Research Degrees (MPhil,PhD)

The Department offers research programmes leading to the award of the MPhil and PhD degrees in Botany, Zoology, Experimental Biology, Environmental Biology or Oceanography.

Master of Philosophy
Requires the completion of six (6) credits from postgraduate courses in addition to a thesis documenting the results of the research carried out over a period.

Doctor of Philosophy
Requires the completion of nine (9) credits from postgraduate courses in addition to a thesis documenting the results of the research carried out over a period.

Choosing a Research Topic

If you decide to pursue a research degree, it is important that the thesis topic chosen be of genuine and sustainable interest. This overview of current research being undertaken by members of staff and graduate students should prove helpful. Candidates may also contact possible supervisors to discuss proposed research projects. PhD applicants should prepare a statement of proposed research indicating their intended topic and research strategy.

Entry Requirements

Entry to the MPhil degree program is a first or upper second class BSc (Honours) degree in the Life Sciences. Candidates having a lower second class honours BSc may be accepted into an MPhil programme following special recommendation by the Department.

Registration for the research degrees may be on a part-time or full-time basis. An MPhil degree normally takes three years of intensive research on a full-time basis, while a PhD degree usually takes five years.

PhD Transfer

With the exception of holders of MPhil degrees from recognised universities, a candidate for the PhD degree is normally required to register for the MPhil degree in the first instance. Applications for transfer to a PhD programme from MPhil are encouraged where students display exceptional promise. Candidates who are upgrading their registration to the PhD are required to have presented at least one (1) seminar before their upgrade seminar can be approved by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

A successful transfer to a PhD programme involves the satisfactory completion of a transfer seminar. The seminar includes a summary of the MPhil work to date, a presentation of results to date, and a proposal for extension of the work to PhD level.

Award of Degree

For the award of the degree, the student submits a thesis and, for the PhD, defends this in an oral examination. Research leading to a PhD would demonstrate a level of originality beyond that of an MPhil and the research would incorporate an experimental component.

Courses and Credit Requirements

Students are also expected to read prescribed courses which are intended to provide them with research techniques and skills that will not only help them to complete their current research, but also strengthen their practical application skills for life after university.

PhD candidates are required to have presented at least three (3) seminars before they can submit their theses for examination. MPhil candidates are required to have had two (2) seminars before they can submit their theses for examination.

Code Title Programme
ENVR6402 Research Methods and Project Management
MPhil & PhD Students
ENVR6405 Management and Analysis of Environmental Data
MPhil & PhD Students
RETH9005 Thesis
Register for this course every semester until you graduate
GRSM6501 Research Seminar I
MPhil Students only
GRSM6502 Research Seminar II
MPhil Students only
GRSM9501 Research Seminar I
PhD Students only
GRSM9502 Research Seminar II
PhD Students only
GRSM9503 Research Seminar III
PhD Students only

Supervision

Each student receives guidance from an Advisory Committee that consists of a Supervisor, who is an expert in the area of research to be undertaken, and at least two other persons with related expertise.

Conferences and Presentations

Students are encouraged to seek opportunities to present their work. Funding is available, through grants from the Office of Graduate Studies and Research to attend local and international conferences and other events relevant to a student's research topic/area. In addition, there is a biennial conference organised and held locally by the Faculty of Science and Technology and students are encouraged to submit conference held by the Faculty of Science and Technology and students are encouraged to submit posters and/or oral presentations on their work.


For additional information, please contact:
Dr. Philip Rose
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Life Sciences
The University of the West Indies
Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica.
Email: lifesci@uwimona.edu.jm | philip.rose02@uwimona.edu.jm
Tel.: (876) 927-1202; 927-2753
Fax: (876) 977-1075