Research Degrees MA & PHD

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jfosj, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. jfosj

    jfosj Member

    Hello All,

    I have seen frequent referrals to degrees solely obtained by research. Could someone please provide me with a better explanation on what's the process to be followed (i.e. type of research to be conducted, amount of peer-review articles that need to be published, etc) to be able to obtain this degree.

    I would also like to hear how are this type of degrees perceived in the marketplace. Finally, suggestions of B&M universities that provide these degrees.

    Thanks in advance for your input!

  2. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I don't know a lot about them, but I do know that a number of highly prestigious schools in Europe offer degrees obtained this way. Trinity College/University of Dublin seperates is graduate degree offerings into "taught masters" and "research masters" on their website. So does Erasmus University, which is a phenominal school located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I've always felt that a research degree would be much more difficult to earn than a taught degree.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Lancaster University offers Ph.D in Management with variety specializations. The program is research base, which the application must provide the appropriate application process and a dissertation proposal. Hence, once you are accepted you'll start your 800,000 word-dissertation. You are mandatory to visit Lancaster University's campus three times per year; and for a minimum of 4 years. You'll meet your mentor; once you're done with the your dissertation, you'll defense in front of your committee (oral exam). Currently costs about $8,500.00 per year plus travel and lodging expenses.
  4. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Research only degrees tend to be more popular in Europe. Requirements vary program to program. Essentially you are a faculty member's indentured servant to do work on whatever they want you to work on. Unless you really like the research project you are assigned to, you can be miserable. Also keep in mind, research only isn't synonymous with DL. Most programs require regular face to face meetings or departmental seminar attendance on campus when you are not in the field collecting data. However, I'm sure there are a few universities out there that will let you research at your own pace, as long are you keep paying tuition.
  5. ChiSquare

    ChiSquare New Member

    I believe that should be 80,000 words, 800,000 words is enough for 10 dissertations. :scratchchin:
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    This is from the UNISA catalog. Obviously it's from their History Department but for our purposes I believe that it's representative of the research oriented doctoral degree process in general.

    "Who should study for this degree?
    The doctorate is the highest academic achievement and is
    intended for candidates who have completed an MA degree with
    high marks and who wish to write an extended and original thesis
    on a research topic of their choice.
    A high level of complexity is required in the research topic and
    analytically the thesis is expected to be more sophisticated than an
    MA dissertation. Thorough research, data evaluation and the
    opening of new perspectives will be taken into account.
    What does the degree comprise?
    The degree is awarded on the basis of a 300-400 page academic
    thesis on an approved and original topic (generally, but not
    necessarily, on South African history) based on primary sources.
    In order to obtain this degree, you will need to demonstrate:
    originality in thinking and approach
    capacity to undertake primary and secondary research
    ability to locate and evaluate sources
    professional academic literary and technical presentation
    competence to assess, analyse and compare data
    skills of communication and articulation in developing a
    sustained and sophisticated argument.
    From January 2010 all master's and doctoral students are
    required to register for and complete a research module before
    registration for the dissertation/thesis can be finalised.
    From January 2010 all master's and doctoral students are required
    to register for and complete a research module before registration
    for the dissertation/thesis can be finalised.
    Academic requirements
    A Master’s degree (at least 60%, preferably more) in History or
    related disciplines from an acknowledged academic institution.
    The application process and research proposal
    Prospective students need first to approach the History Department
    to discuss their proposed work before applying formally for
    registration. The department will consider the following:
    A viable topic:
    At doctoral level it is expected from a prospective student to
    submit a topic of his/her choice, which must be substantiated
    by a detailed research proposal.
    Research proposal:
    A research proposal should be 20-30 typed pages long. It is an
    integral part of the degree, and will be assessed with the
    thesis. You have twelve months from the date of registration to
    finalise your proposal. The Higher Degrees Committee of the
    Department of History must approve your proposal before you
    may proceed with your thesis.
    It should contain the following elements:
    - An outline of the issue to be researched.
    - A motivation for the proposed topic (what you want to
    prove; what contribution to knowledge about the topic you
    intend to offer). This should include a historiographical
    survey of what has been written on the topic.
    - An indication of the different kinds of sources you intend
    consulting during your research (primary as well as
    secondary material).
    - A provisional division of your thesis into proposed
    - A research schedule, which provides a work plan and
    Prospective students should send their research proposals in
    the form described above to the convenor of the Doctoral
    If the proposal is acceptable, the Department will recommend
    to the Department of Postgraduate Studies that you register as
    a doctoral student. A duly completed registration form together
    with a transcript of your complete academic record will then be
    required by the Department of Student Admissions and
    Registrations at UNISA. Accreditation of a student's academic
    qualifications is decided by this department and it handles all
    administrative enquiries.
    Method of instruction
    There are no residential requirements for studying at UNISA, which
    means that doctoral students are not expected to attend seminars
    or personal meetings with supervisors. All communication may be
    conducted via correspondence or electronic media. Students are,
    however, strongly encouraged to present and attend seminars, and
    to visit supervisors personally, if they are in a position to do so.
    When a research proposal has been approved and the student
    registered, direct contact with the supervisor can be made. The
    procedure entails the submission of completed work by the student,
    usually chapter by chapter. The supervisor comments on each
    chapter and sends it back to the student with suggestions for
    improvement. Whenever possible, a co-supervisor is also
    appointed to assist the supervisor.
    Once your thesis has been completed, you will need to obtain
    permission to submit it for examination. You are refered to the
    brochure: General Information: Master’s and Doctor’s degrees for
    the correct procedures and more information. Permission is
    usually granted only if your supervisor considers that the thesis is
    of a high standard and that you have a reasonable chance of
    passing. You will need to inform your supervisor in good time so
    that the appropriate arrangements can be made. External
    examiners are appointed by the supervisor with the agreement of
    the Chair of Department of History and the University authorities"

    Unisa Online - Detailed information on postgraduate qualifications (English bro

    We have members who have gone through this process at UNISA, other South African universities as well as Australian universities and I don't believe that there is a substantial difference.

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