MASTER of SCIENCE in Kinesiology (MSc) A handbook for students and supervisors

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1 MASTER of SCIENCE in Kinesiology (MSc) A handbook for students and supervisors Revised November 2008

2 2 Preface This handbook is intended as an information guide to the Master of Science in Kinesiology program at the University of Regina. It is for students and counselors and supervisors. The information described in this handbook is subject to change without notice. This handbook is not intended to be, and should not be regarded as a contract between the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies and any student or other person. While this booklet contains considerable information regarding the program, students are advised to familiarize themselves with the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research (FGSR) Calendar and Student Handbook. These are available in hardcopy or online at the FGSR website (www.uregina.ca/fgsr). Students new to the University of Regina should also familiarize themselves with the current issue of the University of Regina General Calendar. For Further Details Contact: Associate Dean (Graduate Studies and Research) Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies (FGSR) University of Regina Regina, Saskatchewan Canada S4S 0A2 Phone: (306) Fax: (306) Internet Home page: Residence Requirement There is required that 50% of courses in the Master s program be taken at the University of Regina. However there is no residence (on-campus) requirement for students in the MSc (KHS) program, though it is strongly recommended that students reside in the vicinity of the University of Regina for the duration of their program in order to interact personally with all faculty members and other students in the program. Student Representation on Committees The graduate students in KHS have representation on the following associations/committees: Graduate Students Association (UR Student Union), Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, KHS Faculty Council & KHS Graduate Faculty Committee. Students are to elect/select student representatives for the aforementioned positions. Office Space The Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies is able to provide shared office space for a limited number of graduate students. Fully-qualified, full-time students able to demonstrate need will be given priority.

3 3 The Master of Science in Kinesiology and Health Studies Program Outline of the MSc (KHS) Program Fully qualified students (see Admission into Program) will usually be required to take five graduate courses and conduct a research project culminating in a thesis. Courses last for one semester of thirteen weeks, running from either September to December (Fall semester), January to April (Winter semester), or May to August (Spring/ Summer semester). Each course is worth 3 credit hours, making a minimum required total of 15 credit hours of course work. The minimum number of research hours that each student should register for during the preparation and writing of the thesis is 15, making a minimum required grand total of 30 credit hours for the MSc (KHS) degree. The Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies requires the writing of a thesis as part of the MSc (KHS) degree. The objective of the thesis is twofold. First, it allows the student to develop skills in research methods in order to enhance his/her understanding of their chosen academic field. Second, it provides for the basis of preparation for anyone who may be conducting future research studies and for those students planning to pursue graduate studies at the doctoral level. Because the Master s degree is currently the highest offered in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, the Faculty can offer the kind of small campus interaction sometimes not available in larger faculties. Time to Completion Candidates for a Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology should anticipate spending a minimum of 16 months to two years to complete their degree programs. A maximum of five years is allowed from the date of first registration to complete the Master s degree. In some cases an extension may be granted. Please consult the FGSR Website for further details. Graduate Course Regulations Some classes may be structured similarly to an undergraduate class, with a mid-term exam, a final exam, and one or more papers or assignments. Others, such as a selected topics/ directed reading course, may require the completion of a scholarly piece of writing and/or the development of a research proposal relevant to the course content. With special permission, a graduate student may take an undergraduate course, adding extra work (such as a paper or study) to bring it up to a graduate level. This may only be done in consultation with and approval of the supervisor, the course instructor, and the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). Grading System Final marks in graduate courses are awarded on the percentage system. Marks in KHS 901 (Thesis Research) are either C (credit for hours shown) or N (no credit for hours shown). Academic Standards Fully-Qualified Master s students must achieve a grade of 70% or better in all courses specified as being of primary importance for the approved program. For further details, consult the FGSR Academic Calendar or website.

4 4 Appeals Students have the right to appeal any decision taken against them by the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies or the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. For further information, consult the FGSR Website. Graduate Class Conduct Graduate level classes, whether taken in K+H or through another Faculty, are normally governed by the same rules of conduct regarding syllabi, attendance, cancellation, evaluation, as undergraduate classes. For further information consult the FGSR Academic Calendar or website. Course Offerings For current information, students should consult the most current copy of the FGSR Academic Calendar for course information. All graduate students in KHS are required to take KHS 800 Graduate Research Seminar in Kinesiology & Health Studies, KHS 803 Research Design & Methods in Kinesiology & Applied Health Sciences, and one of KHS 801 Statistics in Kinesiology & Health Research or KHS 802 Ethnographic Research Methods in Kinesiology and Health. Selected Topics and Directed Readings Courses Students are currently allowed a maximum of two selected topics or directed readings courses in their MSc (KHS) program. University regulations state that these courses are to constitute no more than one-half of the courses in any student s program and that no more than two are taken with the student s supervisor. For other university regulations dealing with these courses at the graduate level, both instructors and students should see the FGSR Academic Calendar. A special supplementary form is required for registration in reading courses, which must be approved by the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). Enrollment in KHS 901 KHS 901 is the course number assigned to thesis research. No student can enroll in KHS 901 before a thesis supervisor has been appointed. Application and Registration Application Procedures Application packages are available from the FGSR Website. Please note, applications are selfadministered meaning students must ensure that all the components required in the application arrive at FGSR at the same time. That is, applicants must assemble the packet prior to submission. Application Process For detailed information, please refer to FGSR website. Applicants will be required to supply 2 official copies of all transcripts, two confidential letters of reference, and a 1 to 2 page document outlining their research interest along with the applicable fee and forms. Students should contact potential advisors to discuss research options prior to submitting their application.

5 5 Application Deadlines Students normally begin their programs in either September (Fall semester) or January (Winter semester), and should normally ensure that completed application packages reach the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research by February 15 th for Fall admission and September 15 th for Winter admission. Students applying for Financial Assistance should note the Application for Funding deadlines. Students admitted must begin their programs within one year of the date of their acceptance letter. Admission into the Program For acceptance as a Fully-Qualified candidate to the MSc program, students must hold the equivalent of a four-year undergraduate degree with evidence of adequate preparation in the body of knowledge they are interested in pursuing. They must have achieved a minimum average of 70% in their undergraduate work. They must also show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research on the basis of their academic records. For further details, please consult the FGSR website. Other Classifications of Admitted Students Students who are not Fully-Qualified may also be admitted in Qualifying, Probationary, or other categories. Please refer to the FGSR website for more details or contact the KHS Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) directly. Status (Full-time and Part-time) Full-time graduate students are those registered in the equivalent of two courses (6 credit hours) per semester. For students having between 3 and 5 credit hours of unfulfilled requirements remaining, this remainder will define the number of credit hours they are required to register in to claim full-time status. For students whose registration requirements have been completed, but have not finished writing or defending the thesis, registration in GRST ( maintenance of status, billed at the equivalent of 3 credit hours) is required to claim full-time status. All others will be considered part-time. All graduate students must register in the equivalent of a 3 credit hour course at least once annually, and students who are using university facilities must register every semester. For more information, please consult the FGSR website. Registration Procedures All graduate students register through the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. Registration forms must be approved by the student s supervisor and/or the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. For further details, please consult the FGSR Handbook. Tuition Fees Refer to the FGSR website or calendar for current tuition rates and additional fees. Notes for International Students The MSc program welcomes applications from international students. There are no differential fees at the University of Regina for foreign (visa) graduate students. Note that graduate teaching assistantships or scholarships (see Financial Assistance) are usually not available to non-canadian students as entrance awards. Applicants from universities where English is not

6 6 the regular language of instruction must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 580. For further details contact the International Student Services or consult the FGSR website. Financial Assistance A limited number of FGSR and KHS Teaching Assistantships and Scholarships are normally available only to students who are Fully-Qualified and enrolled in Full-time studies. The TA is governed by a collective agreement with CUPE Local MSc students may hold (but not simultaneously) a maximum of four awards (TAs and/or Scholarships) in the course of their Masters program. Applications for funding must be submitted to the Faculty office by June 15 for Fall, October 15 for Winter. Students should attach their CV and/or a letter outlining academic achievements, work/volunteer experiences, publications, and conference presentations to support their application. Students who have completed 30 credit hours (course work and thesis hours) are no longer eligible for funding through FGSR and will normally not be eligible for a KHS Teaching Assistantship. Scholarships and Awards For details of other University graduate scholarships and awards, please consult the FGSR website. Students should note in particular the Groome Fellowship and the Schwan Scholarship. Student Travel Award for Scholarly Presentation The MSc (KHS)program receives a small annual allocation for students travelling to present a paper at refereed scholarly conferences, with a maximum award of $600. Awards are for travel costs only. Each application will be adjudicated. For further details, consult the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). Responsibilities Related to Graduate Program Responsibilities of the Student Graduate students are ultimately responsible for their own programs. They are expected to read the FGSR Academic Calendar (i.e., website) and any other relevant documents to become familiar with all regulations and deadlines relating to their programs. The students fundamental responsibilities include insuring that their registration is accurate and does not lapse, submitting appropriate forms to the Faculty Graduate Studies and Research and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies for signature and processing, and paying all fees required by the deadline dates set in the FGSR Academic Calendar (www.uregina.ca/gradstudies). Duties of Supervisor The supervisor has overall responsibility for guiding the student through the program. The supervisor will inform the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) when the student has registered for research hours. The following procedures are recommended so that the student may submit an acceptable thesis proposal by the appropriate deadline (see Thesis Proposal Deadlines). Supervisors should ensure that both they and their students are familiar with the procedures and regulations concerning the MSc degree described in both this handbook and the FGSR Academic Calendar.

7 7 The supervisor should consult, and encourage the student to consult, the file of successful thesis proposals retained by the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), in order that both might better understand what is expected of such a proposal. The supervisor and the student should meet regularly throughout the semester. The supervisor, in consultation with the student, should establish a reasonable timetable with clear goals for researching and writing the thesis proposal. The supervisor should be readily accessible to the student during this time. The supervisor should return the student s written work, with comments, in a reasonable period of time and/or according to a mutually agreed upon time frame. It is recommended that committee members should be consulted in an advisory role throughout the writing of the proposal. Change of Supervisor If it becomes necessary or advisable for either party to change the supervision of a thesis, the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) will be advised and will do his/her best to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of both the student and supervisor. Should a supervisor take sabbatical or other leave, the supervisor must complete a form outlining transfer of responsibility to another faculty member during their leave. This will be done in consultation with the student. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) chairs the KHS Graduate Studies and Research Committee as well as the KHS Graduate Steering Committee. He or she acts as the liaison between the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and the graduate students in, or applying for admission to, the MSc program. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) offers counseling to graduate students on every aspect of the program, from application to graduation. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) also acts as chair of all supervisory committees. The Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies The Faculty oversees the supervision of all graduate students enrolled in its programs and serves as the chief liaison with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR). It is responsible for ensuring that the student receives proper supervision and that the regulations and requirements of FGSR are met. The Faculty is responsible for keeping FGSR informed of any development in or changes relating to the student s program, including the appointment of the supervisor and supervisory committee members and changes to that membership, change of student status, course and program changes, and scheduling of examination dates. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research approves all admissions, appointments of supervisors, supervisory and examining committees, and awards degrees.

8 8 The Graduate Program Overall Sequence of Steps To complete the Master of Science in Kinesiology degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours. This consists of at least 15 credit hours of course work (5 classes) and 15 credit hours of thesis research. Research work should have begun by the latter stages of a student s program when the majority of classes are completed and a thesis topic has been formulated. A thesis requires the guidance of a supervisor and committee. The following is the general sequence to be followed in thesis work: 1. Selection of supervisor 2. Delimitation of topic (through course work, professional preparation, etc.) 3. Formulation of committee 4. Formulation of proposal 5. Proposal defense 6. Obtain approval to conduct research (including ethics approval if applicable) 7. Conduct research 8. Thesis writing 9. Thesis defense 10. Final copies and binding. Annual Update of Program Progress Any graduate student whose home faculty is the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies must submit an Annual Program Progress Report by August 31 of each year. This form outlines work completed (e.g., courses taken, registration status, proposal defended, etc.) and/or progress (e.g., preparing proposal, ethics approval received, data collection completed, writing thesis, etc.) made during the previous academic year (Sept 1 August 31). This form is to be submitted to the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) who presents them to Graduate Studies Committee for review and information purposes. Choosing a Supervisor The supervisor will be a member of the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies who has been accredited by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to supervise theses. The choice of both thesis subject and supervisor is the student s prerogative, subject to the availability and agreement of a qualified supervisor, and the agreement of the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). If possible, the student should select a supervisor who has research experience and interests similar to those proposed for the thesis research. Students should be aware that faculty members have the capacity to supervise a limited number of graduate students at any one time. The student should consult with a potential supervisor prior to beginning the graduate application process. For further information about the responsibilities of the student, supervisor, and the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), consult this handbook.

9 9 The Supervisory Committee The supervisory committee normally consists of four persons: the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), the supervisor, and at least two other accredited members with some expertise in the subject area. The supervisor, in consultation with the student, chooses appropriate members for the committee. Committee membership may include persons from other units within the University of Regina, or accredited members of the professional community where this is deemed advisable or necessary. (Normally, one member must be from KHS). The supervisory committee members should be given the opportunity to read and provide timely comments on the thesis as it progresses, and will act as examiners at the thesis proposal and oral defense. The Thesis Proposal The first stage of thesis work is the drafting of a thesis proposal. There are two principle reasons for a thesis proposal. It helps students clarify and organize their ideas about a research topic and how to proceed with it. After the defence revisions (if any are required), the proposal provides a formal contract of the student s research plans. It will be the student s own work, but drafted in close consultation with the student s supervisor. It may be one of two formats: Paper format a short text that identifies the subject and scope of the thesis and proposes a method by which evidence will be obtained and interpreted. It should contain a working bibliography of significant primary and secondary texts. The paper format has an expectation that the results will be published in a scholarly journal. First Three Chapters includes what will be the first three chapters of the final thesis; Introduction, Literature Review, and Methods. This option is the one that has been traditionally used. The student must consult with the supervisor before making the decision of which format to use. Students are encouraged to examine samples of successful thesis proposals from the past a file is available from the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). Thesis Proposal Deadlines The thesis proposal must normally be submitted to the Graduate Committee before the student has taken a maximum of nine research/thesis credit hours (901 hours). Specifically, the submission deadline for thesis proposals is the last day of classes in the semester in which the student is registered in his/her third KHS 901. This policy is applicable to all students enrolled in the program from January 1, 2005 onward. As part of the graduate experience in the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, all students must present and defend their thesis proposal before the university community. At least one month prior to the presentation of the proposal, the student must provide the graduate advisor and the committee with the written proposal. At a minimum of two weeks prior to the presentation, the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) must be notified of a proposed date and time of the presentation and be presented an electronic copy of (a) the proposal and (b) an abstract of the proposal. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) will then announce and circulate date, time, and location of the presentation. Following the presentation and the subsequent questioning and critiquing by committee members, the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), supervisor, and the

10 10 committee will meet to discuss the merits of the research proposal and determine whether the work should continue and with what revisions (if any). Examination of the Thesis Proposal In a public forum the student presents her/his thesis proposal. The majority of the supervisory committee is present to examine the thesis proposal. Other members of faculty and other graduate students may attend and are encouraged to attend the proposal meeting. The student outlines what is to be researched, why it is being proposed, how it will be carried out and what plans for data analysis are being set. The supervisor will be given the chance to add pertinent comments. Committee members and others in attendance will then question the student about the proposal. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) will ensure that the questioners remain aware that the meeting is to examine a proposal, not a finished thesis. The student is allowed 15 minutes for his/her presentation; the entire process may take 1-2 hours. After questioning, the student is asked to leave the room while the committee discusses the proposal in camera (confidentially within the committee). The student is then asked to rejoin the committee to discuss the acceptability of the proposal. Students should be prepared for some revisions to the thesis proposal. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) will provide the student, supervisor, and committee members with a memo detailing the suggested revisions. A copy of this memo will remain in the student s file. Following any revisions to the proposal suggested by the supervisory committee, the student may commence with their research Approvals to Conduct Research Various approvals may be required before the formal part of the research may begin: 1. A proposal must first be approved by the thesis committee. This approval will come formally from the thesis proposal examination. 2. Proposals involving research on human subjects require written ethics approval of the University s Research Ethics Board before the research can proceed. Copies of the Research Ethics Review Guide for Applicants, complete with forms used at the University of Regina for approval, are available online. The processing of applications normally requires about 2 3 weeks. Research and Writing With the guidance of their supervisors, students are responsible for the choice and/or the design of instruments and specific approaches to be used in the research, for the collection and analysis of data, and the critical examination of materials and texts. Students are expected to keep supervisors and committee members regularly informed of their progress, and to submit chapter drafts and revisions within agreed timelines. The Thesis A thesis may be defined as a body of propositions or ideas advanced in writing to be discussed and defended under competent third party scrutiny (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1990). Topics for an MSc (KHS) thesis vary widely; the student should discuss the various possibilities with his or her supervisor. An MSc (KHS) thesis is expected to have a solid theoretical basis, an extensive literature review, a thorough analysis of data, and a detailed interpretation of arguments or findings. In addition, it should make a contribution to knowledge in its area.

11 11 The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research requires that theses be prepared in accordance with the guidelines given in the booklet A Guide for the Writing and Typing of Graduate Theses, which is available from FGSR. This guide should be supplemented by the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, as the Faculty of KHS requires all papers and theses follow the APA format. A Master s thesis in Kinesiology are usually not more than 100 pages long, including preliminary material, and introduction, the text of the thesis divided into a number of chapters, and a conclusion. References and appendices are not included in this page limit. Students are encouraged to examine the bound copies of recently completed theses from the Faculty of KHS, which are kept in the Faculty Office and the University Library. They should be aware, however, that format regulations and guidelines may change periodically. Final Draft of the Thesis/External Examiner A copy of the final draft of the thesis must be provided to each member of the supervisory committee. When they have had a chance to read it (allowing between two and three weeks) and agree that it is ready for defending, they affix their signatures to the appropriate Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research form so indicating. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) is responsible to carry to FGSR that recommendation of readiness, a copy of the thesis draft, plus a listing of two potential accredited external examiners for the thesis defense (suggestions for external examiners should be provided by the supervisor and/or committee). The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) should also recommend the date, time and place for the defense. The supervisor and student must ensure that potential external examiners are (a) prepared to serve in that capacity, and (b) are available for the defense during the time frame it is being proposed. The external examiner will normally be a faculty member of another unit at the University of Regina, or a member of the professional community with academic credentials in the area of the thesis. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research will name the external examiner from the proposed list, and provide final approval for the defense to proceed. If members of the Thesis Committee cannot agree whether the thesis is ready for defense, the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, will arbitrate. If the supervisor and thesis committee are all in agreement that the thesis is not acceptable, then it will not be sent to an external examiner. The student has the right in this case to petition to defend the thesis. Oral Defense of Thesis The student is required to defend his or her work in an oral examination. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research will notify the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) that the thesis has been formally accepted for defense, who has been selected and agreed to act as external examiner. The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) will then ensure a copy of the thesis is made available to the external examiner. (The student should be aware that the external examiner is usually allowed 4 weeks to review the thesis prior to the defense date). Once the external examiner has agreed that the thesis is acceptable for defense, a time and date for the defense are set. This will be the responsibility of the supervisor and/or student. Once the time and date have been finalized, the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) arrange for a Defense chair and will complete and circulate to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and all of the examining committee members the Notice of

12 12 Oral Defense of Thesis. Additionally she/he will ensure that suitable arrangements are made for an examination room and that the notice is displayed within the Faculty. The Examining Committee will normally consist of the external examiner, the supervisor, the members of the Thesis Committee, the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), and Chair of the Examining Committee (who acts as the representative of FGSR). Other members of faculty and graduate students are encouraged to be present as observers at the defense. The oral defense of a MSc (KHS) thesis usually takes between 1 and 2 hours. Candidates are asked to briefly present their study and its origins (15 minutes), highlighting only its most salient features and findings, bearing in mind that members of the Examining Committee will all have read the thesis. The External examiner conducts the major part of the examination followed by questions from other Examining Committee members. The questions may be either broad or specific in kind, wide-ranging or narrow. They may seek clarification, justification, or they may be more speculative or hypothetical in nature, or all of the above. Following completion of the oral defense, the candidate and visitors are asked to withdraw while the Examining Committee evaluates (in camera) the quality of the candidate s performance/responses and thesis. Decisions of the committee are announced immediately to the candidate. The thesis may be deemed to be: a) acceptable with no revisions, b) acceptable with minor revisions, c) acceptable with major revisions, or d) not acceptable. Further details on procedures followed in an oral defense can be found in the FGSR Handbook. The Final Thesis Most, if not all, successful theses require revisions. These should be completed as soon as possible in accordance with the directions of the Examining Committee and under the supervisor s guidance. All examiners have the right to see and approve any final revisions. Upon completions of these, the successful candidate must submit two clean unbound copies of the thesis to FGSR. One copy is sent to the National Library in Ottawa and another is retained in the UR Library. Once Graduate Studies has completed its check, the student will be notified. The student supplies one bound copy to the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. Normally, additional bound copies are supplied to the supervisor and members of the thesis committee.

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