Postgraduate research is a massive stumbling block to students who had never had an opportunity of exposure to research methods. A study conducted by the researcher (Costa, 2018) revealed challenges in postgraduate supervision—one of these challenges was the lack of exposure to research language by students. Qualitative research and its complexities due to a variety of approaches including rigour determination pose a plethora of challenges to novice researchers. This document presents C.O.S.T.A model as a tool suitable for use by academics and students, with a panoramic view of steps to be taken first to understand foundational concepts and the language of research and secondly to make informed choices on the research methods and design strategy options available for the prospective researcher. Conclusions drawn on the reliability of the model are based on empirical evidence of application of the model observed over a period of 12 months, with some students testifying to have passed their research projects satisfactorily at their respective leading universities in South Africa. Secondary research also provides voluminous sources of success of similar research supervision programmes both in South Africa and abroad.
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