Honours in Philosophy

Programme Convener: Dr T Angier

Admission Requirements:

(a)    Faculty admission requirements as set out under Rule FH3 apply.

(b)    Programme admission requirements are:

  • A high level of performance in a major in Philosophy, or its equivalent.

  • Some students may be required by the Department to take their Honours over an eighteen month or two-year period.

Acceptance is at the discretion of the Head of Department. 

Programme structure:

The coursework component of the Honours programme consists of four modules. Under normal circumstances, these modules will be those offered by the Department. (Exceptions to this will only be granted if a strong case for taking modules outside the Department is made, to the satisfaction of the Head of Department). Together, the four taught courses constitute 75% of the final mark. 

The programme also requires the student to complete a research essay of not more than 10 000 words. This essay may be written on any topic of interest to the student, on condition that the Department has the capacity to provide supervision in that area and that the topic is approved by either the Postgraduate Convener or the Head of Department. In the past, some students have chosen to write their research essays on a topic from their coursework, which they explore in more detail. Other students have written on new topics not covered in coursework. Note that these are treated more like long essays rather than theses for the purposes of supervision – i.e. supervision will be provided but typically drafts will not be read.

The research essay/project is weighted at 25% of the final result and must be submitted by no later than 31 October, for graduation in December of that same year. In the past, most Honours students have elected to complete their research essay during the summer break. The Faculty requires students who do not submit by 31 October to request an extension. However, this concession, which should be sent to the Postgraduate Convener, is routinely approved. Provided that the essay is handed in by 31 January  students will not have to pay any additional fees, although they will not be able to graduate until June of the following year. (Note: This delayed graduation date will not affect eligibility for commencing further graduate studies).  However in order to commence further graduate studies, a final copy of the research essay must be in by 15 January.

To be awarded the degree not less than 50% must be obtained for each component of the programme. Normally the course lasts one calendar year, although some students may be required by the Department to take their Honours over an eighteen-month or two-year period.

Masters in Philosophy by coursework

Masters entry requirements:

(a)    Faculty admission requirements as set out under Rule FM3 apply.

(b)    Programme admission requirements are:

  • A high level of performance in an Honours in Philosophy, or its equivalent.

Acceptance is at the discretion of the Head of Department. 

About the programme:

Four courses of intensive study are chosen in consultation with the graduate convenor. The student will be required to write twelve substantial research papers over the course of the year.  In addition, a dissertation of approximately 25 000 words is to be written under supervision. Coursework is weighted at 50% of the final result, and the minor dissertation a weighted at 50% of the final result. To be awarded the degree, not less than 50% must be obtained for each component of the programme. (For dissertation deadlines – see below).

Research Masters in Philosophy
PhD in Philosophy

Examination is by dissertation/thesis alone.  A Masters dissertation should not exceed 50 000 words in length.  A doctoral thesis should not exceed 80 000 words in length. (For dissertation deadlines – see below).

Masters/PhD Dissertation Deadlines:

For a Masters-by-coursework, you must register for a minor dissertation; for a Masters-by-thesis or a PhD you must register for a major dissertation. Either way, a candidature form, available from the graduate office, must be completed before you can register for the dissertation component of the course. In addition, you and your supervisor will have to complete a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out shared expectation and requirements for supervision of the dissertation.

For an end-of-year graduation, your thesis must be submitted by 14 August. Note: if your thesis is handed in after the start of the first semester in any year, you will need to re-register for that year and will incur extra fees.

Your dissertation is marked by two external examiners. Since these need to be sourced, the graduate school requires you to complete an intention to submit that functions as an alert for the faculty, so that they can source and contact external examiners, as well as inform you of the procedures and requirements of the actual hand-in of the thesis. This form should be submitted four weeks before your thesis submission for a Masters degree and earlier for a PhD. It is important that both the intention to submit form and the thesis itself are handed in by the specified dates, if you are to stand a good chance of having your result by the time graduation takes place.

Honours and Masters in Politics, Philosophy and Economics

This is a joint programme offered by the Departments of Philosophy, Political Studies and Economics. Please check with relevant departments to ensure your electives will be offered in your chosen year of study.

General Convener:     Dr G Hull (Philosophy)
Politics Advisor:            A/Prof Zwelethu Jolobe
Economics Advisor:      Prof Eftychia Nikolaidou

Programme Structure: 
The PPE programme is an interdisciplinary programme incorporating courses and research in the three disciplines of Politics, Philosophy and Economics.  Students entering the programme must identify their primary disciplinary focus in order to be placed in a home department.  While all PPE students will complete at least one course in each of the disciplines, their research (Honours project or Masters minor dissertation) will be based in their home department, with registration and supervision complying with that department’s requirements.  

General Admission requirements:
For general admission into the programme, at both Honours and Masters level, students must have successfully completed: 
•     A major, or its equivalent, in either Politics, Philosophy or Economics,
•     At least first year, defined as at least two semester courses at first year level, in each of the other two disciplines (excluding the major).

Acceptance to the programme is at the discretion of the Programme Convener and requires the recommendation of the Head of the Department in the home department selected by the applicant.

Admission requirements per home department: 
In addition to the above requirements, there are additional, specific requirements per home department. Please refer to the handbook.

Honours Programme

At Honours level the programme comprises five taught courses as well as a research essay. The registration requirements for the programme are below. Please consult the Faculty Handbook for this years current course offerings.

1.     One x PHI course from the elective PHI options listed below
2.     One x ECO course from the elective ECO options listed below
3.     One x POL course from the elective POL options listed below
4.     One elective from home department (ECO4006F or ECO4007F or ECO4016F if Economics is your home department)
5.     PHI4024F/S PPE Texts or elective

One research essay:
PHI4019W Research Essay or
POL4007H Research Essay or
ECO4021W Research and Writing (maximum 8000 words, due first Monday of 4th quarter - see Commerce Handbook)

Masters Programme

At Masters level the programme comprises a Minor Dissertation as well as four taught courses of which no more than two can be at HEQF Level 8 (4000 level). The registration requirements for the programme are as follows:

1.      Four courses: one course each in Philosophy, Politics and Economics to be selected from the elective options listed below and the remaining course in the chosen home department.
2.      ECO5066W    Minor Dissertation  or
         PHI5002W      Minor Dissertation  or
         POL5010W    Minor Dissertation 

Elective Option
The following is a list of courses in the various disciplines from which students may select their course options. Subject to approval by the programme convener, equivalent electives that are not listed below may be selected. Consult the course outlines at the back of the Humanities Faculty Handbook for courses currently on offer in the various departments, as well as listings in other, relevant faculty handbooks (e.g. Commerce).


PHI4004H        Philosophical Texts
PHI4012F        Philosophy of Psychology
PHI4015S        Topics in Theoretical Philosophy
PHI4017F        Aesthetics
PHI4021S        Topics in Rational Decision Making
PHI4022S        Moral Philosophy
PHI4023F        History of Philosophy
PHI5003F        Contemporary Metaphysics
PHI5004S        Truth and Meaning (not offered if PHI5005S is offered)
PHI5005S        Formal Logic (not offered if PHI5004S is offered)
PHI5006H        Philosophical Texts
PHI5007F        Philosophy of Science
PHI5008S        Moral Philosophy
PHI5009S        Topics in Rational Decision Making
PHI5010S        Topics in Theoretical Philosophy

ECONOMICS OPTIONS  (Courses may be added or withdrawn according to circumstances each year. Students need permission from the lecturer teaching the course.)

ECO4006F       Macro-economics
ECO4007F       Micro-economics
ECO4013S       International Finance
ECO4016F       Econometrics
ECO4020S       Economic Challenges in Africa
ECO4026S       The Economy and its Financial Markets
ECO4027S       Survey Data
ECO4028S       Policy Analysis
ECO4032S       Economics of Industry, Regulation and Firms
ECO4051S       Development Economics
ECO4052S       Environmental Economics
ECO4053S       Financial Economics
ECO4113S       Labour Economics
ECO4114S       The Economics of Conflict, War and Peace 
ECO5020F        Advanced Micro-economics
ECO5021F        Advanced Macro-economics
ECO5026S        Industrial Organisation
ECO5030S        Economic Growth
ECO5046F        Advanced Econometrics
ECO5052S       Natural Resource Economics
ECO5062S       Applied International Trade
ECO5064S       Institutional Behavioural Economics 
ECO5069S       Applied Time Series Analysis
ECO5070S       Micro-econometrics
ECO5073S       Problems of Globalisation, Industrialisation and Development
ECO5074F       Research and Policy Tools
ECO5075S       Macro-economic Policy Analysis
ECO5076S       Development Microeconomics


POL4002F         Theories of International Relations
POL4006F         Public Policy
POL4012F         Comparative Politics
POL4013S         Comparative Public Administration
POL4032F         Comparative Transitional Justice
POL4033F         African Politics
POL4039F         Peace Operations in World Politics
POL4044F         Global Political Thought
POL4048F         Dialectical Political Thought
POL4049S         Comparative Foreign Policy
POL5001F         Comparative Politics
POL5006F         Public Management
POL5007S         Policy Evaluation and Implementation
POL5023S         Political Behaviour and Research
POL5026F         Special Topics
POL5027F         Public Administration Thought
POL5029S         Political Ethics
POL5032F         International Political Economy
POL5034F         Conflict in Africa
POL5035F         Data Analysis in Political Science
POL5036S         Special Topics II 
POL5037S         Post-conflict Justice in Africa 
POL5042F         Peace-building: Issues and Problems
POL5044F         South African Politics
POL5045F         Third World Politics 
POL5046S         Democratisation