Tutorial System

Tutorials are held for first and second year students and are designed in such a way as to compliment the lectures by recapping work done in class; no new work is covered in the tutorials. The tutorials will help to consolidate knowledge by providing students with the chance to discuss any problems experienced with the course, particularly with regards to understanding the principles underlying observations and measurements, and developing observational, deductive and interpretive skills.
Tutorials refer to small formal discussion groups held weekly that each first and second year student is obliged to attend. Each student must attend one tutorial during each week of the term, on an allocated day of the week (this will fit into each student’s timetable), unless the coordinator of the tutorials states otherwise.

All concerns with regards to tutorials should be addressed to the tutorial co-ordinator, Jono Davy (

Research / Laboratory Assistance

Only Masters and PhD students are eligible for appointment as research assistants and their duties include facilitation of honours laboratory and research work, as well as facilitating HKE 3 laboratory exercises and revising lab reports.

The HKE Department offers different positions for tutoring and research / laboratory assistance. This enables students to gain additional experience in teaching. Each position requires 6 hours of tutoring / lab demonstration per week during term times (26 weeks per year). Students are remunerated depending on budget planning. All tutors and lab assistants receive training throughout the year.

All students interested in tutoring should submit an application with a brief motivation and a CV to the department secretary. Due to the limited amount of positions available a formal selection process with HKE staff will be undertaken.

Students applying for tutorial posts should be suitable 3rd year students with a minimum mark of 70% at the end of their HKE II year, or post-graduate students. 3rd year students will only be allowed to tutor first year students, whereas postgraduates may tutor any undergraduate year. Students interested in tutoring should possess an interest in teaching and have a strong sense of responsibility and commitment. Duties include hosting one tutorial per week, facilitating in undergraduate laboratories and revision of undergraduate laboratory reports.

Student feedback and participation

Students are asked to participate actively to the department by providing feedback and suggestions on how to improve and meet student needs. Any comments or requests are welcome to the departmental staff at any time.

In order to provide clear and confident communication between students and staff the class coordinators and the class representatives are advised to meet once each term to exchange information and discuss upcoming problems. Both representatives shall discuss issues with her/his colleagues before and after this meeting to get a broader audience addressed.

Class coordinators

HKE I: A Todd
HKE II: S Zchernack
HKE Honours: C. Christie
HKE Masters & PhD: C. Christie

Performance monitoring

Students are given feedback about their performance in tests and assignments as soon as possible. A preliminary class record mark based on the assignments and tests completed is published by the department at the end of each term. Students are asked to make use of this opportunity to monitor their own performance regularly and request support early enough.

Teaching evaluation

A teaching evaluation for all courses is carried out once a year. Students are asked to participate in order to help the department to improve on its teaching practices. After consideration of the responses the department publishes consequences drawn from the evaluation on its notice board.

General Course Information

Admission to study HKE

Any student accepted by Rhodes University is eligible to register for HKE. Students intending to major in HKE must be registered either in a BSc, BA, BCom or BJourn program.

University academic requirements

In order to obtain a BSc, BA, BCom or BJourn degree it is the students’ responsibility to ensure that the respective faculty requirements have to be met (either refer to the 2013 Rhodes University calendar, the faculty website, or consult the Faculty Dean):

Structure of the HKE undergraduate degree

All courses comprise of two semester courses (e.g. HKE 101 and HKE 102).

HKE undergraduate courses (Bachelor’s Degree):

HKE undergrad courses consist of different lecture modules (e.g. Physiology, Biomechanics, Ergonomics) and corresponding laboratory practicals.

1st year: Human Kinetics and Ergonomics I (HKE I = HKE 101 + HKE 102)
2nd year: Human Kinetics and Ergonomics II (HKE II = HKE 201 + HKE 202)
3rd year: Human Kinetics and Ergonomics III (HKE III = HKE 301 + HKE 302)

HKE is a subject in which all semester-credits at one level are needed before you may continue to the next level.

The courses consist of each 2 to 4 modules of each 13 lectures each per semester (Table 1).

Table 1: Module structure of the HKE degree.
HKE 101 Fundamental Concepts Anatomy: Upper Extremities Anthropometry
HKE 102 Biomechanics: Musculoskeletal levers Physiology: Cardiovascular Physiology: Respiratory Fundamental Concepts
HKE 201 Anatomy: Trunk and Vertebral column Ergonomics: Workspace Design Biomechanics: Force, work and the concept of energy
HKE 202 Physiology: Muscle and neural HIP: Human Senses
HKE 301 Physiology HIP: Decision making Motor Learning: Tool design Macro-ergonomics and work organization
HKE 302 Anatomy: Lower extremities Environmental Ergonomics Biomechanics of the lower back Ergonomics: Fatigue and shiftwork

Postgraduate Degrees in HKE

Postgraduate Honours course in HKE

The Honours course in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics is a one year full-time attendance joint seminar and thesis based course.

It is aimed at providing graduates with research knowledge and application skills for responsible management and consultancy posts as well as for further academic degrees.

HKE Masters

Thesis based; 2 year duration full time or 3 year duration part time.

Last Modified: Tue, 21 May 2013 11:04:05 SAST

Undergraduate Year Co-Ordinators

First, second and third year students all attend tutorial and practical sessions which complement the lecture schedule. These are compulsory (as outlined in the handbook).

In 2015, the following are the year co-ordinators for practicals and tutorials. Please contact them if you have any queries or concerns.


Ethan Berndt (MSc scholar)

Please contact Ethan via email:


Nadia-Jasmine Schmidtke (MSc scholar)

Please contact Nadia via email:


Bennett Ryan (MSc scholar)

Please contact Ben via email at:

Last Modified: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:40:23 SAST