Full-time: 3 to 5 years maximum
Part-time: 7 to 8 years maximum 


  • 80,000 to 100,000 words thesis or as a collection of published articles. N.B. (1) Thesis length will have to be stipulated by the programmes to account for discipline-specific requirements.  (2) Creative presentations must be accompanied by a commentary of 20,000 words.  (3) Number of words is inclusive of appendices, footnotes, tables, and bibliography; the University may withhold from examination of a thesis that exceeds these word limits.  
  • a preliminary examination 
  • viva voce following submission of thesis to examiners
  • N.B. 1. Students are encouraged to publish papers in advance of submission of their thesis and prior publication of papers arising from the research being undertaken should not prejudice the assessment of the thesis.
  • The thesis is submitted to be read and evaluated by the members of the examination commission/committee. In some faculties the members of the examination commission provide an extensive report of their evaluation to the chairperson of the commission who declares the result to the candidate
  • Viva will include questions designed to ascertain that the thesis embodies the candidate’s own research.  It will test the candidate’s general comprehension of the field of study within which the subject of the thesis falls.  It will test the candidate’s acquaintance with the general literature of the subject, knowledge of the relation of the work to the wider field of which it is a part, and the respects in which the work advances, modifies, or otherwise affects this wider field of scholarship.



  • This is generally viewed in all the cases as a pathway to the PhD, with the exception of the some fields where it is an acceptable terminal graduate degree.  However, it may also be an alternative for failure to fulfil the requirements for the award of the PhD after the examination. An MPhil Research Degree may be the final result.
  • Duration: 1 year to 2 years full-time and 3 years to 6 years part-time.
  • Assessment: Proposal, Defence and taught courses, by thesis ranging in length from between 40,000 to 80,000 words, cognizant that, specific disciplines may have other length requirements. N.B. Creative presentations must be accompanied by a commentary of 12000 words 
  • Subject areas: Biodiversity Conservation and Management, Bio-systematics, Evolutionary Biology/Molecular Biology, Systems Ecology, Biodiversity and Society, Economics of Biodiversity.