Research degrees

Masters degrees

Humanities Building



Applicants are required to have a honours degree or equivalent qualification. In addition, all applications for Masters by Research (Dissertation 100%) are required to submit a research proposal. No formal registration can take place until the proposal has been considered and approved by the department's Higher Degrees Committee (HDC). Admission through the recognition of prior learning is possible in appropriate circumstances. Such admission is processed and decided in terms of the RPL policy and must be approved by the Head of Department (HoD). The HDC communicates its decision to the Faculty Office who will inform the applicant and process the registration.

Registration procedure:

Registration is processed by the Faculty Office. The student is required to obtain the signatures of the Programme Convenor and the Deans' representative (Deputy Dean: Research, Director: Graduate Programmes or Graduate Programmes Officer) before the registration is completed and recorded on the system. An MOU (or annual supplement) must be submitted at registration.

Appointment of supervisors:

  • Research Masters: the candidate is accepted when the research proposal is accepted and the supervisor approved by HoD. The HoD forwards the research proposal, which details the supervisor, to the Faculty Office who refers the recommendation for ratification to the Director: Graduate Studies. It is then published in the Dean's Circular.

  • Coursework Masters: candidates are required to have approval for their research topic and supervisor by the end of first year of studies. The HoD forwards the name of the supervisor and the research topic to the Director: Graduate Studies. It is then published in the Dean's Circular.


Continuing students' performance is monitored annually. Before re-registration is recommended in subsequent years, supervisors confirm through the HDC that progress has been satisfactory (October each year). The HOD reports to Faculty Examinations Committee on the coursework results and the progress of students registered for higher degrees. The Faculty Office enters the appropriate code for each student (CON for continue or IND for poor progress). Students whose progress is deemed by the supervisor and HDC to be unsatisfactory are informed by the Faculty's Postgraduate Office that re-registration will not be permitted. Students exceeding the recommended time for the degree are also informed of this.

Examination procedures:

Examination of masters' theses is administered by the Faculty Office. Students are required to submit a notice of intention to submit by the advertised dates. Once such notice is received, the Faculty Office requests nominations for examiners from departments. Nominations are put to the Director of Graduate Studies, and if supported, published in a DC for faculty approval. Approved examiners are approached by the Faculty Office and the thesis submitted by the Faculty Office for examination. Masters' theses are examined by two external examiners; the supervisor is required to provide a non-evaluative report and is not part of the examination process. The examiners' reports and recommendations are considered by the Masters Dissertation Examinations Committee (MDEC). The MDEC makes a decision on the basis of the examiners' reports. The student is advised of the MDEC's recommendation by the Faculty Office.