The normal requirement for admission to a Masters degree at Rhodes is a four-year qualification of an acceptably high standard, i.e. usually a three-year Bachelors degree, plus a good Honours degree in a relevant subject.
Minimum requirement for admission is a Bachelor Degree with Honours in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics or any other course providing the required basic knowledge. Final admission will be based on merit, depending on number of applicants, staffing and laboratory equipment resources.
Rhodes University rules stipulate that a candidate wishing to apply for admission to a PhD programme must have:
In practice, most PhD candidates have a Masters degree. However, Senate may, on the recommendation of the Faculty concerned, convert the registration of a candidate for the Masters degree to registration for a PhD degree. Such conversions require the Head of Department and supervisor to be satisfied that the student’s completed work is of a standard normally expected of a doctoral student, that the student is capable of completing a doctoral degree and that the project is of a level and scope expected of a PhD study. Applications for conversion should normally be submitted for consideration to the Higher Degrees Committee of the appropriate Faculty between 12 to 18 months after first registration for the Masters degree. Please note: The relevant Higher Degrees Committee should be consulted for information on specific rules and criteria that may apply to upgrades in that Faculty.
The following information has been taken from the Rhodes University Higher Degrees Guide. For more detailed information please refer to this guide which can be found at: http://www.ru.ac.za/documents/Research/higherdegreesguide.pdf.
Although Masters and PhD studies do not have a coursework component, postgraduate students are welcome to participate in Honours modules of their interest. Once they have indicated their interest in partaking in selected modules Masters and PhD students must commit to the same DP rules and regulations as the Honours students and complete all assignments and exams for that/those module(s). Candidates who pass the module requirements will receive an accreditation for that/those module(s).
Candidates registered with the Faculty of Humanities are required to submit research proposals within three to six months of registration for consideration by the relevant Faculty Higher Degrees Committee which recommends acceptance or otherwise to the relevant Faculty Board. Guidelines for the structure of a research proposal can be found in the RU Higher Degrees Guide.
For candidates registering for a Masters of PhD degree in the Faculties of Science in 2013, the faculty decided to change the rules for topics and abstracts as follows: for registration the candidate submits a working title for her/his thesis. An abstract with the research program is then due after one semester. This abstract will be approved by faculty (that appoints a kind of Higher Degrees committee for evaluation).
The minimum period that a candidate may be registered for a Masters degree is as follows: a full-time Masters candidate may obtain the degree one year after being awarded an Honours degree. Part-time Masters candidates must be registered for two years before they can graduate.
If a candidate has not completed a Masters degree within three years from first registration (whether the degree is being taken full or part-time, and whether in attendance or not), the registration will be cancelled unless the Senate is satisfied that an extension is warranted.
The minimum period for which a candidate may be registered for the PhD degree is three years if the candidate holds an Honours degree, or two years if the candidate holds a Masters degree.
If a candidate has not completed a PhD within five years from first registration (whether the degree is being taken full or part-time, and whether in attendance or not), the registration will be cancelled unless the Senate is satisfied that an extension is warranted.
All higher degree candidates are required to re-register each year until the completion of the degree. Failure to re-register before 15 February in a given year will result in the cancellation of registration and such a defaulter may be required to reapply for admission as a candidate for the degree ab initio.
The following excerpts have been taken from the Higher Degrees Guide, which can be accessed on http://oldwww.ru.ac.za/research/pdfs/hd_guide_jd_2007_for_web.pdf.
Senate appoints at least one, and occasionally more than one supervisor, for each higher degree candidate. If more than one supervisor is appointed, one of the supervisors will be designated as the principal supervisor.
Students' and supervisors' expectations and understandings of what constitutes supervision are often very different also and the one-on-one relationship of student to supervisor can compound such difficulties. The Rhodes University Higher Degrees Guide lists the following responsibilities of supervisors and students. For a complete list of responsibilities, please consult the Higher Degrees Guide.
Before the project begins it is the responsibility of the supervisor:
During the course of the project it is the responsibility of the supervisor:
At the conclusion of the project it is the responsibility of the supervisor:
Before the project begins it is the responsibility of the candidate:
During the course of the project it is the responsibility of the candidate:
At the conclusion of the project it is the responsibility of the candidate:
Senate has set the following guidelines for the award of higher degrees by thesis (taken from the RU Higher Degrees Guide)
A thesis for the degree of Master must show that the candidate:
When the award of the degree with distinction is under consideration, examiners are asked to look for evidence of real methodological and conceptual skills, clarity of exposition and development of argument, sound judgement, originality of approach, and some contribution to knowledge, and require that the thesis should reflect literary skills appropriate to the subject.
A thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy must show that the candidate:
It is the responsibility of candidates to decide when they are ready to submit their theses (subject, of course, to the rule concerning the period of registration). In general, a candidate will be expected to submit the thesis only when their supervisor agrees to its submission, but the University will not insist on the approval of the supervisor before accepting submission of the thesis. It must be noted, however, that a thesis may be submitted for examination only once, though in certain circumstances the examiners may invite a candidate to revise and re-submit the thesis.
A thesis may be submitted at any time during the year, but candidates must indicate their intention to submit a thesis by writing to the Registrar at least two months prior to submission for Masters and for Doctoral theses.
Candidates who intend to submit a thesis for examination for consideration of the award of the degree at an April graduation ceremony must submit their thesis to the Registrar not later than 15 December. If a candidate cannot meet the annual deadline for submission, the University may be unable to have the examination completed in time for the next set of graduation ceremonies, which normally takes place in April each year.
Candidates will be supplied with a “Supervisors statement” form, an examination entry form, a declaration form and thesis electronic access approval form which should accompany the thesis when it is submitted.
A thesis must be accompanied by a declaration on the part of the candidate as to the extent to which it represents their own work. Candidates are also required to submit a statement certifying that the thesis has not been submitted for a degree at any other university. A standard form for this purpose will be issued when candidates inform the Registrar that a thesis is to be submitted for examination. This form should be completed and returned when the thesis is submitted for examination. It should not be bound into the thesis itself.
The number of copies required by the University for examination depends on the number of examiners appointed. For Masters theses at least two examiners are appointed and Senate requires that at least three examiners be appointed for a PhD.
Normally three copies will be required for a Masters degree and four for a PhD. The Registrar will advise the candidate of the number of copies required. These copies should be suitably bound. Ring binding is the norm.
Upon completion of the examination procedure (once the examination results have been received), one loose-leaf copy as well as an electronic copy on disk are required by the library. The electronic copy should be prepared in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). These copies should only be produced once all corrections have been made and approved by the Faculty Board or the COA. Loose leaf and electronic final copies must be accompanied by a letter signed by the principal supervisor and/or Head of Department, stating that these copies are the full and final versions of the thesis.
The normal upper limit for Masters degree theses and the Master of Education degree by research is 50 000 words of text (approximately 150 A4 pages of one-and-a-half spaced typing excluding footnotes, illustrative material and appendices).
Every attempt is made to complete the examination process in as short a time as possible and in time for the next set of graduation ceremonies. However, the primary consideration is an entirely fair yet comprehensive examination of the thesis, with emphasis on the maintenance of high standards. For this reason, the most appropriate and best examiners are chosen (often from outside the country). So, while the University seeks to have the examination completed as quickly as possible, time is not an overriding consideration. The University is also unable to guarantee that the examiners will submit their reports by the recommended date.
The Registrar will contact candidates immediately the outcome of the examination process is known and it must be stressed that the University does not undertake to reach a decision on the award of a degree by any specific date. Interference in the examination process in any way could invalidate the entire examination and the award of the degree. Not even the nomination of examiners will be discussed with, or disclosed to candidates. Only when a decision has been made about the award of the degree, will the names of the examiners be made known to candidates, and then only if the outcome is a positive one and provided the examiners have given their consent. Similarly, after a decision has been made, all or part of an examiners report may be made known to candidates only if the examiner agrees to this.
TWO examiners, external to the University, are appointed by the Faculty Board for each candidate. Normally, at least one of the examiners should be a member of academic or research staff at a University or recognised research institute and, preferably and where appropriate, at least one should be from outside South Africa or have demonstrated an international research standing.
The nomination of examiners may NOT be discussed with or disclosed to the candidate.
The recommendations open to examiners include:
In addition, examiners will be asked for a formal report on the thesis which should be sufficiently detailed to allow the Dean to reach an informed judgement.
Normally the Head of Department will collate the examiners’ reports and make a formal recommendation to the Dean on the result of the examination. Where the Head of Department is directly involved (as a supervisor and/or examiner), the Dean (or the Deputy Dean if the Dean is directly involved), or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Development, or a senior member of the Department nominated by the Dean (normally in that order of selection) will perform this task, so ensuring that the responsibility does not fall to someone who has acted as supervisor or examiner. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Dean or Deputy Dean of the Faculty.
The Registrar shall advise the examiners of the outcome and, where the Vice-Chancellor decides this should be done, the reasons for the decision.
If there is unanimity amongst the examiners and no reason to refer the thesis back to the candidate for revision, the Dean (or Deputy Dean if the Dean is the supervisor) of the Faculty may accept the recommendations and approve the award of the degree, with or without distinction, on behalf of the Faculty Board.
The thesis may also be returned to the candidate for minor or major revisions. In the latter case the thesis may have to be re-submitted for examination.
The Registrar will call for the nomination of at least THREE examiners, external to the University. In all cases the most appropriate examiners should be chosen, and with particular care when the thesis is multidisciplinary, or has some local applicability. Normally two of the examiners should be members of academic or research staff at a University or recognised research institute and, preferably and where appropriate, at least two should be from outside South Africa or have demonstrated an international research standing.
The nomination of examiners should not be discussed with or disclosed to the candidate.
Examiners will be asked for a recommendation on the thesis by indicating one of the following:
In addition, examiners will be asked for a formal report on the thesis which should be sufficiently detailed to allow the Committee of Assessors (COA).
When all the examiners' reports have been received, the Registrar will collate and send them to the relevant Dean or Dean’s nominee who shall summarize these and forward the reports and summary to the COA for their recommendation. The COA consists of the relevant dean, 2-3 permanent core group members, the HoD, the supervisors, and, if required, 1-2 members with experience in the subject areas of the thesis. A formal meeting of the COA must be constituted if there is any major disagreement by the members of the COA in terms of these recommendations.
The COA should report to the Registrar and Vice-Chancellor within two weeks of receipt of the examiners' reports. The report must list one of the following recommendations:
The report, together with the examiners' reports must be submitted by the Registrar to the Vice-Chancellor for approval on behalf of Senate or put to a meeting of Senate for its consideration.
The thesis may also be returned to the candidate for minor or major revisions. In the latter case the thesis may have to be re-submitted for examination.
The University encourages the publication of work done for higher degrees (for both Masters and PhD with the supervisor as joint author, where appropriate). There is little point in doing non-classified research unless the findings of the research are communicated to other workers in the field for their information and assessment. Every attempt should thus be made to publish as much of the thesis material as possible.
Some theses may be suitable for publication in full as books. More often, papers will have to be prepared from suitably edited sections of the thesis. Where papers are submitted for publication in journals, every attempt should be made to have the papers published in recognized and accredited journals. These are journals which are recognized by the Government’s Department of Education for subsidy purposes. They nearly always use peer review as the criterion for publication. A list of these journals may be obtained from the Research Office.
For those interested in a Masters or PhD in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics please contact the Post-Graduate class co-ordinator: Andrew Todd (email@example.com)
Last Modified: Mon, 05 Jun 2017 11:00:47 SAST