Mphil/PhD Degrees in Medical Sciences

1.0 Aim and Objectives

1.1 Aim

The principal aim of the MPhil/PhD programmes is to develop national and regional research capacity and competencies to enable knowledge generation that would guide national and regional interventions, ensuring that health research is aligned to the national health needs.

1.2 Objectives

The objectives of the programme are to:

• promote scientific enquiry in medical sciences.

• develop medical scientists who can identify a research problem, conduct a critical scientific review of literature, develop an appropriate study design, implement and manage a research project, analyze data, interpret scientific findings and write a scientific report.

• develop researchers capable of communicating scientific findings to scientific communities, stakeholders and the general public through publications in international peer-reviewed journals and in other forums.

• develop leaders in medical laboratory science who can influence policy and practice.

• support training of medical scientists seeking higher degrees.

2.0 Career Paths

There are employment opportunities in academia for MPhil/PhD (Medical Sciences) graduates in the country and beyond. Some of the graduates can join academic programmes at UB and Institute of Health Sciences. Other opportunities are available at research centers in the country including the proposed Botswana Innovation Hub. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health has plans to establish a public health laboratory that will be mandated with detection and surveillance of known and emerging diseases. In order to carry out this mandate, the public health laboratory will require trained researchers in medical sciences. In addition, there are business opportunities for graduates from this programme. Manufacturing of laboratory diagnostic reagents is an attractive enterprise since most of the reagents used in medical laboratories are imported.

3.0 Programme Structure

The MPhil and PhD in Medical Sciences are research degrees. However, students may be required to take limited coursework as determined by the Department.

MPhil in Medical Sciences

MLS801 Critical Appraisal and Research Seminars (Core), 6 credits

MLS802 MPhil Thesis (Core) 24 credits

Total Credits for MPhil in Medical Sciences = 30

PhD in Medical Sciences

MLS801 Critical Appraisal and Research Seminars (Core), 6 credits

MLS901 PhD Thesis (Core) 72 credits

Total Credits for PhD in Medical Sciences = 78

4.0 Regulations

4.1 Admission into the Master of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) Degree Programme

Subject to the provisions of the General Academic Regulations 50.1 and the Faculty of Health Sciences regulations the following Departmental regulations shall apply:

4.1.1 An applicant for the Master of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) degree shall normally hold a first degree in medical laboratory sciences, medicine or pharmacy, from this University or from other recognized university or equivalent institution. This should have been passed with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 5-point scale.

4.1.2 An applicant with a first degree in pure or applied biological science subject or related science field obtained with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 or equivalent plus relevant experience in a clinical laboratory may also be considered.

4.1.3 In addition, a candidate must first discuss the proposed research topic with the designated MPhil Supervisor or Supervision Committee constituted by the Department. The applicant must also submit an acceptable outline of the proposed research (concept paper), with relevant application forms obtained from the University. The applicant is expected to make a presentation of the research concept to the Department before the Department makes a final decision on the application.

4.2 Admission into the Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) Degree Programme

In addition to General Academic Regulations 50.2, the following Departmental regulations shall apply:

4.2.1 A candidate with appropriate first degree or MSc by coursework shall register for MPhil studies at the first instance. He/she may apply to transfer his/her registration to a PhD programme according to GAR 50.7.1.

4.2.2 A candidate with an appropriate MPhil degree is eligible to apply for direct entry into the PhD programme. Such a candidate may be exempted from coursework, at the discretion of the Department.

4.2.3 The applicant with MPhil qualification must also submit an acceptable outline of research to be conducted, with application forms. Such an applicant is expected to make a presentation of the research concept to the Department before the Department makes a final decision on the application.

4.3 Registration

This shall be in accordance with General Academic Regulations 50.3

4.4 Transfer from another University

This shall be in accordance with General Academic Regulations 50.4

4.5 Duration of the Programme

This shall be in accordance with General Academic Regulations 50.5

4.6 Programme of Study

This shall be as provided for in General Academic Regulations 50.6

4.7 Transfer of Registration

The procedure for transferring registration from MPhil to PhD and from PhD to MPhil is governed by General Academic Regulations 50.7.

4.8 Progression

A student’s performance shall be reviewed every Semester by the Department. The review shall consist of:

• A written progress report by the student.

• A written commentary by the Supervisor on the student’s progress. The Supervisor may be required to submit a supportive or corrective action plan being pursued to ensure that the student completes studies within the given time.

4.9 Thesis

This shall be accordance with General Academic Regulations 50.8. However, candidates are strongly recommended to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals before submission of the thesis in accordance to GAR 50.8.2.5.

4.10 Examination

In addition to GAR 50.9, the following Departmental

Regulations shall apply:

• In the event the candidate to be examined holds an appointment in or has left the employ of the Department in the last three years, the Internal Examiner for his/her thesis, shall be appointed from another Department in the Faculty or other Faculties.

4.11 Notification of Results and Award of Degree

In accordance with General Academic Regulations 50.10

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