​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The ADA Autumn School that was scheduled to take place from 23 – 27 March 2020 has been cancelled in light of the spread of the coronavirus and measures implemented at Stellenbosch University. We thank our delegates and presenters for being so understanding. We will be publishing news about the next steps for the Winter School 2020 (scheduled to take place early July) shortly.​

ADA Autumn School 2020​
Applications closed​​

​​​​​Workshop Info​|​​​​​​Cost|​​​​​​Format|​​​​​​Cance​llations

The ADA is presenting its second shorter format Doctoral School and first Autumn School this year from 23 - 27 March 2020. The courses, as always, will offer high impact research design and methodology training, for researchers at the late phase Masters stage and beyond, doctoral candidates (current and prospective) and their supervisors.

The two courses on offer focus on Creating a successful dissertation (25 - 27 March) and Supervising the PhD by publication: An introduction (23 - 27 March).


Please note that each course below has different offering dates. You can only attend one course, as some of the days overlap.

1 - Creating a successful dissertation  (25 - 27 March 2020)
Dr Layla Cassim (Layla Cassim ERS Consutants CC)  ​|Read more​|​ 


​​2 - Supervising the PhD by publication: An introduction​ (23 - 27 March 2020)
Prof Liezel Frick and Dr Sonja Strydom (Stellenbosch University) ​|Read more​|  



|Applications Closed​|


1. Creating a successful dissertation
2. Supervising the PhD by publication: An introduction
​Dates: 25 - 27 March 2020
​Dates: 23 - 27 March 2020
Early Bird: ​R5 650 (includes toolkit)
Standard: R6 100 (includes toolkit) 

​Early Bird: R8 150
Standard: R8 800

Additional information

  • Early Bird prices applicable till 2 March 2020
  • Last day for payment and applications: 16 March 2020
Course specific information is available on the 
Workshop Information
 section below. ​

​Included in th​e cost:

The fee includes the workshop tuition and class materials, Wi-Fi internet, refreshments, lunch and a conference pack. Not included is accommodation or your transport to Stellenbosch. Although accommodation is not included, we offer some options to secure a room for the school at our partner, S​tellenb​osch ​​​


  • All workshops are taught in English, and take place on the Stellenbosch University main campus in Stellenbosch.


  • Open - the course is open for booking and there are open spaces available. 
  • Waiting List - a waiting list is forming, but we're waiting on payment for the courses from delegates. Please register if you would like to attend and we will place your name on the list.
  • Closed - the course has a long waiting list and we have closed bookings.

The ADA reserves the right to cancel a course if the minimum attendance figures are not reached. Paid delegates will be refunded in full in the case of a course cancellation.


  • The last day for withdrawal from the ADA's Autumn School is 16 March 2020 - applicants will receive a 80% refund up until this date and thereafter a 50% refund until 20 March 2020. After 20 March 2020 there will be a 100% cancellation fee applied unless someone else can take your place.
  • No refund will be paid if attendance is cancelled after 20 March 2020.
  • The ADA reserves the right to cancel a course up to 28 February 2020.

Workshop Information​​​


Course 1: Creating a successful dissertation​

Dr Layla Cassim (Layla Cassim ERS Consultants)
25 - 27 March 2020​
Early Bird: R5 650*
Standard: R6 100*
SU staff and stude​nts paying by OE code/student account, retain the Early Bird price until bookings close.
*includes cost of toolkit
What to bring?
This three-day workshop covers the entire research process, and each day builds on what was covered the previous day.  The three-day format below allows us to cover a considerable amount of content as well as giving us time for group work, feedback and individual interactions.  Participants also receive a copy of the Postgraduate Toolkit DVD (3rd edition) – the Toolkit and the workshop reinforce each other, and participants can refer to the Toolkit chapters and voice recordings to revisit what was covered in the workshop and for additional material.
There are no prerequisite requirements for this course, as it is a preparatory course aimed at providing delegates with the background and context of the doctoral process.
​Target audience

Delegates planning to start their PhDs imminently or who are in the early phase of their PhD and want to understand the background and context of the doctoral process. Delegates who are preparing for a research degree or project.

Course Description
This is a comprehensive three-day workshop that covers the entire research process, as described below.  The aim is to demystify the process of research and to help you to complete a high quality thesis in good time. 

​​Tuesday: The research proposal

  • Introduction to research – the history, context and philosophy of research
  • Key ethical considerations in research
  • Narrowing down the scope of the research project
  • The structure of a comprehensive research proposal, which each component discussed in detail
  • Key terminology, such as the research question, problem statement, aims and objectives
  • The 'golden thread'​​

Wednesday: Research design and methodology

  • ​Defining research design and methodology​​
  • The importance of effective record keeping 
  • Different types of data and how to choose the most appropriate data for your research:
  • Primary and secondary
  • Qualitative and quantitative data 
  • 18 commonly-used research methods across a range of disciplines and how to choose the most appropriate method(s) for your research
  • Key concepts examiners are likely to raise: 
  • ​​Sampling, error, bias, reliability, validity and pilot testing
  • Qualitative and quantitative data analysis 
  • An example of a Research design and methodology chapter
  • Project management principles to structure and plan your research 
Thursday: Thesis writing
  • Important initial considerations and possible stumbling blocks:
    • When to start writing 
    • Institutional requirements regarding the thesis 
    • The editing process
    • Writer's block
    • Time management
    • Stress, health and quality of life challenges 
  • Different structures/ formats of a thesis
  • How to write the thesis, with each chapter/ section discussed in detail
  • Writing a quality literature review
  • Theoretical frameworks and how to incorporate these in the thesis 
  • The thesis examination process 
    • University requirements
    • Typical examiners' questions and dealing with feedback
  • Common mistakes to avoid in academic writing ​
Course Outcomes

A​t the end of the course, the delegates will be able to:

  • Complete a comprehensive, well conceptualised research proposal
  • Justify why they have used particular research methods, and show how these are appropriate for their research
  • Discuss what steps they have undertaken to decrease the potential for error and bias, and what they have done to increase the reliability and validity of their research
  • Have an interdisciplinary, intersectional understanding of research
  • Present their findings in a logical, user-friendly thesis format that meets the university's requirements for submission and that satisfies examiners
  • Address various quality of life challenges that can make it more difficult to complete the research project, such as time management, writer's block, stress and health-related problems

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​Course 2: Supervising the PhD by publication: An introduction​

Prof Liezel Frick and Dr Sonja Strydom (Stellenbosch University)
23 - 27 March 2020
Early Bird: R8 150
Standard: R8 800
SU staff and stude​nts paying by OE code/student account, retain the Early Bird price until bookings close.
Discipline Fields
All disciplines considering supervising a PhD by publication.
Basic computer literacy
Access to a wi-fi enabled laptop / tablet for the duration of the course
Delegates should have a Gmail account to access some online resources. 
​Target audience

Supervisors interested in exploring PhD by publication as alternative to the monograph thesis. Applicants should be about to graduate with their PhDs, or are already supervising a thesis.

Course Description
During this hands-on course, participants will be introduced to a number of themes related to a PhD by publication. We will begin the journey of discovery by highlighting the main tenets of PhD by publication. In particular, we will draw on the differences between a monograph and thesis by publication. During this session we will also explore institutional policies related to this format and how agency and power relations could be considered in moving a conversation about this format further in an institution.
The next theme focuses on raising awareness of the pedagogical approaches associated with PhD by publication. Feedback and critical views from practicing and experienced supervisors will form the basis of this theme. This theme will be followed by a practical session where emphasis will be placed on the development of a supervision framework which could benefit both student and supervisor. 
The last two themes underline the importance of sharing scholarly work based on this format with the broader community. Firstly, we will examine the different steps to consider when deciding to publish one of the articles in the thesis in academic journals. This will be followed by an exploration of alternative ways of sharing your scholarly voice. Particular emphasis will be placed on various modes of online dissemination of your scholarly work.

Course Outcomes

​After completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • ​Outline the main differences between a monograph and thesis by publication
  • Explore context-specific pedagogical approaches relevant to their own institutions
  • Critically explore the different aspects related to the development of a supervision framework
  • Understand the various facets to be considered when preparing for article publication in an academic journal
  • Highlight alternative online modes of sharing their scholarly voice with a broader community

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