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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Doctor of Philosophy in Speech-Language Therapy 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
90936  Doctor of Philosophy in Speech-Language Therapy 
ORIGINATOR
Stellenbosch University 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Doctoral Degree  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Promotive Health and Developmental Services 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  360  Not Applicable  NQF Level 10  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
This Doctoral qualification allows for the enrolling learner to undertake original research that will contribute to the knowledge and practice in the field of speech-language therapy and to submit an original dissertation reporting the results of the research.

Successful completion of this qualification will:
  • Ensure a high level of knowledge in the field of speech-language therapy via high level analysis of new information, the ability to deal with complexities and to find workable solutions to problems and challenges.
  • Contribute to the pool of academics and professionals with the competence and critical intellectual abilities to ensure advancement in the field of speech-language therapy, thereby making provision for the country's needs in a skilled scientific workforce of the highest calibre.
  • Prepare students who can apply their skills to the task of answering the relevant questions thus meeting the critical needs of the country.
  • Educate and train individuals who are able to perform research independently, thus contributing to the development of knowledge in this field of study at an advanced level.

    Rationale:
    There is a need to develop the local capacity of researchers specifically in the field of speech-language therapy and communication disorders. After completing the Doctor of Philosophy: Speech-Language Therapy the graduates will have mastered the skills to be independent researchers in this field. The qualification will make provision for learners with specific learning support requirements and such learners will be identified for extra tutorials, devoted personal attention and relevant support in learning and writing skills and in computer literacy.

    The qualification will address the needs of various stakeholders, academic institutions where speech-language therapy is taught and the profession as a whole in South Africa. This qualification has the potential to inform national and international policy decisions on speech-language therapy, communication disorders, health sciences and education. Given the above, speech-language therapy services in South Africa and eventually, the rest of the African continent, will benefit from the programme. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners have mastered the required research methods and techniques, are able to carry out independent research and have the required language skills to write a Doctoral thesis.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    The Doctor of Philosophy: Speech-Language Therapy conforms to the institutional Policy for the assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning which policy defines the process that must be followed in the assessment of an application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at Postgraduate level and provides information pertaining to assessment tools that can be used in the assessment of RPL applications. Unsuccessful applicants may appeal according to the relevant appeal procedures.

    Access to Qualification:
    The applicant should be in possession of a relevant Master of Speech-Language Therapy Degree from an accredited university, or the equivalent thereof. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The Doctor of Philosophy: Speech-Language Therapy is awarded on production and submission of an original dissertation of 360 Credits that has been assessed, suitably published and accepted by relevant peers. 

    EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Identify complex problems and solve these through critical and innovative thinking, responsible and independent decision-making and application of basic and advanced scientific methods.
    2. Apply basic and advanced scientific methods and technology efficiently and responsibly.
    3. Efficiently manage the collection, organisation, analysis, evaluation, integration and application of information from various sources, including advanced databases.
    4. Manage and organise self competently and efficiently to ensure personal self-development with emphasis on insight, responsibility, accountability, continued learning, self-criticism and the acceptance of criticism from others.
    5. Communicate effectively through competent presentation of information and data by means of oral, audiovisual and written skills.
    6. Develop and demonstrate a holistic approach to problem solving within the context of respect and sensitivity for other people, the community and the environment.
    7. Demonstrate understanding of the importance and potential applications of health and communication sciences in general and speech-language therapy in particular to the community through the communication of knowledge and results and the transfer of relevant technology.
    8. Apply the required ethical principles in research and accept and address the opportunities, challenges and requirements that apply to research and good practice in the health science professions at an advanced level.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in this qualification. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    The Assessment Criteria are applied generically across all the Exit Level Outcomes.
  • Appropriate graphical, statistical, linguistic and computer proficiency at a high level is consistently demonstrated.
  • A research project is independently designed, ethical approval and funding are obtained; the project is carried out, the results and conclusions presented in a scientific format and the responsibility and accountability for the performed work within the context of speech-language therapy are accepted.
  • Sound and systematic knowledge of the theoretical aspects of the subject matter as defined for the selected research project is provided.
  • Work on a research project, which requires the appropriate theoretical and practical skills is independently carried out.
  • A wide range of basic and complex information is critically evaluated and utilised to solve problems effectively using appropriate methods that are relevant to speech-language therapy and communicate knowledge, findings and potential implications to other people.
  • Basic and advanced technical skills and scientific methods are independently applied using relevant instruments and equipment to conduct sound research that conforms to the relevant legal, safety and bioethical requirements that apply to good practice in the health sciences.
  • The ability to work independently at a high level as part of a team and to add value to the larger group through constructive collaboration, cooperation and self-initiated new actions is achieved.

    Integrated Assessment

    The purpose and outcomes of the qualification are reached by means of the curriculum, as learners are supervised, guided and assisted by properly qualified individuals. Learners are required to perform a research project at the appropriate level.

    Formative assessments are performed on a monthly basis via the monitoring procedures for the programme. Monitoring of learning is performed via a monthly discussion between the programme committee, supervisor and each individual learner, where the following issues are discussed:
  • Objectives for the period under review.
  • Learner's self-assessment of the learning experience.
  • Supervisor's assessment of the learning experience.
  • Progress with research project.
  • Head of Division's comments.
  • Learner s activity plan for the next month.
  • Matters to carry forward.
  • New activities planned.

    Summative assessment occurs at exit level and must comply with institutional regulations for the assessment of Doctoral dissertations, including internal and external examination of the dissertation and oral defence thereof.

    An oral examination is required and may deal with the thesis or with the learner's knowledge of the subject in general, or with both these topics. The learner is expected to make a presentation which includes:
  • The context in which the study was undertaken.
  • The methodological setup according to which the study was undertaken.
  • The results, conclusions and recommendations. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This Doctor of Philosophy: Speech-Language Therapy has been successfully compared to the PhD in Language Science offered by the National University of Ireland, in Galway.

    The Discipline of Speech and Language Therapy aims to stimulate, conduct and disseminate high quality research in language, communication, eating/drinking/swallowing, and education which will have a significant impact on speech and language therapy practice and education.

    In terms of the required theoretical knowledge and production of an original research document which is presented in the required manner, this Doctor of Philosophy: Speech-Language Therapy complies with acceptable international practice for a Doctoral Degree. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Articulation:
    This qualification has both horizontal and vertical articulation possibilities:

    The qualification articulates horizontally with other cognate Doctoral Degrees.

    The qualification articulates vertically with post-doctoral studies in related fields, e.g., the field of Audiology. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Final assessment is aligned with institutional policy for the assessment of Doctoral theses. It involves the submission of a written thesis which will be examined by at least three unattached examiners appointed by the relevant body of the institution. At least two examiners will be external, i.e., not employed by the institution. Each of the examiners will submit a written, signed report on the thesis, which will be reviewed by the Committee for Postgraduate Training (CPT), which will make the required recommendations.

    The report form for examiners must cover at least the following aspects:
  • Adequate demarcation and conceptualisation of the field of research and of the research topic.
  • Adequate command of the relevant research methodology.
  • Adequate command of the relevant literature.
  • Clear, systematic and logical presentation of the material.
  • Proper documentation and substantiation of the results of the research.
  • Acceptable linguistic and stylistic editing.
  • The decision on whether the assignment makes an original contribution to knowledge in the subject area concerned. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    All assessors must be in possession of a relevant qualification at the NQF Level of this qualification.

    All assessors should have practical experience in the area being assessed and should preferably have practical experience therein. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Stellenbosch University 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.