Postgraduate Studies: The Challenges of Research and Thesis Writing

Uduak Imo Ekpoh


The study considered postgraduate studies through an examination of the challenges of research and thesis writing in the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. A survey research design was adopted for the study and a sample of 200 postgraduate students comprising Master's and Doctoral candidates who wrote their theses during the 2011/2012 academic session, were used. Four research questions guided the study. A questionnaire tagged "Postgraduate Studies Questionnaire" (PGSQ) was developed, validated and used for data collection. The reliability estimate of the instrument using Cronbach Alpha was 0.86. Data collected were analyzed using frequencies and percentages. Findings indicated that postgraduate students at the University of Calabar experienced a variety of challenges in research and thesis writing aspects of their training. The most critical of the challenges revolved around students and institutional-related factors. However, supervisor-related factors did not pose any significant challenges to postgraduate students. Suggestions made by postgraduate students on ways of improving their research and thesis writing were that core research areas should be emphasized and taught in departmental seminars and workshops and internet facilities should be provided for students. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that periodic progress report on each postgraduate student should be submitted every semester as a feedback mechanism for monitoring progress. This will enhance proper tracking to ensure students completion on schedule.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2016.v6n3p67

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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