Registering for a Research Degree
Welcome to the Research Office Registration page here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions in relation to getting started on a Research Degree.
What is a Research Degree?
In a research degree (Research Masters or PhD) the primary mode of learning is self-learning. There is no formal course work. The student is responsible for carrying out the required work, to the appropriate standard, within the appropriate timeframe. A supervisor is appointed by the Institute to guide the student in developing and carrying out the project. An added advantage of this learning mode, beyond achieving Level 9 or 10 knowledge and skills, is that the student develops and proves their ability to work alone, or in groups, to take responsibility for leading and initiating work, and to self-evaluate and manage their own academic and professional development. These skills are valued highly in the workplace.
What are the main differences between Taught and Research Degrees?
The main difference between taught and research degrees is that the student is involved in the design of the study programme from the outset. Each research project is unique, and involves a specific research question, which the project is designed to answer in a structured way. The research question may come from a supervisor, who has an existing research programme and team, and is developing the area further, or it may come from a student that wants to research a particular topic. In either case, before applying to register, the student and supervisor work together to develop a project plan that is built around an appropriate question, has an appropriate plan of work required to answer the question, and has an appropriate schedule within which to achieve the particular degree (a Masters is typically two years, a PhD is typically 4 years).
How and when can I register?
Registration can be processed at any time of the year. Each applicant's learning background and current circumstances is unique. At all stages of the registration application process, the Research Office will assist the student and the supervisor on any queries they may have. The process is as follows. Once the research question is decided, and the project plan developed, registration is initiated by completing a standard form and submitting it to the Head of Research. The application is reviewed by an internal reviewer and an external reviewer. If required, additional question/ project development may be undertaken. Once this is done, a recommendation is made to the Institute's Research Committee. Work can begin once the application is approved and fees are paid. The postgraduate research fees for the academic year are available by contacting the Research Office. A Masters by Research normally is two years. A PhD is four years. In order to be a fully registered post graduate student, annual fees need to be paid in full.