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Postgraduate

The current programme has a Postgraduate Diploma, Masters- and PhD degrees in Child and Family Studies. Teaching and learning and supervision are interprofessional, interdisciplinary and collaborative concurrently ensuring that there is a sharing of expertise and a collective contribution to forming a critical mass in child, family and community research. Currently, 14 faculty members are involved with the supervision of the Masters and PhD students registered with the programme. These 14 faculty are from the following departments: Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Social Work, Dietetics and Nutrition as well as Sports and Recreational Science. The Provincial DSD provided financial support to promote continuous education in CFS for Social Workers (46 participants over a period of 4 years completed the programme) and NGO staff (60 participants over a period of two years). For 2016, 30 students (9 DSD students and 21 UWC students) completed the Postgraduate Diploma Programme.

CFS started as a structured Masters programme in 2008 with approximately eight students. This programme evolved to offer a postgraduate diploma, Masters by full thesis and PhD in Child and Family Studies, which enabled a retention strategy for UWC and in the context of the Institutional Operational Plan (IOP), a strategy for “growing our own”. Currently, there are approximately 100 students registered across the three programmes with consistent outputs in each academic year, which aligns to developing UWC as a research-intensive university. The PhD programme has been operational since 2013 and produced its first graduate in 2016 followed by another five: one in 2017, two in 2018 and two in 2019; indicating potential for consistent throughput. This PhD programme provides the faculty and  university, in relation to the IOP, an opportunity to maintain students in the system (Masters to PhD) - to “grow our own timber”, while the interdisciplinary nature of the programme allows for staff members of UWC to acquire a PhD where there may not be this opportunity in their field. Most importantly, the goal of CFS is to position UWC as a lead in family science in South Africa by developing change agents to promote and enable change through organisations such as the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

The Masters by full thesis had its first intake in 2012 and to date, over a 7-year period, approximately 50 students have graduated. The Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Studies was previously an exit strategy for the students who were unable to complete their structured master’s degree. With the inception of the full Masters thesis programme, however, a revision of the Postgraduate Diploma occurred with the introduction of a more comprehensive focus on theoretical approaches and exposure to research methodologies prior to entering the Masters programme.
 
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