Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of the questions we often receive about Skripsie. Please read through the list and check if the question that you have has not already been answered. If not you are welcome to contact us.
- General Observation
You are going to work for 6 months with the study leader. If you have any questions about the topic, go and talk to the supervisor. It is never a good idea to choose a topic for which you do not understand the objectives or the problem.
- Do you really assign topics based only on our student number and provided topics?
Yes. Our principle is simple: We want to ensure that each student is assigned one of their top-5 topics. We ask that each student only select 5 topics from the large number of topics available. We feed these topics, along with the student's student number (and only that) into our algorithm.
The algorithm looks at the class as a whole and determines a solution that will ensure that each student is awarded one of their top-5 topics. This way we ensure that the most students benefit.
- What happens when too many people choose the same topics??
The chance of this happening is slim. This only happens if more than 5 students choose exactly the same 5 topics. In the event that this does happen we will call the relevant students for a one-on-one consultation with the Skripsie module organisers to find a solution that benefits everybody.
- Can I get a translation of all the topics?
Unfortunately no. The topics are published in the language that they are submitted in. However, you are welcome to contact us and we will support you to make sure that you are aware of all the potential topics available to you.
- If a topic is published in Afrikaans, do I have to complete it in Afrikaans?
No, not at all. The module Project (E) 448 is a bilingual module that has three assessment methods: a thesis, an oral and a poster presentation. Since all of these are assessments you are welcome to complete them in either Afrikaans or English, as you see fit.
- Must I contact the relevant lecturer before selecting a topic?
No. If you like a specific topic, and there are no questions about it, then you simply have to write the topics on your list of your top-5 topics and submit it to us before the deadline.
- When will you publish the final list?
As soon as we receive the topic selections we will be entering the data into computer, and running them through the algorithm. The list is published when the algorithm is finished and the organisers have signed of on it.
- Do certain topics result in higher marks?
No. Your success in the Skripsie is measured based on how well you meet the outcome and assessment criteria of this module, as printed in the module framework. These requirements look at how thoroughly you were able to complete this engineering project, and how well you were able to document and present it. We do not look at how impressive your Coffee-stapler-datarouter-motor Device of Science® is. (The fact that it is amazing and brilliant is what is supposed to keep you interested in the project. The report, oral and poster - those are for us.)
- If a topic has a specific module as a requirement, how important is that?
Very important. There simply is not enough time in the very short Skripsie semester for you to study the theory, and master, a new module above and beyond the required work. You will not be allowed to select such a topic.
- A topic requires specialist subject knowledge, what does this mean for me?
Ensure that you have either completed this subject successfully in the past or are completing it this semester to select such a topic.
- Is Skripsie difficult?
No and yes.
Skripsie is extremely time consuming. The module is a 48 credit module, which translates into approximately 480 hours of work during the semester. There are only 13 usable weeks in the semester for you, so that translates to about 37 hours per week and about 7.5 hours per day. A manageable week.
The danger is that you can fall behind with your research rather quickly by underestimating how quickly you lose time. As an example, please look at the following scenario: Assume that you work hard from 9 to 5 on Monday, Tuesday you take a half-day (because there was something important to do), Wednesday you work hard again, Thursday you only come in at 10 and leave at about 4 and on Friday you come in at 10 and leave at half past two (with a hour lunch break every day that ends past two o'clock). In this week you have only worked 25.5 hours, 11.5 hours less than recommended. After 3 weeks you are now 35 hours behind, and thus you are now behind by a week and by more time than you can comfortably work back.
So to summarize, no, Skripsie is not difficult, it is just hard work. But be careful of the potential pitfall, because that can make it very difficult. You have been warned.