"From Application to Graduation" - Guidelines for Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Processes 2018 - Wits University

 
“From Application to Graduation”
                Guidelines for Faculty of Humanities
                     Postgraduate Processes
                                2018
https://www.wits.ac.za/humanities/faculty-services/postgraduate-services/registration/faculty-
                                         guidelines/

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Service Charter

Faculty of Humanities’ Faculty Registrar’s Office
In the Faculty of Humanities we as a team are committed to:
     Providing you with a friendly, efficient and reliable service from Monday to Friday
        (08h00 to 16h30);
     Being professional and committed in our dealings with you at all times;
     Correcting our errors timeously;
     Following up on service complaints within 48 hours;
     Respecting the privacy and confidentiality of your personal information (PoPI Act);
     Creating an accessible environment;
     Responding to your inquiries within 48 hours;
     Providing you with accurate information in accordance with the University and
        Faculty Rules.

You as student can help us to deliver a better service by:
    Being friendly, courteous and respectful to us in our working environment;
    Being honest and providing us with all relevant and accurate information;
    Trusting our knowledge;
    Reading all electronic and paper based information provided to you by Faculty;
    Asking Faculty Officers if you are unsure of any Faculty information, regulations or
       policies;
    Familiarizing yourself with the Faculty and University Rules; and following the
       University escalation policy when applicable;
    Providing us with feedback on our service;
    Switching off your cell phone as courteousy when consulting with us;
    Informing us if your registration information is incorrect and needs updating;
    Accessing the Student Portal on the Wits Website regularly.
    Using online student platforms when applying for deferred examinations, WRC
       applications and updating personal information.

Feedback:
    We value your constructive feedback, suggestions and comments for us to better
      our service to you. Please contact the Faculty Office:
      HUMANITIES FACULTY OFFICE – ROOM 7, SW ENGINEERING BUILDING, EAST CAMPUS
      Lebo Mokone (Lebo.Mokone@wits.ac.za) – 011 717 4008
      Madile Moeketsi (Madile.Moeketsi@wits.ac.za) – 011 7174002
      Maropeng Maake (Maropeng.Maake@wits.ac.za) – 011 7174005
      EDUCATION FACULTY OFFICE – ROOM 209, ADMIN BLOCK, EDUCATION CAMPUS
      Asanda Magudumana (Asanda.Magudumana@wits.ac.za) – 011 717 3332

      Please visit us on          ,      and the Faculty of Humanities Website;
      Feedback will be treated with respect and confidentiality.

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Table of Contents                                                              Page

Cover page                                                                       1
Service Charter                                                                  2
Contact Details of Faculty staff                                                 3
Academic performance                                                            8
Application for Postgraduate Study in the Faculty of Humanities                 9
International Application Procedure                                             11
Postgraduate Merit Award (PMA)                                                  12
Registration                                                                    13
Clearance to Register for International Students                                15
Amendments to Registration                                                      16
Allocation of supervisors                                                       17
Proposals                                                                       20
Progress Reports                                                                23
The Nomination of Examiners                                                     24
The Submission of Research reports, Dissertations and Theses for Examination    27
Ethics clearance                                                                29
Credits                                                                         30
The Examination Process                                                         32
Procedures following the return of Examiners’ reports                           33
Procedures following the Examination of Coursework material by Internal and
External examiners – the Board of Examiners                                     35
Graduation processes                                                            37
Other important information                                                     38
Research Guidelines                                                             39
Honours                                                                         41
Masters research report                                                         43
Masters dissertation                                                            48
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)                                                      51

                                                                                      3
Contact Details of Faculty staff

  Staff                                     Telephone
                     E-mail address                            Responsibilities
 member                                     extension
Ms Julie    Julie.Poyser@wits.ac.za           74007        Faculty Registrar
Poyser                                                     Extraordinary queries, by
                                                            referral only
                                                         Academic developments
                                                            process
                                                         Rules and syllabus process
                                                         Faculty Registry oversight
                                                        Please contact Miss Asiya
                                                        Mahomed with any queries
Asiya       Asiya.Mahomed@wits.ac.za          74001        Office Coordinator to
Mahomed                                                    Faculty Registrar
                                                             Admin Assistance to Asst
                                                                Deans upon request.
                                                             Prizegiving assistant
                                                             Administers finance
                                                                processes (IR, payments,
                                                                budget)
                                                             Manages Faculty website
                                                             Coordinates applications
                                                                UG and PG and proposals
                                                                for School of Social
                                                                Sciences and Wits School
                                                                of Arts
Mrs         Nombulelo.Maphanga@wits.ac.za     78201        Deputy Faculty Registrar
Nombulelo                                                  (main campus)
Maphanga                                                 Extraordinary queries
                                                         Graduations
                                                         Timetable scheduling
                                                         Prizegiving
                                                         Reports to Faculty Registrar
                                                         Heads main campus Faculty
                                                           Office
Ms          Ayanda.Zwane@wits.ac.za           78202     Faculty officer (Main Campus)
Ayanda                                                   Faculty submissions for
Zwane                                                      examination
                                                         Circulation of nominated
                                                           examiners’ details to Core
                                                           Group of GSC
                                                         Sending out of reports to
                                                           internal and external
                                                           examiners
                                                         Sending correspondence to
                                                           student and supervisor
                                                           regarding outcome of research
                                                           examination
                                                         Servicing and coordinate ad-
                                                            hoc committee meetings
                                                         Servicing Graduate Studies
                                                           Committee meetings
                                                         Faculty enrollments,
                                                           amendments and 2way
                                                           checks
                                                         Tracking of publishable

                                                                                     4
manuscript prior to PhD
                                                     graduation

Mrs       Bonisiwe.Mokhabuki@wits.ac.za   78203   UG and PG Senior Faculty
Bonisiwe                                          Officer (main campus)
Mokhabuki                                              Processing of ETD/final
                                                          submissions
                                                       Faculty enrollments and
                                                          2way checks
                                                       Undergraduate Studies
                                                          Committee coordinator
                                                       Servicing and coordination
                                                          of undergraduate Board of
                                                          Examiners meeting
                                                       Faculty amendments (UG
                                                          and PG) first semester
                                                          processing and
                                                          administering
                                                       Team leader
                                                       Assist with graduation
                                                          checks

Mrs         Genevieve.Kamfer@wits.ac.za   74004   Faculty Officer
Genevieve                                             Coordinates PG proposal
Kamfer                                                   process:
                                                      School of Literature,
                                                         Language and Media
                                                      School of Geography,
                                                         Archeology and
                                                         Environmental Sciences
                                                      School of Human and
                                                         Community development
                                                      Assist with processing of
                                                         Faculty research
                                                         examinations process
                                                      Processing of Faculty
                                                         research proposals
                                                      Process and manage PG
                                                         midyear fee reversal for
                                                         research submissions
                                                      Faculty enrollments,
                                                         amendments and 2way
                                                         checks
                                                      Processing and servicing
                                                         of Faculty WRC
                                                      Services and coordinate
                                                         Faculty Committee

Ms Madile   Madile.Moeketsi@wits.ac.za    74002   Faculty Officer
Moeketsi                                              Coordinates UG and PG
                                                         applications:
                                                      School of Literature,
                                                         Language and Media
                                                      School of Geography,
                                                         Archeology and
                                                         Environmental Sciences
                                                      School of Human and
                                                         Community development

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   Processing occasional
                                                       applications
                                                      Tracking of RPL
                                                       applicants
                                                      PG
                                                       application/readmission
                                                       appeals
                                                      Processing of deferred
                                                       exam applications (UG
                                                       and PG first semester) for
                                                       Faculty
                                                      Processes and manages
                                                       verification checks for
                                                       Faculty (UG and PG)
                                                      Faculty enrollments,
                                                       amendments and 2way
                                                       checks

Mr         Maropeng.Maake@wits.ac.za   74005   Faculty Officer
Maropeng                                           Capturing of supervisor
Maake                                                 details for Faculty
                                                   Coordinate and processes
                                                      progress reports (UG and
                                                      PG) for Faculty
                                                   Drafts and manages fees
                                                      memos for Faculty
                                                   Processing of 20% penalty
                                                      for PG students
                                                   Faculty enrollments,
                                                      amendments and 2way
                                                      checks
                                                   Faculty deferred exam
                                                      applications (UG and PG)
                                                      processing of second
                                                      semester
                                                   Faculty extra time
                                                      applications (UG and PG)
                                                      processing
                                                   Services and coordinate
                                                      Faculty Committee

Mr Veli    Veli.Mongwe@wits.ac.za      74013   Faculty Officer
Mongwe                                                 Processing of occasional
                                               studies applications
                                                       PG
                                               application/readmission appeals
                                                Servicing and coordination of
                                                   Faculty Committee
                                                Tracking of RPL applicants
                                                Proposal submissions
                                                Faculty enrollments,
                                                   amendments and 2way
                                                   checks
                                                Processing and administering
                                                                            nd
                                                   of Faculty amendments 2
                                                   semester

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Mrs Lebo   Lebo.Mokone@wits.ac.za    74008    Administrative Assistant
Mokone                                            Faculty general enquiries
                                                    (UG and PG)
                                                  Maintaining student filing
                                                    system
                                                  Faculty academic
                                                    Transcripts (UG and PG)
                                                  Faculty verifications (UG
                                                    and PG)
                                                  Faculty enrollments,
                                                    amendments and 2way
                                                    checks
                                                  Payment of external
                                                    examiner claims
                                                  Extracting student files for
                                                    CRO

Education Campus

Mrs Hale     Hale.Modau@wits.ac.za    73021   Senior Faculty officer
Modau                                         (Education Campus)
                                               Heads Education Office.
                                               Circulation of nominated
                                                 examiners’ details to Core
                                                 Group of GSC
                                               Sending out of reports to
                                                 internal and external
                                                 examiners
                                               Sending correspondence to
                                                 student and supervisor
                                                 regarding outcome of
                                                 research examination.
                                               Payment of external
                                                 examiners
                                               Receipt and circulation of
                                                 examiners’ reports
                                               Servicing ad hoc committee
                                                 meetings
                                               Servicing Graduate Studies
                                                 Committee meetings.
                                               Servicing
                                                 postgraduate Board of
                                                 Examiners meeting
                                               Postgraduate and
                                                 undergraduate mark
                                                 amendments and upload
                                               Enrollments, amendments
                                                 and 2way checks
                                               Assists with graduation
                                                 checks

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Faculty Admin Asst
Front Desk Asanda.Magudumana@wits.ac.za           73332    UG/PG Administrative Assistant
Ms Asanda                                                   All Education queries
Magudumana                                                  Transcript orders
                                                            Verification checks
                                                            Processing of extra-time and
                                                              deferred exam requests
Mr Thabo       Thabo.Makuru@wits.ac.za            73018    UG/PG Faculty officer
Makuru                                                         All Education queries
                                                               Coordinates UG
                                                                  application process
                                                               Captures and manages
                                                                  PG application process
                                                               Processing of proposal
                                                                  process
                                                               Processing of PG
                                                                  progress reports
                                                               Capturing of supervisor
                                                                  details
                                                               Enrollments,
                                                                  amendments and 2way
                                                                  checks
                                                               Processing of fees
                                                                  memo
                                                               Processing of extra-time
                                                                  and deferred exam
                                                                  requests

Assistant Deans: Graduate Studies

Professor                                                 Chair Faculty Graduate
Innocentia    Innocentia.Mhlambi@wits.ac.za    74257       Studies Committee
Mhlambi                                                   Amendments & extension
                                                           requests
                                                          Proposal approvals
                                                          RPL requests
                                                          and extraordinary cases

Professor
Lorena        Lorena.Nunez                     74427      Examination reports & ad-
Nunez         Carrasco@wits.ac.za                          hocs
Carrasco                                                  Progress reports
                                                          Application appeals
                                                          and extraordinary cases

Academic Performance

As per the Faculty rule:

5.7.2. The Senate may cancel the registration of a postgraduate student registered for a
programme by research if a higher degrees committee (or equivalent), on the

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recommendation of the relevant supervisor(s) and head of school, has considered the
research proposal and/or other milestones of the research of that student and has judged the
research proposal or the progress towards the milestones to be academically unsatisfactory
or, in material aspects, incomplete. The higher degrees committee may appoint a panel
comprising of one member of the higher degrees committee, the relevant supervisor and the
relevant head of school for the purpose of advising the higher degrees committee. Reasons
must be given when such registration is cancelled and an appeal against such cancellation
may be made to the Dean of the Faculty, who will then propose membership of an ad-hoc
committee to review the case. The three-person ad-hoc committee will be chaired by the
Dean. The Chairperson of the higher degrees committee, the Head of School and/or the
Supervisor (or equivalent); may be in attendance. If the ad-hoc committee does not permit
renewal of registration the student has the right to submit a further appeal to the Deputy Vice
Chancellor (DVC): Academic, who may consult with the Dean. The decision of the DVC:
Academic, acting on behalf of the Council, shall be final. Fee implications associated with
the cancellation of registrations are outlined in the Schedule of Fees books.

5.7.3. The process set out in 5.7.2. will also apply to a postgraduate student registered for a
programme which includes coursework.

Period of study

As per the Senate Standing Order:

A. 15.2 Minimum (n) and maximum period of study (n + 2)

The minimum period of study (n) for each higher degree is set out in the rules for degrees.
The maximum period of study for higher degrees shall not normally extend beyond two years
after (n). A student who has completed (n) + 2 years of study and wishes to continue his/her
studies must submit an application for extension of candidature to the Faculty Graduate
Studies Committee. The Faculty Graduate Studies Committee will consider the matter and
may only grant an extension of one year if there are compelling reasons to do so and will
impose escalated fees of 20% for the additional year of study.

Students who are registered for masters and PhD degrees will not be allowed to extend their
registration beyond (n) + 3.

Application for postgraduate study in the Faculty of Humanities

During the application process, prospective students for all degrees offered by the Faculty
apply for admission to their chosen programme of study by completing an application form
via Student Enrolment Centre. Each programme within the Faculty can then accept or reject
an applicant based on that programme’s assessment of his or her application.

Where do students collect application forms?

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Prospective students apply online, the applications submission process is managed by the
Student Enrolment Centre, Ground floor, Senate House. Alternatively, applicants download
the application form from: http://www.wits.ac.za/prospective/postgraduate

Where do students submit completed application forms?

Completed application forms must be submitted to the Student Enrolment Centre only, and
should not be received by individual schools, departments or course co-ordinators. This is to
ensure that the progress of all applications can be tracked from the Student Enrolment
Centre.

Application forms can be submitted in person to the Student Enrolment Centre or submitted
online. Applicants are advised to request an acknowledgement of receipt for their own
records.

What is the deadline for the receipt of applications from prospective students?

Generally, students wishing to begin their studies in January each year must submit
completed application forms to Student Enrolment Centre by:

30 August – International Students;
30 November South African Students.

However, some programmes within the Faculty have set earlier closing dates such as
School of Human and Community Development, Journalism and Drama for Life; students
who wish to apply for these programmes should confirm the closing dates with the
Disciplines.

How do applications reach departments or programmes for selection?

Following receipt of a prospective student’s complete application, a notification is sent directly
to the department and faculty concerned electronically. The department uploads a decision
on SIMS of which a notification is sent to the Faculty for final processing. Departments are
encouraged to access BI reports via Discoverer regularly to manage application decisions.

How do programmes or departments select students?

Students are selected either on an individual or on a group basis; each of these processes is
discussed below.

Selecting students on an individual basis

Departments / programmes that choose to evaluate each prospective student’s application
on its own merits are said to select students individually. Course co-ordinators of

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programmes accepting students on an individual basis can forward approved applications to
the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee on an individual basis throughout the academic
year, on the understanding that deadlines apply to these applications.

Rejected applications must also be forward to the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee,
and marked accordingly.

The Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee will sign the application to indicate his / her
approval of the programme’s decision.

Selecting students on a group basis

Departments / programmes whose evaluation of prospective students occurs on a group
basis are those which consider all received applications in relation to one another and / or
have candidates undergo selection tests or auditions following receipt of applications.

Programme co-ordinators for these programmes must submit a shortlist of students who
have successfully met all minimum criteria for their chosen courses of study to the
Chairperson of the Graduate Studies Committee by 30 November, on the understanding that
students so listed are understood to be provisionally accepted only.

Programmes which select students on a group basis must contact the Faculty office to
confirm dates of selection tests or auditions, anticipated decision dates for accepted students
and anticipated decision dates for waitlisted students. While programmes may indicate
provisional acceptance only, the official letter of acceptance or rejection must come from the
Faculty Office. Waitlisted students will not be informed officially until a final decision has been
made, normally upon receipt of final results.

How are students informed about the results of their applications?

Following the approval of programme decisions by the Chair of the Graduate Studies
Committee, the system generates an outcome letter with respect to each programme for
which application was made, the letter is emailed to you via the student system.
Departmental outcome letters are considered provisional and are not recognized as being
final, only Faculty outcome letters bearing the University branding are considered final.

International Application Procedure

Enquiries should be directed to the Student Enrolment Centre or the Faculty Office (see
www.wits.ac.za/prospective/postgraduate or www.wits.ac.za/academic/humanities/postgraduate for
more information). The following documents must be returned to the Student Enrolment
Centre:

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1. A completed application form and the non-refundable application fee (as a bank draft
      made payable to the University of the Witwatersrand, in the South African currency of
      “Rand”).
   2. A completed application form for accommodation to be submitted with the application
      form for study.
   3. Certified copies of all your programme (degree) certificates. Request universities or
      institutions to send a full academic transcript covering all periods of registration to
      each Faculty to which you are applying. Include all details of courses undertaken and
      the marks obtained. Any documentation not in English must be translated by an
      authorized translator and certified as authentic.
   4. Curriculum vitae.
   5. A short outline of your intended research area (no more than one typed page) – for
      Masters (by research) or PhD applicants and for a Master of Arts programme
      (degree), a sample of research work or a long essay written or translated into English.
   6. Two reference letters from people of authority (two people who have taught you or
      supervised your work at a tertiary institution - not family).
   7. Proof of English proficiency.
   8. SAQA evaluation certificate, www.saqa.org.za
   9. Enquiries in respect of evaluation of your application may be addressed to:

       The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
       Helpdesk: 086 010 3188
       Switchboard: +27 12 431 5000
       Fax: +27 12 431 5039
       Website: www.saqa.org.za

Postgraduate Merit Award (PMA)

The aim of the PMA is to assist graduates to complete Honours, Masters and PhD degrees
by research of by a combination of course work and research on a full-time basis. PMA does
not assist students who are registered on part-time basis.

Criteria in the selection of PMA:

For Honours, students must obtain a minimum mark of 65% in the major course in which they
are (student is) proceeding to Honours and a minimum rating of 1.75 for Humanities and
Commerce, Law & Management Faculties or 2.00 for Science, Health Science and the Built
Environment Faculties.

For Masters, students must have an aggregate of at least 70% in Honours or in the final year
of study for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree.

International students must obtain an average of 2.1 70% or a upper second class pass for
their Honours degree.

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For the PhD, students must have completed their Masters degree in one or two years on a
full-time basis or in the case of part time studies, three years.

Students who have not met the criteria for PMA are eligible for Postgraduate Financial
Assistance which is available for financially needy students based on the NSFAS National
Means Test.

The normal tenure of PMA is:

Honours          1 year
Masters          2 years
PhD              3 years

School Duties:

Students in receipt of PMA are required to perform six-hour duties per week, which shall be
allocated to them by the Head of School. Duties must be of an academic nature so that a
student derives some benefit from the work.

Payment of Stipends:

Payment of stipends is made in four instalments. Students must complete signed claim
forms and give them to the Head of School/Supervisor.

PMA Awards:

Honours students receive a stipend of              R6 000.00 plus 100% tuition fee
Masters students receive a stipend of              R6 800.00 plus 100% tuition fee
PhD students receive a stipend of                  R9 000.00 plus 100% tuition fee

Closing date:

A student must submit a completed application form by the 30 August before the enrolment in
January/February or March for the enrolment for July/September.

Registration

During the registration process, students who have been accepted for their chosen courses
of study enroll formally in the Faculty of Humanities, as well as in specific disciplines and
programmes. Students must enroll each academic year until the completion of their degree
is successful.

Registration for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts with Honours / Master of Arts by Coursework
and Research Report

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In advance of the registration period, details of registration are e-mailed to all students via
their I-Wits e-mail. Students enrolling for BA Honours and MA (Coursework and Research
Report) degrees typically register in January or February, prior to the commencement of the
academic year. To accommodate the large number of students needing to register, this
registration takes place in Hall 29 (west campus).

Students with queries about registration dates may contact the Postgraduate Faculty officers.

How do these students register?

On arrival, each student receives a curriculum planning sheet and then proceeds to the table
staffed by representatives of the Division in which he or she seeks to register. An academic
member of staff will advise the student regarding her/his curriculum and will need to sign the
student’s completed curriculum form to indicate their consent. Forms must also be signed by
the programme coordinator or Academic Head-Postgraduate for students to register.

Once the forms have been signed, the student proceeds to the table staffed by Faculty
administrators for final endorsement before proceeding to the computer terminals for online
registration. The student may then proceed to the ICAM and Parking Office representatives.

What is required of academic staff during the registration process?

The Faculty office asks that one or more members representing each programme offered in
the Faculty be present at the registration venue throughout the registration process.
Academic staff is requested to “sign off” on the chosen curricula of Honours and MA by
Coursework and Research Report students in their disciplines, answer questions pertaining
to particular programmes and courses, and guide students in their selection of courses where
necessary. Bearing this in mind, the Faculty office recommends that staff actively involved in
the Honours and MA by Coursework and Research Report programmes be present during
registration, as they will be best qualified to offer guidance to students.

Registration for the degrees of Master of Arts by Dissertation (all fields), Doctor of Philosophy
(all fields)

A student registering for either degree listed above may register online from home or may
register in the Faculty Office in the designated period in January, April, July and September
in their first year of enrollment. All returning students must register in January of each year
until completion of their degree; enrollment may be conducted online from home or in person
at the Faculty Office. The Faculty office will clearly communicate the registration dates by e-
mail to students and schools at least one month in advance of the commencement of the
registration period, and will ensure that a suitably qualified member of the Faculty staff is
available to assist students with their registration.

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Students with queries about registration dates may contact the Postgraduate Faculty
Officers.

Registration as a student awaiting examination

A student previously registered for the degree of Master of Arts by Coursework and Research
Report, Master of Arts by Dissertation or PhD, who has completed all the coursework
requirements for his / her degree (if any), and who has submitted his / her research report,
dissertation or thesis to the Faculty office for examination, must re-register as a student at the
start of each academic year (no later than the 15th of February) while his / her work is under
examination. The examiners are given a period between 6 – 8 weeks to submit an
examiner’s report to the Faculty office.

A nominal fee attaches as a matter of course to the “Awaiting Examiners” registration code.
This “Copyright Fee”, as it is reflected on the Fees Statement of a student so registered, is
payable by both local and international students. It recognizes the student’s right to use
library facilities during his or her continuing registration.

A returning student awaiting examination should register in the Faculty Office during the
designated period (15 February). The Faculty office will clearly communicate the registration
dates by –e-mail to students and schools at least one month ahead of the commencement of
the registration period, and will ensure that a suitably qualified member of the Faculty staff is
available to assist students with their registration.

Students with queries about registration dates may contact the Postgraduate Faculty
Officers.

Clearance to Register for International Students

This is applicable each time that you register:

STEP 1         Medical Aid Cover

For Degree Seeking Students

To study in South Africa you need to be medically covered for the full duration of your
studies. According to legislation, the medical aid has to be a South African administered
end/or recognized product paid up to 31 December of the year of registration. The University
advises, amongst other coverage, that the product include provisions for doctor’s visits,
hospitalization, medicines and emergencies.

For Short-term / Occasional / Semester Students
To study in South Africa, you need to purchase a minimum of 6 months medical aid cover; as
outline above. Most Medical Aid companies will refund the unused portion of the medical aid

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cover. Enquire about this option with the company at the time of purchase as each company
has different requirements for refunds.

Step 1 is not required for Refugees, Asylum Seekers and individuals studying for 3
months or less; however it is recommended that you purchase medical aid cover for the
duration of the study period.

STEP 2         Study Permit

It is important to note that from time to time, the Department of Home Affairs updates their
requirements. Study Permits are normally only issued to one institution. The following are
the current requirements to be submitted to the South African Embassy/Consulate in your
country to obtain your Study Permit:

   1. A passport valid for not less than 30 days after intended studies;
   2. The Department of Home Affairs requires an administrative fee payable upfront.

Amendments to registration

A student who needs to change his or her details after registration may do so, using a
Graduate Studies Amendment Form. Changes to a student’s name or address, substantive
changes relating to course registration and changes of research report / dissertation / thesis
title, as well as requests for extensions of time for submission of proposals or research, are
all made using the yellow Amendment Form, which is available from the Faculty office.
Person details may be updated online via the student portal.

What is the deadline for amendments to course registration?

Semester one

A student registered for an Honours or Master of Arts by Coursework and Research Report
degree may register for additional or alternative courses during the two weeks following
registration, and cancel first semester courses until one month before the examination period
begins.

Semester two

A student registered for an Honours or Master of Arts by Coursework and Research Report
degree may register for additional or alternative courses during the week following the
commencement of the second semester, and cancel second semester courses until the 30th
of September annually.

How do I complete the Amendment Form correctly?

Coursework modules

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Amendments to coursework modules must be accompanied by the approval of the relevant
course co-ordinator, as well as supporting signatures from the School Graduate Studies co-
ordinator and Head of School. The student must also include a short supporting statement.

Research reports / dissertations / theses
Amendments to research must be accompanied by the approval of the relevant School
Graduate Studies co-coordinator, Head of School and supervisor, as well as short supporting
statements from the student and supervisor.

Masters of Arts by Coursework and Research report

Students that is not ready to complete and submit their research reports by 15 February of
the year following their initial registration, and require additional time to complete their
research, must apply an extension and register for another full year. To apply for an
extension, the student must complete the Faculty amendment form including a motivation
from the student and the supervisor; they must both agree that the research report will be
submitted to Faculty for examination by the approved deadline.

Masters of Arts by Dissertation and Doctor of Philosophy

Students that is not ready to complete and submit their dissertation/thesis by 15 February
and require additional time to complete their research must apply for an extension and
register for another full year. To apply for an extension, the student must complete the
Faculty amendment form including a motivation from the student and the supervisor/s; they
must both agree that the dissertation/thesis will be submitted to Faculty for examination by
the approved deadline.

Allocation of supervisors
As extracted from the Senate Standing Orders:

The appointment of a Supervisor is the responsibility of the Faculty Committee or panel, and
not of its Chairperson, nor of a Head of School. The Head of a School recommends a
Supervisor for appointment. Where a Supervisor is appointed by a panel, the appointment
must be reported to the next meeting of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee for
information. Where necessary, in a study of an inter-disciplinary nature, more than one
Supervisor may be appointed. Reasons for nominating a Supervisor must be motivated by
the Head of School. The Head of School is responsible for monitoring the number of higher
degrees students being supervised by an individual staff member to ensure adequate
supervision of candidates and should take this into consideration when recommending a
person for appointment as a Supervisor.

A panel or a Chairperson of a Faculty Graduate Studies Committee can appoint a Supervisor
for an applicant for a research proposal on a temporary basis, subject to approval by the
Graduate Studies Committee at its next meeting. (See also A.3 above).

Except in exceptional circumstances, as approved by the Faculty Graduate Studies
Committee, The Supervisor should have successfully completed a degree at an equivalent
level. The Head of School and Postgraduate Co-ordinator must be satisfied that the
Supervisor has the appropriate expertise and training to supervise postgraduate students.
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Supervision by a member of staff of another university or other structure should be
exceptional. If the Supervisor-designate is not a member of the University staff, a member of
the full-time staff must be appointed as a Co-Supervisor. The University’s policy is that once
it has admitted a candidate, it has an obligation to do its utmost to continue to provide
supervision for the minimum period of registration for the degree. Should circumstances
change, and the University finds itself unable to continue to provide supervision, in
exceptional cases, it shall attempt to provide supervision from outside the University, with a
formal Co-Supervisor from within the University. The responsibility for ensuring the adequate
supervision of a candidate by the supervisor rests with the Head of School/Department.

A.12 Duties of Supervisor

It is the responsibility of the Head of School or Postgraduate Co-ordinator ensure that a
Supervisor is familiar with the University’s and Faculty’s Standing Orders on higher degrees.
These duties are available from the Faculty Registrar. A copy of these duties (and/or relevant
code of responsibility/conduct) along with the appropriate Style Guide, the Policy on
Plagiarism and the University Grievance Procedure for Postgraduate Students and the
Statement of Principles must be made available to students at registration, and should form
the basis of a negotiation between the Supervisor/s and the candidate as to how they will
work together.

The Statement of Principles must be discussed with the student and it may be changed by
mutual agreement. It must be signed by the Supervisor(s) and the student at the time of
submission of the research proposal.

The duties of the Supervisor shall be:

A.12.1 To report, after consultation with the Head of the School or Postgraduate Co-ordinator
concerned, any change in the proposed title for the approval of the Faculty Board, Faculty
Graduate Studies Committee, panel, or Chairperson of the Faculty Graduate Studies
Committee.
A.12.2 To assist the candidate’s research in all possible ways The Supervisor should take
care to encourage the candidate to use his or her own initiative, and should not watch over
every detail of the work. He or she should rather make suggestions wherever necessary, and
encourage the candidate to apply them.
A.12.3 Supervision entails both oral advice on the candidate’s research, and constructive
written comments on drafts of the proposal and on draft chapters. A record of the supervision
process must be kept by the Supervisor.
A.12.4 To ensure that the candidate knows the conventional techniques of presentation for a
thesis.
A.12.5 To ascertain the cause should the candidate, for any reason, fail to make adequate
progress. If the candidate is at fault and does not, after a written warning, make better
progress, the Supervisor shall bring the matter to the attention of the Head of School or
Postgraduate Co-ordinator. Any further instruction which emanates from this should also be
in writing and, if it in turn is not acted on by the candidate, the matter should be brought to the
attention of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee which may at that stage instruct
cancellation of registration. It is essential that a candidate be given the opportunity to put
forward his or her case at all stages of this process before cancellation is decided upon by
the Committee. In cases where there is more than one Supervisor, the Supervisors shall
consult one another on the progress of the candidate at regular intervals.
A.12.6 To report once a year to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee, or its Chairperson,
on the progress of the candidate’s work. The dates will be decided by each Committee and
the basis of the Supervisor’s report will be a yearly report from the candidate. A very brief
report will suffice if the candidate’s progress is satisfactory. The report must be an open one

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and signed by the Supervisor, the candidate and the Head of School or Postgraduate Co-
ordinator. The form should contain provision for comments by the candidate. The
Chairperson may draw the Committee’s attention to particular cases and the Committee may
call for more frequent reports in a particular case. The Faculty Registrar is required to monitor
the submission of reports and to ensure that copies of these reports are filed on the student’s
file.
A.12.7 To draw the attention of the candidate to the minimum and maximum periods of study
for the degree. (See also A.15 below.)
A.12.8 To nominate examiners, in consultation with the Head of School, a minimum of three
months prior to the submission of the thesis. At this point, the title of the thesis must be
confirmed.
A.12.9 To inform the candidate of any planned absences.

A.13 Supervision of one candidate by another

A.13.1 Normally, a candidate for a higher degree who is appointed to supervise another
candidate for a higher degree will be a member of the staff of the University.
A.13.2 A member of staff, who is registered for a higher degree, is permitted to supervise
another candidate at a lower level, or co-supervise a candidate at an equivalent level,
provided that the Supervisor holds a degree at the equivalent level.
A.13.3 Two candidates at the same level may not supervise or co-supervise each other.

A. 14 Responsibilities of the candidate

A.14.1 The Statement of Principles must be discussed with the Supervisor(s), and must be
signed by the student and the Supervisor(s), and submitted together with the research
proposal to the Faculty Office.
A.14.2 The candidate should meet as frequently as agreed with the Supervisor, and shall, at
these meetings, present a detailed account, in writing, of his or her progress, in a manner as
is acceptable to the field of study being pursued.
A.14.3 The candidate shall take into account all written and oral advice given by the
Supervisor, and provision should be allowed for adequate, mutually respectful discussion
around these recommendations.
A.14.4 The candidate must ensure that the appropriate literature directly pertinent to his or
her chosen topic has been identified and consulted. The candidate has a reasonable
expectation that the Supervisor keep abreast with developments in his or her own area of
expertise.
A.14.5 Once the focus/area of research is approved, the candidate is responsible for
ensuring that the research remains focused on the agreed areas or, where substantive
changes are necessary, that these are agreed by the candidate and Supervisor, and reported
appropriately to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee. It should be noted that there
should be appropriate consultation with the Supervisor with respect to changes, especially
where these may lead the work outside of the field of expertise of the Supervisor.
A.14.6 The candidate must obtain the agreement of the Supervisor for any absences
A.14.7 The candidate must produce a written document for examination that meets the
requirements of the degree being pursued.
A.14.8 The candidate must make adequate progress to enable the successful completion of
the degree within the stipulated time frame.
A.14.9 The candidate must bring problems in the supervision relationship to the attention of
the Supervisor in the first instance and, if such problems are not resolved, to bring the matter
to the attention of the Head of School or Postgraduate Co-ordinator.

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A.14.10 The candidate must comply with all administrative processes, including making the
necessary declarations with respect to the work complying with the policies on ethics,
plagiarism and intellectual property.
A.14.11 The candidate shall submit a progress report to the Faculty annually. The Faculty
Registrar is required to monitor the submission of reports and to ensure that copies of these
reports are filed on the student’s file.

Proposals

A student’s proposal details the research that he or she plans to undertake, offering a
synopsis of the project and detailing the context and scope of the work. At the Master’s level,
the student’s proposal is considered by one suitably qualified reader, while two readers are
required for independent consideration of work at doctoral level.

Which students are required to submit proposals?

All students registering for a Master of Arts degree (whether by Coursework and Research
Report or Dissertation), as well as all PhD students, must submit research proposals to the
Faculty Office. At present, the Faculty does not require a proposal at Honours level, although
this process is required internally by Schools.

When are proposals due?

For full-time students, proposals are due approximately six months after registration. Part-
time students are required to submit proposals within one academic year of their
registration.
    - Full-time students registering in January must submit proposals by 31 July of that
        year.
    - Part-time students registering in January must submit proposals by 31 March the
        following year.

Note: Students who do not submit their proposals within the specified period will be
discontinued from their programme due to unsatisfactory performance or progress, as per the
Faculty rule 5.7. Also refer to page 6 of this guide.

What is an acceptable length for a proposal?

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Masters by Coursework and Research report proposal must be 3 000 – 4000 words, and
Masters by Dissertation proposal must be 6 000 – 7 000 words, and the Doctorate of
Philosophy proposal must be 8 000 – 10 000 words.

How are proposals evaluated, and by whom?

The proposal reading processes accepted by the Graduate Studies Committee can be
classified as either internal or external. The internal system is distinguished by the extent of
the role which the School or discipline plays in the proposal approval system.

The following sub-sections, detailing the internal and external proposal reading systems,
have been provided by the Assistant Dean, who held the “Proposals” portfolio on the
Faculty’s Graduate Studies Committee.
The external (or standard) proposal reading system

   1. Schools and disciplines hold departmental proposal presentations to which the
      proposed Faculty reader(s) may or may not be invited.
   2. Once the student has revised his/her proposal on the basis of feedback provided at
      the presentation, the supervisor decides who s/he believes (or supervisors … believe)
      would be an appropriate reader (or readers) for the particular student’s proposal and
      approaches this reader to establish his or her availability.
   3. Having established the availability of the reader(s), the supervisor enters his or her
      name(s) on the proposal submission form and gives the student permission to submit
      the proposal to the Faculty along with the completed proposal submission form
      (available from the Faculty office).
   4. Once the proposal reader has been approved by the GSC Proposal Portfolio
      holder, the proposal is sent to the nominated and approved reader by the Faculty
      office. The reader then has two weeks in which to read the proposal and write his
      \her report.

The internal proposal reading system

Co-ordinators of disciplines who wish to continue using, or move to use, the internal system
need to contact the member of the Graduate Studies Committee who holds the proposals
portfolio in advance in order to confirm that the following steps will be followed. The internal
system may NOT be used in the case of doctoral candidates.

   1. As soon as students and supervisors start working together, and dates for proposal
      presentations in Schools / disciplines have been set, supervisors send the course co-
      ordinator the names of two possible readers for their students’ proposals, based on
      the students’ fields of research.
   2. The course co-ordinator should send the list of suggested readers with the title or
      broad area of research for every student to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee
      member who holds the Proposals portfolio.

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3. After having received Faculty approval for the readers nominated the supervisor
       should approach the proposed readers and confirm their availability to attend the
       proposal presentation and their willingness to write a comprehensive report on the
       student’s proposed research proposal.
   4. The list of students, topics, readers and the dates of the presentation proposal/s
       should be sent to the Proposals portfolio holder on the Graduate Studies Committee.
   5. At the presentation, the approved reader leads the discussion of the student’s
       proposal and gives focused oral or written feedback on it.
   6. The student, having considered the reader’s feedback and improved his or her
       proposal, then sends the corrected proposal to the reader.
   7. The reader writes a report indicating that he/she attended the proposal presentation
       session and is satisfied that the completed proposal represents a worthwhile and
       viable project. This report should relate directly to the particular proposal being read
       and not take the form of a check-list that could apply to any proposal. It should refer to
       any suggestions for improvement the reader made at the presentation and indicate
       that these improvements have now been made. (See below)
   8. The supervisor attaches the reader’s report to the student’s proposal. Both
       documents, together with the green proposal submission form, are sent to the Faculty
       office.
   9. Following consideration by the GSC Proposal Portfolio holder, the student receives
       feedback about his / her proposal in writing from Faculty.
   10. Any student who does not present his/her proposal during the scheduled presentation
       session(s), or whose proposal still needs substantial revision, reverts to the external
       system i.e. the proposal is sent to Faculty without a reader’s report attached and with
       the recommended readers’ names entered on the green proposal submission form.
       The Faculty will then send the proposal to the chosen reader(s) and await their
       feedback.

The following are requirements for the successful implementation of the external proposal
reading system:

   1. Having approached potential readers to check their availability, supervisors should list
      nominated readers on page 4 of the proposal submission form – page 3 of the form is
      for completion by proposal readers themselves, and should not be completed by
      supervisors or students.
   2. For proposals at the Master’s level, at least one reader must be nominated, though
      the nomination of a second suitable reader is recommended. For proposals at the
      doctoral level, at least two readers must be nominated,
   3. All readers must include a short, written report rather than simply writing on the
      student’s proposal itself. This report should not take the form of a tick-list that could
      apply to any proposal.
   4. Where the reader’s report does not accompany page three of the ‘Proposal
      Submission’ form – for example, if the report is sent by e-mail – the report must
      clearly communicate the reader’s decision about the proposal in terms of the four
      categories detailed on page three of the form (that is, whether the proposal is

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accepted, accepted on the understanding that the candidate will take note of the
       reader’s recommendations, accepted in principle with some clarification needed, or
       unacceptable as it stands).

Disagreements between proposal readers about the quality of a student’s submission are
addressed by the GSC Proposal Portfolio holder.

The following steps are requirements for the successful implementation of the internal
proposal reading system in particular:

   1. On the basis of a motivation from the relevant supervisor and course co-ordinator, the
      GSC Proposal Portfolio holder must have approved the particular reader(s) for each
      student in advance of the school / departmental presentation.

   2. Where a proposal is submitted to the Faculty together with a reader’s report (as per
      (7), above), this report must indicate:
      - that the reader attended the student’s presentation,
      - what oral or written feedback was given to the student at, or after, the
          presentation (i.e. what the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal were at this
          stage; what revisions were suggested or required; etc.)
      - whether the version of the proposal sent to the Faculty office is `approved’ or
          `approved in principle’ (no proposal can be sent to the Faculty with a reader’s
          report attached unless it falls into either of these categories). See 7 above.

How are students informed of the outcome of the proposal evaluation process?

Immediately following the return of a completed reader’s report to the Faculty office, and the
evaluation of the report by the designated GSC member, the Faculty office will contact the
student and supervisor in writing by email to convey the outcome of the proposal process.
The Faculty Officer will update the student’s milestones as per the proposal outcome.

Students and supervisors must ensure that their proposals are approved and that this has
been recorded by the Faculty even in cases where the reader asks for minor alterations to be
made to the satisfaction of the supervisor.

Progress reports

The purpose of the progress reports is to track the development of the student’s work and to
facilitate the timely completion of theses and dissertations. Each complete set of progress
reports consists of contributions from both student and supervisor. Students and supervisors
should complete reports individually allowing each to reflect on the student’s progress and
facilitating discussion about any challenges faced by either party with respect to the student’s
work, conduct or progress.

Who must submit a progress report?

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All students registered for the Masters degree and Doctor of Philosophy is required to submit
progress reports. Supervisors working with students registered for these degrees are
required to submit progress reports about each of their students. Students registered for the
Master of Arts by Coursework and Research Report and their supervisors, are not required to
submit progress reports; their progress however is monitored by the respective Schools.

When are progress reports sent to supervisors and students, and when are they due
back?

Progress report forms are sent to both supervisors and students in June or in July of each
year, and are due back approximately four weeks thereafter. The deadline for the return of
progress reports is detailed in the e-mail to which the progress report itself is attached.

How are progress reports sent to supervisors and students?

Progress reports are emailed to supervisors, as well as students. I-Wits e-mail addresses are
used exclusively, so students need to check their I-Wits e-mail addresses regularly.

How are progress reports returned?

Completed progress reports should be returned to the Faculty office by the deadline
stipulated via e-mail or by hand to the appropriate Postgraduate Faculty Officer.

How is progress reports evaluated?

Following submission, progress reports are considered by a group of senior Graduate
Studies Committee members: Supervisors of students whose progress is delayed or
seemingly problematic are consulted to offer further information about the student’s academic
development. Where appropriate, the student in question is invited to elaborate on his or her
submission.

The nomination of examiners

In advance of a student’s submission of his / her research report, dissertation or thesis for
examination, the supervisor must complete a Faculty Nomination of Examiners form
(available from the Faculty office or in electronic format), and return the form to the Faculty
office.

When are nomination forms due?

Completed nomination forms must be returned to the Faculty office at least four weeks before
the student’s work is due to be submitted.

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Submitted nomination forms must be emailed to the Postgraduate Faculty Officer with the
required accompanying documents. Supervisor/s should seek advice from colleagues in their
discipline or School (in the event of academic queries) or the Faculty office (in the event of
administrative queries) prior to submitting nomination forms to the Faculty office. Signed
paper copies or e-mailed copies are acceptable. Incomplete nomination forms will not be
accepted by the Faculty.

What qualifies a person to act as an examiner?

Generally, nominated examiners are expected to have published work related to the field of
the work under examination and to hold qualifications at least equivalent to the qualification
sought by the student under examination. However, these requirements may be relaxed in
the examination of work undertaken in emerging disciplines, in disciplines where suitable
examiners are more likely to be individuals with extensive practical experience in the field,
and in other extraordinary cases.

Suitable examiners for a research report submitted in partial fulfillment for the requirements
for the degree of Master of Arts by Coursework and Research Report

An academic who has acted in a supervisory or co-supervisory capacity in respect of a
particular student’s work is, in the normal course of events, not eligible to act as an
appointed internal examiner of that work, even though it has been undertaken in partial
fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts by Coursework and Research
Report. In exceptional circumstances, if the nominated internal examiner has to be the
candidate’s research supervisor, this must be strongly motivated and approved by the
Humanities Graduate Studies Committee.

In addition to the internal examiner, one examiner external to the University, who is suitably
qualified and who has not been in the employ of the University for at least two years
preceding the date of nomination, must be nominated to examine the research report.

Suitable examiners for a dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Master of Arts by Dissertation

An academic who has acted in a supervisory or co-supervisory capacity in respect of a
particular student’s work is not eligible to act as an appointed examiner of that work if the
work is undertaken in fulfillment of a Master of Arts by Dissertation. Two suitably qualified
examiners, one of whom may be in the employ of the University, and may be in the same
division, department or school as the supervisor and candidate, must be nominated to
examine the student’s work.

Suitable examiners for a thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

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An academic who has acted in a supervisory or co-supervisory capacity in respect of a
particular student’s work is not eligible to act as an appointed examiner of that work if the
work is undertaken in fulfillment of a PhD. Rather, three suitably qualified examiners, one of
whom may be in the employ of the University, must be nominated to examine the student’s
work. At least one of the appointed examiners will usually work outside of South Africa.

How do supervisors nominate internal examiners for work submitted in fulfillment of a
Master of Arts by Dissertation / PhD?

A non supervisory internal examiner must be approved by the agreed minimum number of
members of the appropriate sub-committee of the GSC. However, the nomination form for
the proposed non-supervisory internal examiner does not need to include curriculum vitae (as
it would in respect of an external examiner who has not previously been approved or whose
approval has lapsed).

A non supervisory internal examiner, who has been approved as an examiner within the five
years preceding the current nomination, may be appointed without the approval of the
appropriate sub-committee of the GSC.

How do supervisors nominate external examiners for work submitted in partial
fulfillment of a Master of Arts by Coursework and Research Report, or work submitted
in fulfillment of a Master of Arts by Dissertation / PhD?

External examiners are defined as examiners not currently employed by the University and
who have not been employed by the University for at least two years preceding their
nomination. External examiners who have not examined for the Faculty in the five years
preceding their current nomination, or who have never been appointed as examiners for the
Faculty, require approval by the appropriate sub-committee of the GSC prior to their
appointment.

A supervisor who wants to nominate as an external examiner an academic who has not
previously acted as a Faculty examiner, or whose appointment occurred five years or longer
before the present nomination, must include a current curriculum vitae for that external
examiner, which is to be submitted with the nomination form.

A proposed external examiner, who has been approved as an examiner within the five years
preceding the present nomination, may be appointed without further approval.

How do I know whether an examiner has been approved by the GSC, and whether this
approval is still valid?

The Faculty office keeps a record of approved examiners, together with the date of each
examiner’s approval, and is currently expanding these records to include details of

                                                                                           26
examiners’ fields of expertise which included the number of students examined by each
examiner as well as special conditions relating to the appointment of any examiner.

The Faculty office also endeavours to keep a record of examiners who have in the past
proved unreliable, tardy or unreasonable in their expectations as examiners. A supervisor
who wishes to nominate such an examiner will be advised of the examiner’s status.
Supervisors may contact the Faculty Office (as per the contact details above) with any
concerns about the status of examiners.

Can proposal readers act as examiners?

An academic who has evaluated the proposal prepared by a particular student in developing
his / her work towards its final version is eligible to act as an appointed examiner. However,
a proposal reader who is overwhelmingly negative about a particular student’s work should
not, in the normal course of events, be appointed as an examiner.

The submission of research reports, dissertations and theses for examination

An MA / PhD student must submit a complete final draft of his / her work to the Faculty office
by the due date, together with a completed Supervisor’s Consent Form (available from the
Faculty office).

What is the due date for research reports, dissertations and theses?

Unless a student has applied for and been granted an extension of time to complete his / her
work, the following deadlines apply:

MA (Coursework and Research Report),         One year after initial registration
MA (Dissertation) – full time
MA (Coursework and Research Report),         Two years after initial registration
MA (Dissertation) – part time
PhD – full time                              Two – five years after initial registration
PhD – part time                              Two – six years after initial registration

The 15 February submission date is currently the most popular. Students, who are unable to
submit by this date, may apply for a one month concessionary extension until 15 March, at
least six weeks prior to the February submission date.

As extracted from the Senate Standing Orders:

A.15.1 Research extensions of less than one year

At least SIX WEEKS prior to the expiry of the year of registration, a research student,
regardless of whether s/he is completing a research report, a dissertation or a thesis is
allowed to apply to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee for a ONE month extension.
Such application is permitted only once during a qualification and must be supported by a

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