• Postgraduate School
    Postgraduate Open Day: Mapping the journey
    Learn how you can "study to make a difference."
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  • Postgraduate School
    Postgraduate School expands research base

    The Postgraduate School forms part of the university’s evolving orientation towards becoming a research-led university.

  • Postgraduate School
    Postgraduate students equipped for success
    We value our postgraduate students and want to provide them with professional academic development and support services, as well as opportunities to ensure a fulfilling postgraduate journey.
  • Postgraduate School
    Postgraduate School an empowering environment
    At the Postgraduate School we promote excellent postgraduate education through the development of an empowering environment for researchers and postgraduate students.
  • Postgraduate School
    Research and researcher equally important
    We believe that postgraduate education should focus not only on the completion of a thesis or dissertation, but also on the development of the researcher.

Resource Centre

Videos from some of our previous courses and workshops can be found on our Youtube page. Videos currently available include those from Research Paradigms, Research Design, Questionnaire Design, Writing Scientific Articles, and Quantitative Methodology workshops.

Links to selected external online resources covering different aspects of postgraduate research, based on the 4 areas of the Vitae Researcher Development framework (Personal Effectiveness, Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities, Research Governance and Organisation, and Engagement, Influence and Impact) which you may find useful are below.


General resources: 

Palgrave Study skills (postgraduate section) – includes sections on: the initial stages of research, research skills audit, your supervisor, draft proposal, research methodology, literature review, analysing data, writing the thesis, etc. Includes podcasts and written versions of the audio files.

Social Research Methods Educational Resources & Resource Reviews (University of Huddersfield, UK) – a collection of links to videos available online, under the following categories: methodology and research design, data collection, data quality/management, data analysis/handling, ICT/software/simulation, Research skills, communication and dissemination.

PULP - the Postgraduate School's guide to being a postgraduate student at UFS, and research in general


Research Methodology - General:

Research Methods Knowledge base – online textbook about social research methods, covering the entire research process.

Choosing appropriate research methodologies – from the Palgrave Study skills website, based on ‘The Postgraduate Study Skills Handbook’ by Gina Wisker.


Research Methodology – Qualitative:

A Guide to Qualitative Research Methodology – 30 page pdf file.

Qualitative Methods Research Overview – 13 page pdf file.

Qualitative Research – 40 page pdf file.


Research Methodology (Quantitative):

Introduction to Quantitative Research – 10 page pdf file.

Quantitative methods for Social Science research papers – includes sections on Characteristics of Quantitative Research, Basic Research Design for Quantitative Studies, Strengths/Limitations of using Quantitative Methods


Research Methodology (Mixed Methods):

Understanding Mixed Methods research – 19 page pdf


Academic Writing (basic):

Phrasebank (University of Manchester, UK) – contains examples of different phrases that can be used for academic writing, divided up into different sections e.g. introducing your work, reviewing literature, describing methods. Primarily designed for non-English first language speakers, but also useful for English first-language speakers as well.

Online Writing Lab (Purdue University, USA) – English as a second language section, including sections on English grammar and mechanics.


Academic Writing (advanced):

Advice on Academic Writing (University of Toronto, Canada) – contains general advice as well as advice on specific types of writing e.g. academic proposals, literature reviews, abstracts, and writing for different academic subjects.

Writing Skills (University of Manchester, UK) – 6 online tutorials (15 minutes each), on the topics of: proofreading, referencing, understanding your task, writing your essay, avoiding plagiarism, and developing and organising your argument.


Statistical analysis:

Quantitative Methods – aimed at social scientists, with links to videos and other resources about statistics and probability, from basic to more advanced levels. Also includes guides to statistical software such as SPSS, R and Stata.

Statistical Resources for Economics and Social Sciences – links to online resources including videos and handouts.


Writing a research proposal:

Writing Research Proposals (Drew University, USA).

How to write a brilliant research proposal – includes some more links at the bottom.


Writing a funding proposal:

Guide for writing a funding proposal (Michigan State University, USA) – includes written examples of each section of the proposal.

Writing a Successful Grant Proposal (Minnesota Council on Foundations, USA).


Writing an academic article:

Structuring an academic argument within a journal paper (University of South Australia).

Ten tips for writing an academic journal article


Writing a conference paper:

Writing a Conference paper – 20 page pdf.

Writing and presenting a conference paper (University of Maryland, USA) – includes links to other resources.

How to give an effective conference paper


Action Research:

Action Research – Youtube videos featuring Jean McNiff sharing information on her support for action research in a AR project with postgraduate students in Khayelitsha, South Africa


Research Paradigms:

Research Terminology: Youtube videos on Complex Research Terminology Simplified: Paradigms, Ontology, Epistemology and Methodology

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