Post Graduate studies Continued

In 2010 ZAOU introduced studies at doctoral level in one programme – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Literacy and Development; and currently there are PhD programmes in nearly in all the fields in which masters programmes are run. With an intake of 15 postgraduate students in one programme 2006, there are currently over 600 postgraduate students in 12 programmes – a clear indication of rapid growth.

 Structure of the Graduate Programmes: Both the Masters and Doctoral study programmes consist of taught and research parts. Part I of the Masters programme   is done during the first year and has eight courses taken over two semesters. Six of the Masters courses are compulsory while two are elective. For doctoral students eight (8) courses are compulsory while two are elective. Part II consists of dissertation writing and is done during the second year. This can take as many as three (3) years.

Duration of the Graduate Studies Programmes:  Master’s degree programmes take a minimum of two (2) years and a maximum of four (4) years while the minimum for a Doctoral degree is three (3) years and a maximum of five (5) years.  Students who do not graduate after the stated maximum number of years of study are deregistered.

Mode of Teaching: ZAOU is an open distance education institution that utilizes mainly print media supplemented by informal tutorial groups, face to face residential tutorials, and weekend lectures. Materials are written in conversation style and are of two types: self-contained modules and study guides. Self-contained modules are longer and carry more information in depth. They can be read without any other materials. The study guides are read alongside prescribed and recommended books.

Besides modules, other educational materials in form of DVDs and videos are also available. The Zambian Open University is also increasingly utilizing the information technology/website as a mode of teaching. The postgraduate academic year starts with a 10-Days Residential School during which four courses for Masters Students and five courses for Doctoral students are taught.

Awarding of the Graduate Degrees at the Zambian Open University

Two examiners for Masters Degree and three for doctoral degree will be appointed to examine the dissertation/thesis. Masters students who have satisfied the examiners of the dissertation will be awarded their appropriate degrees. The doctoral degree will be awarded once the student has satisfactorily completed his/her studies by producing a thesis of not more than 80,000 words and has defended it through a Viva Voce.

 Costs of Graduate Education at the Zambian Open University

Master’s Programmes-   K7, 545. 00 per semester and K14, 090.00 year. PhD programmes are pegged at K8545. 00 per semester and K16, 090.00 per year. Fees may be paid in installments of at least 50% for one to register at the beginning of a semester. Students who are ZAOU members of staff will have their fees reduced by 25 per cent.

Besides the above indicated fees, students will pay for two residential schools that are held in the first year and also for the one day meeting with senior academics when their proposed research proposals will be discussed.

Some Important points to note

  1. Like all private training institutions, students are required to pay fees/dues in time – at least three quarters of the fees should be paid at the start of each academic year; and this is in a mutual interest of all of us – investors, staff and students.
  2. We are in advanced stage in preparations for on-line teaching – including submission and marking of written assignments. To that effect we have migrated to a new Student Record Management System (SRMS) an some of the on-line features are:
  • Moodle Integration
  • Online submission and marking of assignments
  • Plagiarism testing of assignments and thesis and these can be self-determining to avoid penalties or personal embarrassment.
  • Online registration and admission
  • Students financial reports as well as Audit trail
  1. All students are encouraged to attend research methodology and computer awareness related courses to take advantage of the online features.
  2. Students are also expected to observe deadlines in submitting assignments as penalties will be strictly enforced.
  3. University is going to introduces additional fees for studies that are not completed within the stipulate duration period, and we are going to monitor this strictly.
  4. A related point is that the Graduate School is concerned about the rate of progression after course work (Part 1) which is usually done in good time. But we have noticed that some students tend to relax when it is time to do research and writing of dissertation – Part 11.  Given this situation, students are therefore advised well in advance to be mindful of the stated maximum number of years of study to avoid being deregistered as well as cost escalation.
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