This is a research doctoral degree, by dissertation only. Students develop their own research topic in conjunction with a supervisor, conduct the research and then write a dissertation of no more than 80 000 words.

This degree does not lead to registration as a Psychologist with the Professional Board for Psychology.

Admission requirements

Faculty Rules FDA1-FDA6, as listed in the Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Handbook, apply.

Applicants must have completed a master’s degree in the Social Sciences, Humanities or cognate discipline. The degree must have been completed with an overall average result of no less than 70%.

Preference will be given to students who plan to conduct research in areas currently undertaken by academic staff in the department.

Applicants must have the required background and submit an acceptable research proposal for which supervision is available.

Research degrees are encouraged where the field of research is clearly defined, the student wishes to concentrate on a specific research topic and has demonstrated the ability to do so.

The availability and willingness of a supervisor will be a key factor in admitting a student for PhD study. Please look carefully at the list of staff in our department, and their research interests.

Application procedure

The first step in the process is to find a supervisor, and to obtain agreement from the supervisor regarding supervision of the research for the degree. When attempting to find a supervisor in the department, applicants are advised to submit a short (5 – 8 page) research proposal to staff members.

The next step, after securing a supervisor is to write to the PhD Convenor, Professor Floretta Boonzaier  with proof of agreement from a supervisor, the brief research proposal, Full Trancript, MA Degree certificate, letter of motivation, CV and two references letters. This application will be considered by a Departmental Committee.

Applicants must, at the same time also apply to the university for the degree.

Please apply through the Admissions office via this link:

Note that there is no closing date for PhD applications, although you must indicate the year in which you wish to commence your studies.

For any additional queries please contact Mia Karriem. Her contact details are / 021 650 3438.