Master’s Dissertation

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Students with an Honours qualification in another Natural Science discipline and who meet the basic requirements and approval, can also enrol for a Master’s in Environmental Science (under the banner of Geography).

Admission requirements:

  • An Honours Baccalaureus Degree in Geography
  • An Honours B-Degree in a subject other than Geography will also be considered providing that Geography was taken as a major for the B-Degree. In this, candidates must successfully complete the following two modules of the Honours programme in Geography, over and above applicable additional study that may be required: (1) Philosophy and Methodology  and (2) Any other related module of the Honours programme in Geography.

This qualification requires students to:

  • Identify and formulate a research problem related to the science of Geography.
  • Conduct research in this problem independently.
  • Prepare a research dissertation according to the requirements of the Department of Geography and Environmental Management.
  • Publish his/her research results (or part thereof) in an accredited scientific journal.

Purpose and characteristics of the programme

  • The primary purpose of the MSc dissertation is to provide students with specialised advanced education and training while meeting the requirements of a specific research component so that students can master the required experimental and technological skills and necessary fieldwork competencies such as innovation, decision-making, strategic thinking and organisational skills.
  • A dissertation-based Master of Science degree consists of a comprehensive study of a specialized area in the field of specialisation, reported on and submitted in the form of a dissertation at the end of the programme.
  • The degree demands a high level of intellectual and theoretical knowledge and insight into problems related to the field of study and of critical reasoning, formulation, analysis and evaluation of a specific problem in the field of study.
  • Exit level outcomes

Students should be able to: 

  • Use a range of specialized skills to identify, analyse and deal with complex problems and issues drawing systematically and creatively on the theories, research methodologies, methods/techniques, literature and materials of their discipline/field of specialisation
  • Operate autonomously and take responsibility for their own work and be accountable for the work of others when working with others in a team
  • Manage learning tasks autonomously and professionally and continue and sustain independent learning and academic professional development
  • Demonstrate advanced information retrieval and processing skills to identify, analyse, synthesise and independently evaluate quantitative and/or qualitative data, using appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive, systematic and integrated specialist knowledge of the discipline/field with a coherent and critical understanding of the theories, research methodologies, epistemologies, and methods/techniques relevant to their science discipline/ field of specialisation
  • Evaluate their own and others’ academic work and initiatives against a range of criteria
  • Present and communicate the results of research by appropriate academic/professional discourse, and produce a dissertation or research report which meets the standards of scholarly/ professional writing/presentation
  • Operate in specialised science contexts and utilize ethical decision-making skills in dealing with complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements on such issues
  • Critique and evaluate current research and participate in scholarly debates, addressing both theory and practice, in the science area of specialisation
  • Develop a mastery of the application of research methodologies, methods/techniques and technologies applicable to the science area of specialisation
  • Plan, execute and write up research, investigation or development in the science area of specialisation under some supervision