Navigating the thesis

Preparing to submit

The Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB) has produced guidelines for the submission of theses as well as for abstracts for PhD theses.

For the Masters dissertation:

  • Candidates are required to give written notice of intention to submit a month in advance of submitting your thesis.
  • Once you submit your notice of intention to submit, the Humanities Postgraduate Office starts the process of appointing external examiners, so that there will be no delay once you submit your thesis. If you do not notify the Postgraduate Office of your intention to submit, examiners will not have been appointed in advance and the examination of your thesis may be delayed. (Do not notify the Faculty's Postgraduate Office of your intention to submit if you are not ready - if examiners are appointed and you do not submit, it becomes difficult to find examiners again when you submit later.
  • Submit your thesis as required: 
    • by 1 April for the June graduation or
    • by 1 September for the December graduation.
  • The Faculty's Postgraduate Office sends a copy to each examiner. Examiners are expected to return their reports in 6 weeks. If the examiner has not done so by week 6, the Postgraduate Office administrator(s) will follow up. The Faculty's Postgraduate Office does not undertake to reach a decision y any specific date.
  • Within 48 hours of receiving the examiners' reports, the Faculty's Postgraduate Office administrators sends these to the department which has 5 days to respond and to produce a consolidated report. Once the department has responded by submitting the consolidated report, your reports are put to the Masters Dissertation Examination Committee (MDEC).
  • The MDEC will be convened to decide the results a week thereafter. Once the results are known, you will be informed.
    • If no corrections are required, the result is entered on system.
    • If minor corrections are required, your supervisor oversees these and informs the Faculty's Postgraduate Office when these are satisfactorily done so that the result can be entered.
  • One unbound corrected copies and CD-Rom must be submitted to the Postgraduate Office before your result can be entered making you eligible to graduate. If you are required to revise and resubmit, you need to re-register so that you can receive supervision while working on the amendments required.

Overall processing time from date of submission is 9 weeks (longer if notice of intention to submit was not given).

For the Doctorate:

  • Candidates are required to give written notice of intention to submit by 10 January for the June graduation or by 20 June for the December graduation to the Doctoral Degree Office (DDO) in advance of submitting your thesis.
  • Once you submit your notice of intention to submit, the DDO starts the process of calling for nomination of external examiners. If you do not notify the DDO of your intention to submit, examiners will not have been appointed in advance and the examination of your thesis will be delayed until examiners have been nominated and approved first by Faculty and then by the Doctoral Degrees Board.
  • Submit your thesis as follows:
    • by 15 February for June graduation or
    • by 15 August for December graduation
  • The DDO sends a copy to each of the three external examiners. Examiners are expected to return their reports in 8 weeks. If the examiner has not done so by week 8, the DDO will follow up.
  • Once all three reports have been received by the DDO, they are forwarded to the Faculty and the Doctoral Committee of Assessors (comprising a core group of senior Faculty members, the supervisor and relevant HOD) who are required to study the reports and make a recommendation to the DDB. Once the DCOA recommendation has been approved by the DDB, the student is advised of the outcome by the DDO.

The overall processing time is approximately 12 weeks from submission of the thesis.

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