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The past two decades have seen a huge growth in interest in doctoral studies, not only in South Africa but elsewhere as well. Changes in the funding framework for universities in South Africa, in particular, has meant that from 2005 onwards, more funding has been available. However, postgraduate studies are challenging. The “digital revolution”, as one example, has had a radical impact on the way research is done in the 21st century. Because of the more widespread availability of information (including personal information), students have had to become more accountable when they conduct research. How to succeed in your master’s and doctoral studies is organised around eight steps that should be followed for the successful and ethical completion of postgraduate studies, whether they be traditional master’s theses, mini-theses or doctoral dissertations.

 How to succeed in your master’s and doctoral studies is based on first-hand knowledge of students’ experiences with postgraduate studies: what the challenges and problems were, how they navigated the supervisory process and the different styles and approaches of supervisors, the support (or lack thereof) they received from the universities where they had enrolled, and much more.

 Contents include the following:

  • Step 1: Getting started
  • Step 2: Working with a supervisor
  • Step 3: Scanning the field of study
  • Step 4: Developing the research proposal
  • Step 5: Managing research resources
  • Step 6: Undertaking a comprehensive review of the literature
  • Step 7: The research process
  • Step 8: Organising and writing the thesis

 How to succeed in your master’s and doctoral studies is aimed at students embarking on postgraduate studies.