Division for Research Development
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Creating your Thesis or Dissertation - Parts 1, 2 & 3


This three-day workshop is open to all registered SU postgraduate students from different SU departments and faculties. The workshop covers the entire research process, from the proposal stage, all the way to research design and methodology and thesis writing.  The aim in these three-days is to demystify the research process and to help postgraduates complete a high quality thesis or dissertation in good time.   

Note: lt is important to attend all three days, as this workshop has been designed as an integrated, three-day package.  Part 1 precedes the Creating your Thesis or Dissertation Part 2 and Part 3 sessions.

Part (Day) 1: Fundamentals of research and creating a sound research proposal

Day one will cover what is research, research within a South African context and some of the challenges being experienced; key ethical considerations in research; and the importance of narrowing down the scope of the research project.  This will provide context for the structure of a comprehensive research proposal. K​ey terminology will be defined, such as the research question, problem statement, aims and objectives, and how these are interrelated to give us the 'golden thread'.  These components are the basic building blocks of any research project.  

Part (Day) 2: Research design and methodology

Day two will define research design and methodology, and why careful planning is a key component of this. The presenter will discuss the different types of data (primary and secondary; quantitative and qualitative), and the advantages and disadvantages of each. How to choose the most appropriate method(s) for your research and how to structure a comprehensive research design and methodology chapter. Day two will also outline the kinds of questions that examiners are likely to raise about your research and how to address these. ​

Part (Day) 3: Thesis writing

Day three will cover when to start writing, the process of editing, writer's block and common mistakes in academic writing. It will also look at other important considerations such as time management, stress, health and quality of life challenges. After going through the full structure of the thesis such as what goes where, day three will then explore how to choose and use theoretical frameworks. Covering additional considerations such as the University requirements relating to thesis/dissertation submission, and examiners' expectations.  ​


The workshop is presented in English.


This workshop opportunity is funded by the Postgraduate Office.​ There is no cost involved for registered SU postgraduates who sign up and attend, however, in the case of late cancellations or non-attendance, applicants will be responsible for the full workshop fee since late cancellations and non-attendance have considerable cost implications for our Office.​

Target audience

Current SU Master's and doctoral students, especially those at the start of their research degree.

Online course format

Course content is made available to enrolled particiants via SUNLearn. The online 1-hour feedback sessions are conducted via Microsoft Teams.

Times: Please note this is a full day workshop with three live sessions taking place via MS Teams and self-study material to cover in between the live sessions.

In-person course format

The in-person workshop takes place over three days. 

Venue: Stellenbosch central campus.
Time: 9:00-16:30​

We will follow up with further information to confirmed participants. 

Contact and booking details

Please click on the dates below to enrol for the workshop 3-day series that you would like to attend. Please note that we will confirm your successful registration on receipt. Booking is essential and places are limited. The following dates are tentative - we will notify you if anything changes. You will need to sign up for each part separately. 
Note: lt is strongly recommended that participants attend all three days, as each day builds on material that was covered in the previous part(s). The workshops (Part 1, 2 and 3) can either be attended over 3 consecutive days or over a few months with intervals between parts.

Click on a workshop sign-up link below to secure your place.

​​The Postgraduate Skills Development Programme reserves the right to reshedule or to cancel a workshop if there is not enough interest. Registrations close five days before a workshop or when the workshop has reached capacity. 

Online 12-14 March 2024Online12-14 March 2024
12-14 March 2024In page navigation
Online 14-16 May 2024Online 14-16 May 2024
14-16 May 2024In page navigation
Online 9-11 July 2024Online 9-11 July 2024
9-11 July 2024In page navigation

For enquiries please email pgskills@sun.ac.za.