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Introduction

The M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Zoology are primarily a research degree awarded based on a doctoral research thesis and satisfactory completion of research seminars and coursework. There is a strong foundation of research in Zoology, the study of animals, for many decades at the UWI, St Augustine Campus. Sub-disciplines of Zoology that have been and are still the focus of research include Invertebrate and Vertebrate Zoology particularly Entomology, Parasitology, Herpetology, Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture as well as interdisciplinary research in Marine and Freshwater Biology, Ecology, Conservation, and Pollution studies. Specialist facilities that support such research include laboratories in Biotechnology and Tissue Culture, Entomology, Environmental Biology, Ecology, Parasitology, Ecotoxicology, Biosystematics, Biochemistry, Histology, Microbiology, Aquaculture and Fisheries, the National Herbarium, Zoology Museum, Land Arthropod Collection and several greenhouses.

Persons interested in undertaking the Ph.D. in Zoology should initiate discussions and obtain advice from a prospective thesis supervisor in the Department of Life Sciences before applying.

Objectives

The M.Phil. degree and PhD in Zoology aims to prepare students to conduct sound scientific research and develop theoretical and practical skills that can be applied in the private or public sector, particularly those with academic, research or regulatory responsibilities. The M.Phil. degree is also generally the starting point of a Ph.D. degree in Zoology.

The objectives of the M.Phil. degree and PhD in Zoology are;

  • To provide fundamental preparation and training in research in Zoology including specific practical and research skills and approaches in a selected area of Zoology;
  • To provide opportunities to develop transferrable skills; inculcate a culture of quality and responsibility in conducting research; and
  • To enhance a student’s capacity to work effectively with others, to problem-solve, think critically and innovatively.

 The Ph.D. degree in Zoology aims to guide students in the conduct of significant scientific research and facilitate their development of advanced theoretical and practical skills that can be applied in the private or public sector, particularly those with academic, research or regulatory responsibilities.

The Ph.D. candidate is expected to use their research to make a significant contribution to knowledge or understanding in their specialist area by way of a doctoral thesis, publications in international peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at international conferences or meetings.

Entry Requirements

  • M.Phil.
    • BSc degree/major in Zoology, Biology, Agriculture or related discipline
  • Ph.D.
    • Postgraduate degree in Zoology or related discipline

Persons interested in undertaking the M.Phil or Ph.D. in Zoology should initiate discussions with and obtain advice from a prospective thesis supervisor in the Department of Life Sciences at least 3-6 months before applying.

Duration

  • M.Phil
    • Full-time: 2 years
    • Part-time: 3 – 4 years
  • Ph.D.
    • Full-time: 3 years
    • Part-time: 4 - 5 years

Programme Structure/Course Of Study

The M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees primarily involve independent study, directed by one or more supervisors.  The programmes culminate with the presentation of a thesis conveying the results of the independent study and research carried out by the graduate student.
M.Phil students may be considered for upgrading to the Ph.D. normally during the second year, but not after the third year of registration, on recommendation of their supervisor(s).

 

M.Phil./ Ph.D. Thesis and Examination

All research degrees are examined by theses.

In addition, research students will be required to pass courses amounting to a MINIMUM of

  • 6 credits for the M.Phil.
  • 9 credits for the Ph.D. degree
 

Graduate Research Seminars

M.Phil. students are required to present at least two seminars and Ph.D. students at least three seminars:

M.Phil.

  • GRSM 7004 - Scientific Presentation and Critique 1
  • GRSM 7005 - Scientific Presentation and Critique 2
  • GRSM 7006 - Scientific Presentation and Critique 3

Ph.D.

  • GRSM 8004 - Scientific Presentation and Critique 1
  • GRSM 8005 - Scientific Presentation and Critique 2
  • GRSM 8006 - Scientific Presentation and Critique 3
 
These seminars will be examined and graded on a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ basis. These courses may be used as a forum for these presentations which will be assessed in the manner prescribed for such “assessed seminars”.
Students are also required to attend a minimum of 75% of all Departmental/Faculty seminars. A Seminar attendance register will be kept by all Departments.

 

Upgrading of Registration

Postgraduate students who are registered for the M.Phil. degree and who wish to be considered for the upgrading of their registration to Ph.D. must apply to do so in the second year of registration on the written recommendation of their supervisor(s).
Applications for upgrading will normally not be considered after the third year of registration. A supervisor must state why he/she considers the student to be outstanding and whether in his/her opinion the work can be developed to the level of the Ph.D.
Applicants for upgrade must submit a written proposal outlining the work done to date and how they propose to develop this work into a Ph.D. and must defend their proposal for upgrading at an open seminar convened for this purpose.
All recommendations from Departments for Ph.D. upgrade registrations are subject to the approval of the Board for Graduate Studies and Research.

 

Defence of Thesis

  • For the M.Phil. degree the candidate may be required to defend his/her thesis by an examination.
  • Every candidate for the Ph.D. must defend his/her thesis by an oral examination.

A candidate who is unsuccessful in the examination for the Ph.D. may apply to the Board for Graduate Studies and Research for transfer of registration to the relevant M.Phil. and for permission to resubmit the relevant thesis or a revised version of it for examination for a Master’s degree.

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