Developing Your Own Study Skills

While studying at SOPH, you are encouraged to improve your ability to read academic texts, write successful assignments, and develop many other academic skills which will help you to be a successful student. The following are some options offered to improve your academic ability:

  • Ask for help when you need it from the Module Convenor/Lecturer, for example by submitting draft assignments and using the feedback to guide you.
  • Use the SOPH Academic Handbook which will be available on iKamva.
  • Attend the academic skills sessions offered at Summer and Winter School.
  • Request assistance from SOPH staff and librarian when you visit UWC. Please make such arrangements in advance.
  • Contact UWC’s postgraduate academic development division called the Division for Postgraduate Studies. You will find details below in 7.4.1.

7.4.1 Division for Postgraduate Studies

The Division for Postgraduate Studies (DPGS) [previously known as the Postgraduate Enrolment and Throughput (PET) project] provides academic support to postgraduate students. The DPGS assist postgraduate students with acquiring research skills such as academic writing, research methodology and data analysis.

The following services are offered by the DPGS:

  • ‚óŹ A Postgraduate Resource Centre on level 13 in the main library is a “quiet” space for postgraduate students to sit and write.
  • Research Development Programmes on Saturdays covering topics such as proposal writing, research methodology, writing the literature review, presentation skills and; research funding opportunities and applications. Programmes are circulated at the beginning of each semester. If you wish to be included in the mailing list, please send in your request and details. The contact details are provided below. This will only be useful to students based in Cape Town
  • Research software training – ATLAS.ti is a qualitative data analysis software which is useful in the analysis of large bodies of textual, graphical, audio and video data.
    SPSS – Software Package for the Social Sciences – is a software package which assists in the analysis of quantitative data. Software training programmes will be advertised via the UWC communication emails.
  • Communication literacy: Excel presentations (working with tables and figures in your thesis); Working with large documents; PowerPoint presentations.
  • Information literacy: Literature support from the Faculty Librarian. In addition to this, library training for postgraduate students will be advertised via the Library User Education Programme and the DPGS yearly research development programme schedule. In The library programmes focuses on resources and information relevant to the group, e.g. online databases, online journals and other services in the library, which all postgraduate students may find useful e.g. interlibrary loan.
  • One-on-one writing and qualitative/statistical coaching services are available in the Postgraduate Resource Centre (Level 13 in the library).For one-on-one writing and qualitative/statistical coaching services please follow the instructions provided in the box below. For those students living outside Cape Town, DPGS offer online academic assistance.


To request a writing or qualitative/statistical coach:

Go to "UWC website"
Select "Division for Postgraduate Studies" Select "Services"
Select "Mentoring or coaching ... click on “click here" and submit completed form.

Contact details:

Mr Leslie Jubelin, Office Co-ordinator at (+27 21) 959 2451,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Ms Cornelia Hart, Academic Co-ordinator at (+27 21) 9592007, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

For Saturday Programme bookings
Go to "UWC website" Click on on-line services Select student portal
Select student access
Enter your student number and ID/passport number Access the ‘workshops’ option.

Remember: your Academic Handbook and the Academic Literacy Resources on the iKamva online learning site will also assist you in gaining these skills!

School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809 | Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872 | Email: