Also consult the General Academic Regulations G39 and PG Faculty regulations.
Master’s degree by dissertation is a research master’s degree that requires a high level of theoretical engagement and in some cases, demonstration of the ability to relate knowledge to a range of contexts for professional practice. It must contain a research component at NQF level 9 (to the value of 180 credits), culminating in the acceptance of a dissertation. A research master’s degree is a full research programme designed to develop research skills which amongst others, allows the graduate to progress seamlessly to the research demands of a PhD.
- BVSc (or equivalent) degree or relevant four-year BScAgric degree or relevant BSc honours degree or relevant postgraduate diploma (on NQF level 8)
- An admissions examination may be required
- The candidate may be required to submit proof of experience in their selected field of study
Examinations and pass requirements
Examination and pass requirements
Also consult the General Academic Regulations G39.
The degree is conferred by virtue of the successful completion of a dissertation and a draft first-author research article.
A dissertation is submitted to the Head: Student Administration, before the closing date for the relevant graduation ceremonies as announced annually (i.e. 31 October or 31 March to qualify for the Autumn or Spring graduation, respectively), after permission is granted by the supervisor and co-supervisor(s). (Also consult the General Academic Regulation G39 with regard to the submission and technical editing of the thesis).
If a dissertation is submitted after the due date specified above, the student takes the risk that the examination of the dissertation may be delayed and the student will not be considered for the graduation concerned. A student will only be allowed to graduate if the student has successfully complied with all the requirements for the particular programme.
The dissertation will be evaluated by two examiners (for the appointment of the examination panel, consult the General Academic Regulations G39.12.1).
The average of the separate marks awarded by the two examiners, constitutes the final mark for the dissertation.
Compliance with degree requirements
Also consult the General Academic Regulation G40.
- A master’s degree by dissertation will be conferred on a student only after the successful completion of all requirements of each component of the relevant degree programme, including the submission and successful evaluation of a research-based dissertation, draft publication, and compliance with all the requirements for the particular programme.
- A master’s degree is not deemed to be completed if the electronic version of the dissertation has not been submitted to the relevant faculty administration prior to the date of closure of the graduation/finalist list for the forthcoming graduation ceremony.
- No one is entitled to any privileges pertaining to a master’s degree before the qualification has been conferred on him or her at a graduation ceremony. In respect of professional registrations, faculties may issue confirmation letters to the relevant professional bodies prior to the graduation ceremonies.
Also consult the General Academic Regulation G39.
All students should register for (and pass) the module Research methodology (VRM 813) (non-credit-bearing). If a student has already completed a similar module for a previous degree (within the past five years) and can show sufficient evidence of competence in research skills required at postgraduate level, a student may apply for exemption from this module.
The main objective of master’s degree studies is to enable the candidate to undertake research in all its semi-fractions, under supervision. The basic requirements and Faculty expectations of an MSc are:
- The candidate should show the ability to undertake a research project and write up the project.
- The candidate does not need to make an original contribution to science, but still show the ability to do research.
- Explicit hypothesis-testing, i.e. experimental work is not necessarily mandatory.
The research topic is determined in consultation with the supervisor and the relevant head of department, and the research project(s)/ dissertation that follow, must be approved according to Faculty guidelines.
Research undertaken by a master’s student is conducted in accordance with the University’s Code of ethics for scholarly activities. All research proposals must be submitted for ethics clearance/ approval/exemption to the relevant faculty research and/or research ethics committee. Faculty research ethics committees have the authority to consider and approve or reject research proposals within the guidelines of the general policy.
Pass with distinction
A master’s degree is awarded with distinction if a student meets the following requirements:
- Obtained a mark of 75% or above for the research-based dissertation; and
- Completed the qualification within the maximum period allowed for master’s study, but not in less than the prescribed minimum period of one academic year. Note: the maximum allowable time is twice the prescribed minimum years of study in relation to postgraduate students who study part-time.