A thesis/dissertation/project is a formal document that demonstrates the author’s ability to conduct research that makes an original contribution to theory or practice. Original in this context implies some novel twist, fresh perspective, new hypothesis, or innovative method that makes the thesis/dissertation/project a new distinctive contribution (Roberts 2010). In other words, the thesis/dissertation/project is a document in which a student presents his or her research and findings as public evidence of scholarly accomplishment in fulfillment of the requirements for a degree, being it doctoral or masters. The thesis/dissertation/project is a product of substantial research and scholarship that represents the student’s own work. The content and form of the thesis/dissertation/project is guided by the thesis/dissertation/project supervisor(s) and the standards of the student’s discipline. The student has the primary responsibility in conducting the research and preparing the findings, and in authoring the thesis/dissertation/project.
An indispensable part of postgraduate education in UEW is for students to become knowledgeableabout the responsible conduct of research and scholarship appropriate to their discipline orfield of study. Consequently, research method courses are offered in all UEW SGS programmes at the departmental level. In addition, the Institute for Educational Research and Innovation Studies (IERIS) organizes intensive training on responsible conduct of research and scholarship. It is hoped that by the time the student gets started with the research he/she would have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to get himself/herself prepared for the job.