22-30 July 2021
North-West University
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
More Information Coming Soon

Evolution of the 3rd Year Major Project at WITS

27 Jul 2021, 12:30
Potchefstroom Campus (North-West University)

Potchefstroom Campus

North-West University

Oral Presentation Track E - Physics for Development, Education and Outreach Physics for Development, Education and Outreach


Jonathan Keartland (University of the Witwatersrand)


The Major Project has been an important component of the 3rd Year Physics curriculum at WITS for many decades. It has proven very popular with students, and has allowed academic staff to identify students with research potential as early as final year undergraduate level. In the original model each student chose a project offered by a member of the academic staff, and completed the work required during one of the first three quarters of the academic year. In 2015 the student numbers increased dramatically from approximately 25 students to approximately 50 students, and it became increasingly difficult to run the projects in their existing form. In 2018 the major project underwent a transformation, and since then students have completed an Independent Research Essay (IRE) under supervision of a member of the academic staff, with a student teaching assistant acting as a mentor for a small group of students. This presentation will provide a description of the evolution of the Major Project, paying particular attention to the components of the IRE as it is at present. In particular, it will be shown how the IRE may be used to inculcate or enhance essential skills for budding scientists.

Apply to be considered for a student ; award (Yes / No)?


Level for award;(Hons, MSc, PhD, N/A)?


Primary author

Jonathan Keartland (University of the Witwatersrand)

Presentation Materials

Peer reviewing