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Online PhD Preparedness course

Course Description

This course is a 12 week online course that ran for the second time from 7th September until 29th November 2020. Course dates for 2021 - to be announced.

The course is designed especially for students who already have a Master’s degree, and are interested in bridging the gap before pursuing a PhD. It is run exclusively online, which means students need to put aside 6-8 hours a week and access the course material online. The course does include assessments and only students who pass the assessments will be rewarded a UCT certificate of completion.

The course will introduce students to life as a PhD student, walking them through academic reading and writing skills required at PhD level, before looking at the kind of support PhD students will require during their years of study. It explains what philosophical approaches are and introduces some philosophical and theoretical frameworks. There is a short section (one week) on computer skills for which students need to set up a thesis document and filing system. The course advises on the structure of a research thesis before wrapping up at the end of week 12.

Course outline 

  • Introduction (Week 1)
  • Academic reading and writing skills (Weeks 2-5)
  • PhD support (Week 6)
  • Computer skills for PhD (Weeks 7-10)
  • Structure of a thesis (Week 11)
  • Wrap-up (Week 12)

Who hosts the course

The Harry Crossley Children's Nursing Development Unit in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town. The Children's Nursing Development Unit is directed by Assoc Prof Minette Coetzee.

Student requirements 

Students need to have completed a Master’s Degree and have reliable access to the internet.

Applications and registration

Prospective students are required to complete a UCT application form with a short motivation /intention statement. We will then email the link to the course and details of how to connect ready for the commence  date. 

Course outcomes

Students need to complete weekly assessments which include written work and online tests and quizzes. On successful completion of the course, a UCT certificate is rewarded. This certificate can be used to strengthen an application to UCT or any other university when ready to pursue a PhD. Please note that the course is not credit bearing and completion does not include automatic access to any PhD programme, it is merely a preparation programme.

For further information about this course and associated fees, please feel free to e-mail ce.administration@uct.ac.za or call 021 650 5246