GENERAL ACADEMIC REGULATIONS FOR MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREES AND DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREES.

 

 

  1. PREAMBLE
    • The Senate shall be the final authority for the interpretation of these Regulations.
    • The Senate reserves the right to alter, amend, repeal, suspend or replace any of these Regulations.
    • A candidate who has started a programme of study following one set of Regulations shall not be affected by Regulations for each faculty which shall be subject to approval by the Senate.
    • The General Academic Regulations shall take precedence over the Faculty Regulations.
    • Every candidate, by the act of registering, agrees to abide by all the rules, regulations and policies of the University and of the relevant Faculty and Department.
    • Candidates shall be held liable for contravening any of these regulations.
    • In these Regulations the following terms shall be used as described: –

 

“Programme”

A plan of study lasting over a period of time, which leads to the award of a degree of the University.

 

“Level”

A prescribed period of study.

 

“Semester”

A prescribed period of study normally made up of 6 months.

 

“Subject”

A field of study offered by the Department

 

 “Thesis”

A defined practical assignment, which is separately examinable.

 

“Progress Report”

A document that outlines work done for a particular semester.

 

“Deferment”

Suspension of studies for a period of at least one semester.

 

“Presumed withdrawn”

A candidate is presumed to have withdrawn from his/her studies when after the candidate has completed all registration formalities and without explanation fails to submit progress report.

 

“Concept Note”

A 3 to 5 page document that outlines an area and nature of study.

 

  1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
    • The MPhil and DPhil degrees are Postgraduate degrees carried out primarily through supervised research work.
    • Studies may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis.
    • The degrees shall be offered in all Faculties and Departments. Fields of study or research are determined by Senate on the recommendation of Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations (DCAR).
  2. FACULTY REGULATIONS

There shall be Faculty and Departmental Regulations, which shall be read in conjunction with the General Postgraduate Regulations. Specific restrictions on the area of study and additional requirements may be prescribed in the Faculty Regulations.

  1. POSTGRADUATE DEGREES

The University may offer the following higher degrees by research.

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil).
  1. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION

5.1           Master of Philosophy Degree

Normally, applicants must have obtained an appropriate honours degree in the First or Upper Second Division.

5.2            Doctor of Philosophy

Normally, a good Master’s Degree in the relevant field shall be required to register for a DPhil Degree.

  1. APPLICATION PROCEDURE

6.1        Application forms for the various programmes shall be obtainable from:

Admissions, Registration and Student Statistics Office  

Midlands State University

P Bag 9055

Gweru

Zimbabwe

 

Alternatively, forms can be downloaded from the University Website, www4.msu.ac.zw.

 

6.2        The completed application forms for the MPhil & DPhil degrees must be returned to the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office together with a concept note of the candidate’s proposed study. The concept note guidelines can be downloaded from the university website. The other requirements are indicated in the application form.

6.3      For the MPhil and DPhil programmes, there is no deadline for the submission

of applications.

6.4       Applications shall be processed by the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office and

forwarded for consideration to the relevant department; Faculty Higher Degrees

Committee and the Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations.

6.5     The Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations’ decision on the application shall

be communicated to the applicant through the Research and Postgraduate Studies

Office.

6.6    The Deputy Registrar (Academic Affairs) shall issue provisional offer letter to

successful applicants.

6.7    The provisional offer letter shall be valid for 3 months.  Failure to provisionally

register within the prescribed period shall result in the applicant forfeiting the offer.

 

  1. REGISTRATION

     7.1                   Provisional Registration

7.1.1.          Candidates shall be provisionally registered for the DPhil/MPhil degree when they first enrol. The purpose of provisional registration is:

(i)           to allow the candidate time to develop a proposal for the thesis;

(ii)          to allow the candidate to demonstrate their suitability as a candidate for the degree, by meeting the requirements established by the University.

7.1.2            Provisional registration shall not normally exceed 12 months for DPhil candidates.

7.1.3            Provisional registration shall not normally exceed 6 months for MPhil students.

7.1.4           The period of provisional registration shall count towards the stipulated minimum period of registration.

7.2               Full Registration

Normally at the end of provisional registration period, candidates shall be required to apply for full registration for the DPhil/MPhil degree provided they have successfully presented their final proposals at a scheduled Faculty Seminar Series.

7.3               If a candidate does not meet the requirements for full registration within 12    months of provisional registration, the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee shall recommend to the Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations that the candidate’s enrolment be terminated.

7.4               Normally, MPhil and DPhil students are not required to attend any taught graduate classes as part of the degree, but are encouraged to participate in workshops, seminars and other educational opportunities offered by the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office and Faculties.

7.5                Candidates shall register for their studies every semester throughout the duration of the study.

7.6               Candidates who fail to register within the registration period designated by the University shall forfeit their right to register for the semester.

  1. DURATION OF STUDY PROGRAMMES

8.1             The following shall normally be the duration for the completion of the Postgraduate higher degrees:

PROGRAMME MINIMUM PERIOD MAXIMUM PERMITTED DURATION (Including registration)
MPhil
Full-Time 1 ½ years 3 years
Part-Time 2 years 4 years
DPhil                                                                                                         
Full-Time 3 years 5 years
Part-Time 3 years 6 years

 

8.2    Re-registration: Upon the expiry of the stipulated study period, a candidate who has not been able to complete the programme may be allowed to re-register for an additional one year only to complete the programme on the following terms:

  • Such a candidate shall complete the requisite registration forms, stating clearly the reasons for his/her inability to complete the programme within the approved period.
  • The candidates’ supervisor(s) shall also indicate clearly the reasons for the delay.
  • The Head of the relevant Department/Institute/School shall forward the application with his/her recommendations to the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee. A copy of the application shall also be sent to the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office.
  • The Faculty Higher Degrees Committee shall make recommendations to Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations.
  • There is no extension to re-register.
  1. TRANSFER FROM MPhil TO DPhil

A candidate registered for the MPhil degree may apply, after completion of not less than nine months, if his/her supervisor so recommends, for permission to transfer his/her registration and to proceed to the DPhil. The application must be accompanied by a written recommendation from the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee and must be submitted through the Postgraduate Studies Office to Senate on recommendations of Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations. The length of further study, if any, which he/she will be required to pursue for the DPhil will be prescribed.

  1. TRANSFER FROM DPhil TO MPhil

A candidate registered for the DPhil, who wishes to proceed instead to the MPhil, may, if his/her supervisor so recommends, apply for permission to transfer his/her registration and to proceed to the MPhil. The application must be accompanied by a written recommendation from the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee and must be submitted through the Postgraduate Studies Office to the Senate upon recommendation by the Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations. The length of further study, if any, which he/she will be required to pursue for the MPhil will be prescribed.

 

  1. RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

A candidate registered for a two-year Masters or DPhil degree may be allowed to pursue part

of his/her studies outside the University provided that:

 

(i)            He/she is able to satisfy the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee that he/she will have access to suitable facilities for his/her work; and

(ii)           He/she shall be available to supervisors from time to time for discussion of his/her work. In the case of a candidate who transfers from a Masters registration, the previous period of study may be counted toward the minimum residence requirement.

  1. SUPERVISION OF MPHIL/DPHIL STUDIES

12.1         Supervision Requirements

12.1.1      Candidates shall conduct their research under the guidance of a supervisor approved by Dean’s Committee on Academic Regulations. The following shall hold:

12.1.2      Each DPhil/MPhil degree candidate shall normally be assigned a main supervisor and a co-supervisor, either from Midlands State University or other national, regional and international universities and research institutions.

12.1.3 Where there is capacity, the main supervisor shall be from Midlands State University.

12.1.4      A candidate can have one supervisor provided the supervisor is a Professor and possibly a recognised authority in the candidate’s proposed area of study.

12.1.5      Departments have the mandate to secure supervisors for candidates. However, should a candidate identify a supervisor, the department should scrutinize and endorse the supervisor.

12.1.6     All members of the supervisory team shall be suitably qualified scholars.

12.1.7     The supervisors are approved by the Deans’ Committee upon recommendation of the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee.

12.1.8      The Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies shall appoint the approved supervisors.

12.2         Qualifications of Supervisors

12.2.1 Academic supervisors must:

(i) for DPhil candidates have a PhD and for MPhil candidates have a PhD or MPhil                      degree;

(ii) normally have previous experience of postgraduate supervision;

(iii) have sufficient or appropriate academic knowledge of the candidate’s research topic.

12.2.2  The main supervisor must have a minimum of eight (8) publications in reputable high impact journals.

12.2.3  The co-supervisor must have a minimum of five (5) publications in reputable high impact journals.

12.3        Role of Supervisors

12.3.1     The supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the candidature is appropriately advised, supported and resourced (seek donor funds/scholarships).

12.3.2     Academic supervisors are responsible to the Department and to the wider University. Their role is to jointly provide expertise in the topic of the thesis and research supervision. They are expected to supervise candidates to undertake research and complete the thesis within an agreed time frame, and to encourage the highest possible academic standards.

12.3.3     The supervisors are responsible for overseeing the academic development of the candidate including six-monthly progress reporting, the transition from provisional to full registration, thesis preparation and other academic requirements of the candidate for the conduct of research.

  • Supervisors and candidates must have an agreed work plan.

12.3.5    The supervisors shall report on each candidate’s progress at the end of each semester to the Postgraduate Studies Office.

12.4         Supervision Load

Normally a supervisor shall be permitted to supervise a maximum of 5 DPhil and 5 Masters Candidates.

12.5         Changes to the Composition of the Supervisory Team

12.5.1      Where a supervisor is removed from or added to the supervisory team, the change shall be approved by the DCAR on the recommendation of the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee.

12.5.2      Any supervisor-supervisee challenges shall normally be resolved by the Chairperson of the Department in consultation with the Executive Dean of the Faculty and where necessary, the Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies.

12.6         Supervision Allowances

12.6.1 Supervisors shall be paid an allowance every semester as determined by the University, provided the candidate being supervised is registered and has been supervised for the semester.

12.6.2 No supervision allowances shall be paid where a student has submitted his/her thesis for examination, and has passed subject to minor corrections.

 

  1. PROGRAMME OF STUDY

13.1  Candidates must maintain regular contact with their supervisors.

  • No break in the normal continuity of study will be permitted, except by permission of the Senate.
  • A full-time candidate may be engaged in teaching at the University, provided that the total demand made by teaching duties does not exceed twelve hours of work, per week, including preparation and marking.
  • A candidate who is employed outside University, or a staff member employed in the University for more than eight hours per week, other than on the research programme for which he/she proposes to be registered, may normally be accepted for registration only on a part time basis.
  • DEFERMENT OF STUDIES

14.1       A candidate who wishes to defer his/her study programme shall apply in advance stating reasons why he/she wants to defer his /her study programme. Permission must duly be granted before he/she leaves the University.

  • A candidate registered for the Postgraduate programme may not break his/her programme of study for more than two consecutive semesters without the approval of Senate on the recommendations of the Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations.
  • The candidate shall make sure the deferment process is finalised before leaving the university. No retrospective authorisation shall be allowed.
  • A candidate who fails to defer studies shall be deemed to have been supervised and their accounts will be debited with fees for the relevant semester.
  • Deferment shall be communicated to the candidate’s supervisors.
  • On resumption of studies, the candidate shall complete the resumption of studies form for approval. A copy of the approved form shall be submitted to the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office.
  • ELIGIBILITY FOR EXAMINATIONS.

15.1       Only supervised thesis is eligible for examination.

  • DPhil candidates must have at least two publications in reputable refereed journals emanating from the doctoral research.

15.3       MPhil students must have at least a draft manuscript emanating from the research.

  • THESIS SUBMISSION

16.1 A thesis for the MPhil or DPhil degree must make a significant and substantial contribution to knowledge or practice and demonstrate evidence of originality (attach similarity index report).

16.2 A thesis submitted for MPhil/DPhil degree shall normally be as follows excluding preliminary pages and appendices:

                 Arts

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

Commerce

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

Education

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

Law

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

               Medicine

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

 

Mining and Mineral Processing

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

Natural Resources Management and Agriculture

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

 

                 Science and Technology

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

                 Social Sciences

MPhil                                                                                150 pages

DPhil                                                                                 250 pages

                

  • A candidate shall not be permitted to submit as his/her thesis, a thesis for which a degree has been conferred in this or any other university, but a candidate shall not be precluded from incorporating work which he/she has already submitted for a degree in this or another university provided that he/she shall indicate on his/her form of entry and also in his/her thesis any work which has been incorporated.
  • The thesis shall consist of the candidate’s own account of his/her research. It may describe work done in conjunction with other person(s) provided that the candidate shall state clearly his/her contribution in the investigation and that his/her statement shall have been certified by the supervisor(s).
  • Four typed and printed copies of the thesis in spirally bound form shall be submitted to the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office. The size shall be standard A4 paper except for drawings and maps on which no restriction is placed. Where the thesis is typed using 1.5 spacing, font size 12 and Roman Times font, only one side of the paper shall be used with a margin of 5 cm on the left hand side of the paper. After the thesis has been approved, it must be bound in standard form Art Vellum or cloth; overcast; edges uncut; lettered boldly up back in gold (0.5-1.25 cm) degree; date and name; before the award of the degree is published by the Registrar. Four bound copies must be presented to the University with the approval of the Departmental Chairperson.
  • Copies of the thesis that have been accepted for the award of the degree shall be distributed as follows:-
  • one copy shall be deposited in the University Library.
  • second copy shall be presented to the Department,
  • a third copy shall be given back to the candidate, and
  • the fourth copy shall be kept by the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office.
  • EXAMINATION
    • THESIS EXAMINATION
      • A candidate who intends to submit his/her thesis for examination shall inform the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office by completing and submitting an Intention to Submit Form six months before the proposed date of submission. The form can be obtained from the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office or downloaded from the University website.
      • Upon receipt of the Intention to Submit Form, the relevant Departmental Board shall submit a list of six potential examiners to the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office. A panel comprising one internal and two external examiners shall be appointed by the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office to examine the thesis.
      • A separate report, duly signed, shall be submitted by each Examiner to the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office in respect of the thesis submitted for the degree.
      • The examiners’ reports on the thesis shall indicate as comprehensively as possible whether or not the candidate demonstrates a good general knowledge of the particular field of learning within which the subject of his/her thesis falls; whether or not the presentation of the candidates’ material is satisfactory; and whether or not the thesis meets the requirements of the degree.
      • Upon receipt of the three examiners’ reports, the Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies Office shall convene an Internal Examination Committee meeting to make a decision on whether or not the candidate shall proceed for an oral examination. The preliminary meeting shall comprise the Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies Office (chairing), the Faculty Executive Dean, Departmental Chairperson and 2 senior academics from the Faculty.
      • If a thesis submitted for a degree is judged to be inadequate, the Internal Examination Committee shall recommend that the candidate be permitted to resubmit for examination in a revised form within a stipulated period. The candidate shall register for the stipulated period. The candidate shall be deemed to have failed the degree if he/she does not resubmit the revised thesis within the stipulated period.
      • No candidate shall resubmit thesis for examination more than once.
      • A candidate shall be called for an oral examination if at least two of the examiners pass the thesis.
    • ORAL EXAMINATION
      • The candidate shall be given 1 month notice in writing of the pending examination.
      • An oral examination shall be chaired by the Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies Office and shall also include at least 2 examiners; at least 1 supervisor; the Executive Dean of the Faculty; the Chairperson of the Department; 1 senior academic member from the Department; 1 senior academic member nominated by the Dean of the Faculty and the Deputy Registrar (Academic Affairs).
      • The purpose of the oral examination is for the Board of Examiners to satisfy itself that the thesis was done by the candidate and that he/she can articulate to its contents.
    • EXAMINATION VERDICT
      • The final decision shall be based on the thesis examination and oral examination.
      • The final examination decision shall fall within one of the following categories:
    • Pass
    • Pass subject to minor corrections
    • Pass subject to major corrections to the satisfaction of the candidate’s supervisor and the department.
      • The outcome of the examination shall be forwarded by the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office to the Academic Board for approval of results.
      • In the event of a candidate failing, the candidate may submit a duly motivated appeal in writing to the Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies Office within one month of release of results. The Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies Office shall submit such appeal, together with the examiners’ reports to the Internal Examination Committee. If the appeal is granted, the Executive Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies Office in consultation with the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee shall appoint an independent examiner who shall act as an arbiter. The outcome of the arbiter shall be final and binding.
  1. DEFERMENT OF ORAL EXAMINATION

18.1 On grounds of ill-heath

A candidate who has satisfied all the requirements, but is unable to take the oral examination on grounds of ill health, shall, on application to the Deans’ Committee on Academic Regulations, and on provision of a Medical Certificate issued or endorsed by the University Medical Officer, be allowed to defer the examination, and shall be allowed to take them at the next offering.

Subsequent application for deferment, on grounds of ill health, shall be      subject to a Medical Certificate issued by a properly constituted Medical Board.

18.2    On grounds other than ill-health

In cases of deferment on grounds other than ill-health, the Executive Dean Research and Postgraduate Studies shall invite the applicant for an interview and advise the University as appropriate. It shall be the candidate’s responsibility to satisfy the University beyond reasonable doubt why he/she wishes to defer the studies.

18.3        In all cases of deferment, the applicant(s) shall obtain written responses from the Registrar before leaving the University.

  1. FEES
    • Fees for tuition, residence and examination shall be paid at rates prescribed by University from time to time.
    • Examination shall not be held unless a candidate has discharged obligations owed to the University including payment of the appropriate tuition and examination fees.
  • PUBLICATION OF RESULTS
    • Results of examinations shall be published by the Registrar upon satisfactory fulfilment of all the stipulated requirements for the degree.
    • A result pass list indicating the candidate’s performance in the examination shall be made available to the candidate.
  • AWARD OF DEGREE
    • An MPhil/DPhil degree appropriately designated shall be awarded to a candidate who has been properly admitted to the University, has followed the approved programme of study over the period, and has fulfilled both the University requirements.
    • The result of an examination held for the award of an MPhil/DPhil degree shall be laid before the Senate for approval. Thereafter, the Degree shall be conferred under the seal of the University upon each successful candidate.
  • CANCELLATION OF AWARD

Notwithstanding previous confirmation of an award of a degree, Senate may at anytime cancel an award, even with retrospective effect, if it becomes known that:-

  • a candidate had entered the University with false qualifications, or
  • a candidate had impersonated someone else, or
  • a candidate had been guilty of an examination malpractice for which a Grade Z would have been awarded, or
  • that there are other reasons that would have led to the withholding of confirmation of the award in the first place.

In any such event, the decision of Senate shall be published on the University Notice Board and the candidate notified.

  • TRANSCRIPT OF ACADEMIC RECORD

At the end of a candidate’s programme, the University shall issue to the particular candidate a complete transcript of his/her academic record.