The BA Honours qualification consists of the following:

  1. Four compulsory modules that form 50% of the programme and which are assessed continuously through various types of written assignments.
  2. A minor research project forming 50% of the programme in which students present a research report (mini-thesis) on an approved topic.

Compulsory modules

FILC6814 Cognitive and cultural philosophy
FILR6814 Philosophy of rationality,action and mind
FILP6824 A philosophical text study
FILT6824 Philosophy and Theology

Research Module

FILR6800 Research Report: Philosophy (Honours)

Research Protocol for Postgraduate Supervision and Study in the Department of Philosophy

Principles for supervision

Permanent full-time academic staff may be approached to supervise postgraduate students in their areas of specialisation. It must be clearly understood that no supervision will be allowed to study in a field in which no staff member of the department has the expertise to lead the prospective student. In rare cases, consideration may be given to make use of an outside expert to supervise a student in the department if the necessary expertise is not available in the department.

Study guidance/supervision will be limited to a combination of three (3) higher-level postgraduate students on PhD and/or MA level per supervisor. Supervision of Honours students will be limited to a maximum of two students per supervisor.

Extracurricular academic activities

While it stands to reason that postgraduate students will likely choose to participate in extracurricular activities to build their academic profile, earn additional income, or maintain exposure, said activities should be curtailed to the absolute minimum. These activities must be negotiated with the supervisor as well as the Academic Head of Department, as the focus of the students should be on their postgraduate studies.

Application process

Due to the fact that some potential postgraduate students might not be adequately prepared for the rigours of postgraduate research and writing, the Department of Philosophy requires the implementation of a protocol that would protect both the department and the prospective student.

The proposed protocol would entail the following:

  • Enquiry
    When a potential student enquires about the possibility of continuing with postgraduate studies in philosophy, the first step would be to identify the area of expertise, and whether it can be accommodated in the department.
    If not, the student will be sent a polite letter of rejection. If the answer is YES, it will have to be determined whether the department can accommodate the potential student. This will allow the process to continue.
  • Application process
    The potential student will supply the department with a CV and a basic research proposal, which will be submitted to the department for discussion. Based on this discussion, the applicant will be sent a polite letter of rejection or allowed to continue with the process.
  • Submission of essay
    The applicant must, on receipt of his preliminary acceptance letter, be prepared to present and defend his/her proposed topic in front of a departmental committee. Only if this process is successful, will the student be allowed to continue to the next phase.
  • Assignment
    After successfully defending his/own work, the applicant will be given 72 hours to complete an essay on a topic to be decided on by the department, which also has to be discussed and defended.
  • Decision
    After successfully completion of this assignment, a collective decision by the department will allow the student into the postgraduate programme of the Department of Philosophy at the UFS.
  • Acceptance
    Should the prospective student accept the decision and recommendations of the department, the student will be expected to sign a contract.
  • Contract
    The contract with the student will include, but not be limited to the following:
    1. Permissions
      Any proposed extracurricular activities must be specified, negotiated on, and granted permission to continue with during the period of study.
    2. Meeting schedule
      This will include set meetings with supervisor/study leader at the rate of at least one meeting per month.
    3. Submission schedule
      Agreement on work schedule and regular submissions of completed work.
    4. Ethics clearance
      The proposal and ethics clearance need to be completed within the first three months of study to enable the student to continue with less stress and more focus.
    5. Postgraduate seminars
      The potential student will be expected to present at least once every six months, but attend at least 80% of the postgraduate seminars in the department.
    6. Bursary commitments
      Should the student be a recipient of a departmental/UFS bursary, the exclusions/stipulations will be included.
    7. Other
      Should any specific conditions apply to a student, it can be included as well.

The MA Philosophy is a research qualification consisting of writing a master’s dissertation on original research. The topic of the dissertation is chosen in consultation with the supervisor(s).

The PhD Philosophy is a research qualification consisting of writing a doctoral thesis on original research. The topic of the thesis is chosen in consultation with the supervisor(s).


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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