PhD

PhD Futures Studies

PhD Futures Studies

Become a specialist in strategic foresight through doctoral research

  • Course
  • FEES & TIMETABLES
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Apply
Course Overview
Research
Course starts Dependent on application
Fees R 106 115 (2022)
Applications 31 March and 30 September each year

This internationally accredited PhD Futures Studies will enable you to become a specialist in the field of strategic foresight. This expertise – typically in fields such as the new world of business, social capital, security, sustainability, technology and innovation, and decision-making – will enable you to work in government, public and private corporations, financial institutions, and academic institutions.

The degree is awarded on the successful completion of a research-based dissertation. This is the only PhD degree of its kind in Africa.

  • Duration: 2 years plus
  • Format: Supervised research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation
  • How to apply: Click here to see the 8 steps of the application process
  • Deadlines for applications and SHL selection tests: Deadline for all candidates: 31 March and 30 September each year. The Doctoral Research Committee considers PhD applications in April and October each year.

The fees below are for 2022. The fees for 2023 will be posted once these become available.

 Programme tuition fees for 2022 2022 (1st year) 2023 (2nd year)* Total Provisional Quote
Students from South Africa R53 057 R53 057 R106 115 Download
Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R57 772 R57 772 R115 445 Download
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC countries) R62 937 R62 937 R125 875 Download
​International students from the rest of the world R62 937 R62 937 R125 875 Download
​​​​​​​Deposit payable on acceptance of admission​ for 2022
​​​​Students from South Africa R10 611
​​​​Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R28 861
International students from the rest of Africa
(non-SADC countries)
R31 469
​International students from the rest of the world R31 469
​​​​​​​Application fee​ for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students)

SHL selection test fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students)

R850

R2 950

*Provisional fees

Important:

  • Payment of full programme fees: South African students can pay the full programme fees upon registration, or they can pay 75% of the annual fees by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due two weeks before commencement of the programme.
  • Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Fees for second and subsequent years of enrolment: These fees will be adjusted to make provision for annual price increases.
  • Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
  • Fee changes: Stellenbosch Business School reserves the right to change the fees at any time.

FINANCING

Capitec’s credit for education solution

Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate from 7% which allows prospective students, or their parents or guardians, to apply for a loan of up to R250 000 and pay it back over 84 months. To apply, the applicant must be permanently employed, 18 years or older, and have a valid South African ID document. A provisional quote or admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School is needed to process the credit application. You can only apply for Capitec’s credit solution through the Business School’s website. Go to the academic programme in which you are interested (see the FEES tab) and apply via the link supplied. Or go to https://www.usb.ac.za/academic-programmes/capitec-credit-for-education/.

Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).

Overview

The programme consists of supervised research in Futures Studies, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. The minimum registration period is two years.

The preparation of your pre-proposal

Every application must include a pre-proposal, written in scientific language, on your intended research. The pre-proposal serves to demonstrate whether you have a mature approach to high-level research. It also helps us evaluate whether the topic is viable and whether we can provide appropriate supervision and resources. The world count of the pre-proposal is approximately 4 000 words (excluding references). This is what the pre-proposal must cover:

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research methodology
  • Potential contribution of the research
  • References

The preparation of your comprehensive research proposal

Once your pre-proposal has been approved, you need to submit a comprehensive research proposal. Your provisional supervisor will guide you in the preparation of your proposal. Your comprehensive research proposal will serve as your road map for the completion of your PhD. You will be formally registered for your PhD once your comprehensive research proposal has been accepted.

The actual research process and its deliverables

Through their research, PhD registrants must demonstrate the following:

  • Expertise, knowledge and reflection of theories and methods at the forefront of a field or discipline
  • The ability to apply theories, acquire new knowledge and generate new insights to confront practical and theoretical problems with the aim of proposing relevant and ethical solutions
  • The ability to communicate your work to an audience of researchers
  • The ability to take part as a researcher in the international research community

Your final dissertation will be evaluated by three examiners. This will be followed by a public oral defence of the dissertation – the viva voce.

Creating intellectual capital

This PhD will provide you with a transformative learning experience to find your way forward – particularly if you see your future self as a strategist, long-range decision maker, manager or leader.

This degree allows you to become an expert in Futures Studies. Your dissertation must therefore:

  • Represent an original and significant contribution to the enrichment and advancement of knowledge in your chosen field of research
  • Demonstrate originality of thought, a theoretical underpinning, relevance to the discipline and rigour in execution
  • Create intellectual capital, which is the cornerstone of the knowledge society of the 21st century.

Who should enrol?

If you would like to become a specialist in strategic foresight, this internationally accredited PhD will help you achieve this.

This PhD is aimed at professional futurists, decision makers and strategic planners who would like to distinguish themselves through in-depth research aimed at helping people to bring about a more desirable future – a future that supports the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa.

This will prepare you for senior-level positions in government, public and private corporations, policy-making institutions, financial institutions, and sub-regional, regional and international organisations. It could also enable candidates to become lecturers at academic institutions.

What you need to apply

The three main academic requirements for admission to the PhD Futures Studies degree are:

  • The MPhil Futures Studies or a relevant master’s degree which included a substantial component related to futures studies. A major part of the Master’s must consist of a written thesis, for which a grade of at least 65% should be obtained.
  • A minimum period of registration of two years.
  • The SHL selection test (see below).

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of a verbal critical reasoning assessment, numerical critical reasoning assessment, inductive reasoning test, and Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) on behavioural preferences, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.

  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
  • About the test: The SHL test is done online. (Random verification might be requested.) You will be provided with a link to the SHL test once you have paid your PhD Futures Studies application fee and SHL selection test fee, and after you have submitted your application form and have received your provisional student number. (You need to use this provisional student number when writing the SHL.)
  • Cost: For fees, please see usb.ac.za/phdfutures (click on Fees tab). See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference. The application fee and SHL selection test fee can be paid online, and they are non-refundable.
  • Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with the Business School to write the SHL test. You will receive a link to the test once the relevant payments have been received and you have submitted your application form. The Business School will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
  • Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/
  • Important: The SHL selection test is valid for 18 months. If your SHL selection test results are older than this, you should ideally rewrite the test as people grow and develop and assessments need to take this into account. Stellenbosch Business School does not consider SHL tests from other institutions as you may have written a different type or level of test, or you may have been compared to a different comparison group. If you have completed the SHL with Stellenbosch Business School during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.

Requirements for ongoing registration

The minimum period of registration for the PhD is two years. Each successive registration requires evidence of sufficient progress toward completion. In particular, the following are required:

  • Supervisor(s): Students are expected to meet regularly with their appointed research supervisor(s) in person or virtually at the discretion of the supervisor(s). Regular exchange of written material is expected to accompany these meetings.
  • Progress reports: Students must submit a progress report at least twice a year attesting to satisfactory progress toward completion of the dissertation.
  • PhD colloquia: Students must present their work in person at a PhD colloquium at least twice every year. The student will field questions from faculty and students attending the colloquia.

Recommended

PhD candidates at Stellenbosch Business School are strongly encouraged to:

  • Publish articles from their PhD work in peer-reviewed journals as well as in other media
  • Present work based on their PhD at appropriate academic conferences.

PROGRAMME HEAD

Related programmes

Related programmes

  • Modular
  • Blended

Postgraduate Diploma Futures Studies Managing New Technologies

  • Future Studies

The Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration is an accredited programme aimed at working professionals who are interested in general management skills that build an entrepreneurial approach to business.

View Programme
  • Blended

MPhil in Futures Studies

  • Future Studies

Perform your duties as a professional futurist, responsible for strategising and planning. Through this programme, you’ll acquire the skills to understand local and global issues and understand their impact on your and your clients’ strategies.

View Programme

Programme Ambassadors

Alumni who support prospective students in their new stage of life and share their personal experience about studying at Stellenbosch Business School.

APPLY NOW

Programme enquiries and application support

Charmaine Garcia: Client Liaison

 

Admission enquiries

Joanne Sleigh

 

FAQs

A PhD Futures Studies will enable you to become a specialist in the field of strategic foresight. This expertise – typically in fields such as the new world of business, social capital, security, sustainability, technology and innovation, and decision-making – will enable you to work in government, policy-making institutions, public and private corporations, financial institutions, and academic institutions.

The input of futurists in organisations can lead to better decision-making and better outcomes because their knowledge of how different futures can play out helps to mitigate risks and to leverage opportunities. The ability to make strategic long-term decisions will help to deal with rapid and complex changes, locally and internationally. This can be translated into a significant competitive advantage.

Lastly, the depth brought about by doctoral studies will strengthen your authority as a professional futurist. It will enhance your stakeholder analysis, environmental scanning, systems simulation and strategic planning skills. It will also benefit you in consultation and facilitation roles.

A minimum registration period of two years is required.

Academic assistance is offered via a web-based learning environment, various software and database resources, small-group teams (dedicated study groups), and informal learning groups.

It is unfortunately so that many students embark on a PhD but never complete their studies. One way to help prevent this, is to attend a doctoral training programme and/or doctoral school to prepare themselves for doctoral studies.

This includes the 5-day Doctoral Research Training Programme at Stellenbosch Business School, and the doctoral schools presented by Stellenbosch University’s African Doctoral Academy.

This will provide you with an understanding of the research process, and help you to narrow down and clearly formulate your research problem and research questions. In the long run, it will save you time and provide a structured approach to your research.

Stellenbosch University’s library services can also help with books on how to prepare for doctoral studies and how to write a proposal.

Testimonials from our alumni

Jan Naude, Futurist, Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch.

‘The PhD study enhanced my career as analyst and consultant tremendously. Previously, I tended to have a narrow approach as an analyst of global geo-strategic dynamics. The PhD (Futures Studies) changed all that and ingrained a holistic approach based on open-mindedness to see things more clearly from multiple perspectives.’

Rianne van Vuuren , Advisor at Aquilo Forecasting .

‘The road of exploring the philosophy and methodologies of Futures Studies was indeed bumpy but also extremely rewarding. Although many academic disciplines do pursue elements of forward-looking perspectives, only Future Studies provides a multi-, trans- and inter-disciplinary approach.’


PhD Development Finance​​

PhD Development Finance​

Determine development strategies for Africa and South Africa with research on PhD level.

  • Course
  • FEES & TIMETABLES
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Apply
Course Overview
Research
Course starts January 2023
Fees R 134 556 (2022)
Applications Open – enrol before 31 July

The focus of this internationally accredited PhD Development Finance is research to support the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa. Doing research at PhD level will enable you to contribute to a crucial understanding of development finance. Advanced knowledge of development finance is typically required in senior positions in policy-making institutions, government, public and private corporations, financial institutions, and international organisations. This is the first PhD of its kind on the African continent.

Stellenbosch Business School emphasises the creation of knowledge that is particularly relevant to African organisations. This forms part of our social responsibility to strengthen our continent to the benefit of all those involved.

The first year of registration is taken up by course work while the second and subsequent years of registration are taken up by the research component, which culminates in a PhD thesis. This degree is therefore structured into a course-work component and supervised research.

  • Duration: 2 years plus
  • Format: Class programme in Year 1, supervised research from Year 2 onwards

Deadlines for applications and SHL selection tests: 31 July each year.   Your completed application, supporting documents and SHL test results must be submitted by the document deadline dates.

The fees below are for 2022. The fees for 2023 will be posted once these become available.

​R850

 Programme tuition fees for 2022 2022 (1st year) 2023 (2nd year)* Total Provisional Quote
Students from South Africa R 81 499 R53 057 R134 556 Download
Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R86 164 R57 722 R143 886 Download
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC countries) R91 379 R62 937 R154 316 Download
​International students from the rest of the world R91 379 R62 937 R154 316 Download
​​​​​​​Deposit payable on acceptance of admission​ for 2022
​​​​Students from South Africa R 16 300
​​​​Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R 43 082
International students from the rest of Africa
(non-SADC countries)
R 45 689
​International students from the rest of the world R 45 689
​​​​​​​Application fee​ for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R850
SHL selection test fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R2 950

*Provisional fees

Important:

  • Fees and deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. South African students need to pay 75% of the annual fee by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due two weeks before commencement of the programme. The deposit is deducted from the programme fee. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
  • Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Fees for second and subsequent years of enrolment: These fees will be adjusted to make provision for annual price increases.
  • Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
  • Fee changes: Stellenbosch Business School reserves the right to change the fees at any time.

 

FINANCING

 Capitec’s credit for education solution

Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate from 7% which allows prospective students, or their parents or guardians, to apply for a loan of up to R250 000 and pay it back over 84 months. To apply, the applicant must be permanently employed, 18 years or older, and have a valid South African ID document. A provisional quote or admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School is needed to process the credit application. You can only apply for Capitec’s credit solution through the Business School’s website. Go to the academic programme in which you are interested (see the FEES tab) and apply via the link supplied. Or go to https://www.usb.ac.za/academic-programmes/capitec-credit-for-education/.

Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).

TIMETABLES

The timetables below are for 2022. The timetables for 2023 will be posted once the dates become available.

YEAR 1 (2022):

Block 1: 25 January – 6 February

Block 2: 12 – 24 April

 

Full PhD registration awarded after completion of first year. This is followed by supervised research from Year 2 onwards.

Overview

Specialised research to support the growth agendas of South Africa and Africa – this is the focus of Stellenbosch Business School’s PhD Development Finance.

During the first year of this programme, you need to attend 2 blocks of 2 weeks each on the Business School’s campus. During this time, you will acquire advanced research techniques and a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of development finance, allowing you to finalise a comprehensive research proposal. These three core modules are compulsory in Year 1:

  • Advanced Research Techniques
  • Advanced Theory and Practice of Development Finance
  • Global Development Finance

During the second and subsequent years, you will do supervised research, culminating in a PhD degree.

Core Modules in Year 1

The three core modules are compulsory:

  • Advanced Research Techniques
  • Advanced Theory and Practice of Development Finance
  • Global Development Finance

This PhD is intended to develop knowledge and skills in the field of Development Finance. The programme has been designed to help you develop the skills required to carry out advanced research and to equip you with a sound understanding of the principles and theories of development finance. The programme consists of:

  • A core curriculum in Year 1: This structured coursework component is non-credit bearing but you are required to pass the requisite courses and submit a comprehensive proposal before proceeding with the dissertation. You need to do three core courses at PhD level.
  • A research thesis from Year 2 onwards: As a PhD student you will be expected to pursue supervised research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. This dissertation must:
    • Represent an original and significant contribution to
      the enrichment and advancement of knowledge on Development
      Finance
    • Demonstrate originality of thought, a theoretical underpinning, relevance to the discipline and rigour in execution
    • Create intellectual capital.

What you need to apply

  • A well-recognised master’s degree in Development Finance, Economics, Finance or allied fields
  • A strong quantitative background
  • SHL selection test (see below).

 

Important:

  • International students: International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will first handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. Students need to complete the online application and upload all certificates with their application. The International Affairs Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application. However, should the International Affairs Office be uncertain about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further.
  • Vetting process: All degrees undergo a formal vetting process to eliminate fraudulent applications.

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of a verbal critical reasoning assessment, numerical critical reasoning assessment, inductive reasoning test, and Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) on behavioural preferences, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.

  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
  • About the test: The SHL test is done online. (Random verification might be requested.) You will be provided with a link to the SHL test once you have paid your PhD Development Finance application fee and SHL selection test fee, and after you have submitted your application form and have received your provisional student number. (You need to use this provisional student number when writing the SHL.)
  • Cost: For fees, please see usb.ac.za/course/phd-development-finance/ (click on Fees tab). See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference. The application fee and SHL selection test fee can be paid online, and they are non-refundable.
  • Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with the Business School to write the SHL test. You will receive a link to the test once the relevant payments have been received and you have submitted your application form. We will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
  • Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/
  • The SHL selection test is valid for 18 months. If your SHL selection test results are older than this, you should ideally rewrite the test as people grow and develop and assessments need to take this into account. The Business School does not consider SHL tests from other institutions as you may have written a different type or level of test, or you may have been compared to a different comparison group. If you have completed the SHL with us during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.

PROGRAMME COORDINATOR

Related programmes

Related programmes

  • Modular
  • Blended

MPhil Development Finance​

  • Development Finance

This programme helps you understand the complexities of the different development finance resources available to poor countries, especially in Africa. You will also acquire the skills to help formulate and implement policies in this field.

View Programme
  • Blended

Postgraduate Diploma Development Finance​

  • Development Finance

This programme provides skills to implement and manage the design and financing of interventions that will help to grow South Africa, and Africa as a whole.

View Programme

Programme Ambassadors

Alumni who support prospective students in their new stage of life and share their personal experience about studying at Stellenbosch Business School.

APPLY NOW

Programme enquiries and application support

Henry Booysen: Client Liaison

 

Admission enquiries

Marissa Groenewald

 

FAQs

A PhD enables you to solve a business problem in a structured way and to gain expertise – through in-depth research – in a particular field. PhD research undertaken at Stellenbosch Business School must also be meaningful because we emphasise the creation of knowledge that is particularly relevant to African organisations. Reasons to embark on a PhD journey include the following:

  • Becoming an expert in development finance and to acquire applicable expertise
  • Contributing to a crucial understanding of development finance
  • Gaining advanced knowledge of development finance, which is typically required in senior positions in policy-making institutions, governments, public and private corporations, financial institutions and regional and international organisations.

Advanced knowledge of development finance is typically required in senior positions in policy-making institutions, governments, public and private corporations, financial institutions and regional and international organisations. It is also required for an academic or research-focused career.

The first year comprises of 2 blocks of 2 weeks each on campus. In view of the intensive nature of the programme, Stellenbosch Business School prefers participants to be fully resident for the first year of the programme to enable them to cope with the rigours of the coursework. The lectures are organised in two blocks of two weeks each and they will take place between January and June every year. Each course is covered in a block and consists of highly interactive lectures, seminars and case discussions. A student who fails to complete the course work and the research proposal after the first year may be asked to withdraw from the programme.

The supervised research that follows in Year 2 can be undertaken from anywhere in the world.

Testimonials from our alumni

Dave Munro, Fund head, Vumela Enterprise Development Fund, Heidelberg, South Africa.

“I researched available Masters programmes in Development Finance globally, and USB provided the best combination of applied knowledge and research. It is a privilege for me to learn with such a diverse group of people in this field.”


PhD Business Management and Administration

PhD Business Management and Administration

Find solutions to real-world business problems through in-depth research

  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Apply
Course Overview
Research
Course starts Dependent on application
Fees R 106 115 (2022)
Applications Rolling applications

This internationally accredited PhD Business Management and Administration is aimed at those who want to acquire personal and transferable skills through rigorous research and want to become an expert in their field.

This requires a contribution to new knowledge through in-depth research. Equipped with our PhD Business Management, you will help to find solutions to pressing business problems in the real world. The Business School emphasises the creation of knowledge that is particularly relevant to African organisations.

This degree will stand you in good stead if you want to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field, and if you want to work in industries focused on research and innovation, or at an academic institution.

  • Duration: At least 2 years of registration
  • How to apply: Click here to see the 8 steps of the application process.
  • Deadlines for applications and SHL tests: The programme has a rolling intake, and the Admissions Committee reviews applications monthly from February to November. Your completed application, supporting documents and SHL test results must be submitted by the document deadline dates.

The fees below are for 2022. The fees for 2023 will be posted once these become available.

 Programme tuition fees for 2022 2022 (1st year) 2023 (2nd year)* Total Provisional Quote
Students from South Africa R53 057 R53 057 R106 115 Download
Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R57 772 R57 772 R115 445 Download
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC countries) R62 937 R62 937 R125 875 Download
International students from the rest of the world R62 937 R62 937 R125 875 Download
​​​​​​​Deposit payable on acceptance of admission​ for 2022
​​​​Students from South Africa R10 611
​​​​Students from Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R28 861
International students from the rest of Africa
(non-SADC countries)
R31 469
​International students from the rest of the world R31 469
​​​​​​​Application fee​ for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students)

SHL selection test fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students)

R850

R2 950

*Provisional fees

Important:

  • Payment of full programme fees for South African students: South African students can pay the full programme fees upon registration, or they can pay 75% of the annual fees by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September.
  • Payment of full programme fees for international students: International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due two weeks before commencement of the programme.
  • Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Fees for second and subsequent years of enrolment: These fees will be adjusted to make provision for annual price increases.
  • Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
  • Fee changes: The Business School reserves the right to change the fees at any time.

 

FINANCING

Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate from 7% which allows prospective students, or their parents or guardians, to apply for a loan of up to R250 000 and pay it back over 84 months. To apply, the applicant must be permanently employed, 18 years or older, and have a valid South African ID document. A provisional quote or admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School is needed to process the credit application. You can only apply for Capitec’s credit solution through the Business School’s website. Go to the academic programme in which you are interested (see the FEES tab) and apply via the link supplied. Or go to https://www.usb.ac.za/academic-programmes/capitec-credit-for-education/.

Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).

Overview

Stellenbosch Business School’s PhD in Business Management and Administration is awarded solely on the successful completion of a research-based dissertation. This dissertation must contribute to and enrich the academic knowledge and understanding of theory and professional practice. The minimum period of registration for the PhD is two years.

The thesis may be written as a single whole, or may be by publication, where a number of articles and/or chapters are presented together with an introduction and conclusion that draws the parts into the whole.

The preparation of your pre-proposal

Every application must include a pre-proposal, written in scientific language, on your intended research. The pre-proposal serves to demonstrate whether you have a mature approach to high-level research. It also helps us evaluate whether the topic is viable and whether we can provide appropriate supervision and resources. The word count of the pre-proposal is approximately 4 000 words (excluding references). This is what the pre-proposal must cover:

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research methodology
  • Potential contribution of the research
  • References

The dissertation pre-proposal will also help Stellenbosch Business School to determine whether you have thought through your interest in and commitment to the programme, and whether you are suitable for admission to the Stellenbosch Business School PhD programme.

The preparation of your comprehensive research proposal

Once your pre-proposal has been approved, you need to submit a comprehensive research proposal. Your provisional supervisor will guide you in the preparation of your proposal. Your comprehensive research proposal will serve as your road map for the completion of your PhD. You will be formally registered for your PhD once your comprehensive research proposal has been accepted.

The actual research process and its deliverables

Through their research, PhD registrants must demonstrate the following:

  • Expertise, knowledge and reflection of theories and methods at the forefront of a field or discipline
  • The ability to apply theories, acquire new knowledge and generate new insights to confront practical and theoretical problems with the aim of proposing relevant and ethical solutions
  • The ability to communicate your work to an audience of researchers
  • The ability to take part as a researcher in the international research community

Your final dissertation will be evaluated by three examiners. This will be followed by a public oral defence of the dissertation – the viva voce.

Creating intellectual capital

The PhD Business Management and Administration is a combination of scientific rigour and managerial relevance. To develop applicable knowledge underpinned by theory and practice, PhD students need to conduct research on real-world problems, and develop personal and transferable skills that can be used in a range of applied situations. ​Stellenbosch Business School emphasises the creation of knowledge that is relevant to South African organisations, and from there to beyond our borders. This forms part of our social responsibility to strengthen our country to the benefit of all those involved.

Who should enrol?

If you would like to become an expert in the field of business management, this internationally accredited PhD will prove your proficiency, show your commitment to life-long learning, and confirm your credibility.

This PhD is aimed at leaders, managers, strategists and consultants focused on solving real-world problems through critical thinking and in-depth research in business management.

This will prepare you to work in industries focused on research and innovation, consultancies, and academic institutions.

  • Academic requirements: A relevant master’s degree in an appropriate management-related area, with an average of 65%. The major part of the master’s degree (weight within degree) must consist of a written thesis, of which a grade of at least 65% should be obtained.
  • Minimum period of registration: Two years
  • Selection test: SHL test (see below).

Note: International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. USB’s International Affairs Office will handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. You therefore need to complete the online application, and upload all certificates to your application. The International Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application.

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of a verbal critical reasoning assessment, numerical critical reasoning assessment, inductive reasoning test, and Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) on behavioural preferences, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.

The SHL is not about failing or passing. It is about determining your strengths and growth areas. The early identification of growth areas allows you to prepare yourself well and focus your efforts on academic and career success. As a responsible institution, USB needs to ensure that all students admitted are provided with the best possible chance to succeed in their studies and careers. The SHL is used in combination with the dissertation pre-proposal, prior academic results and work experience to form a clear picture on which to base admission and development decisions. Click here for more information on how we use the SHL to help students.

 

  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
  • About the test: The SHL test is done online. (Random verification might be requested.) You will be provided with a link to the SHL test once you have paid your PGDip BMA application fee and SHL selection test fee, and after you have submitted your application form and have received your provisional student number. (You need to use this provisional student number when writing the SHL.)
  • Cost: For fees, please see usb.ac.za/phdbma (click on Fees tab). See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference. The application fee and SHL selection test fee can be paid online.
  • Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with USB to write the SHL test. You will receive a link to the test once the relevant payments have been received and you have submitted your application form. USB will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
  • Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/
  • Important: The SHL selection test is valid for 18 months. If your SHL selection test results are older than this, you should ideally rewrite the test as people grow and develop and assessments need to take this into account. USB does not consider SHL tests from other institutions as you may have written a different type or level of test, or you may have been compared to a different comparison group. If you have completed the SHL with USB during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.

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Programme enquiries and application support

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Admission enquiries

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FAQs

In our process, we encourage prospective PhD students to provide some original and independent thinking in the pre-proposal. Prior contact with a potential supervisor may make it difficult to distinguish the applicant’s thinking from the supervisor’s guidance.

You can find information about funding on our website. Additionally, please feel free to explore the funding opportunities available via the Stellenbosch University Postgraduate Office (http://www.sun.ac.za/english/research-innovation/Research-Development/postgraduate-funding-support)

  • Contribution: What makes a PhD different to any other degree is that it must contribute to knowledge. At Stellenbosch Business School, we understand this contribution to be a theoretical one. (Read more about contribution here, and the definition of theory here). Try and avoid submitting a pre-proposal that reads more like a consulting report focusing on a specific context.
  • Writing: PhD students should be able to write in alignment with the standard academic conventions, which includes full referencing. Pre-proposals are submitted to a text-matching programme to check for potential text recycling.
  • Fit with Stellenbosch Business School’s interests: We strongly prefer projects in the private and non-profit sectors, as opposed to those in the public sector.

As mentioned, we encourage original thinking in the pre-proposal, and sharing such examples will make it difficult to distinguish your thinking from third-party ideas.

Unfortunately, our minimum requirements are fixed, and currently we do not offer any supplementary modules that will help you make up the minimum.

The allocation of appropriate supervisors is the responsibility of Stellenbosch Business School. While we do work with external supervisors regularly, the appointment of an external supervisor is motivated by the internal supervisor, and an existing relationship between supervisors have been found to be most beneficial to the success of the student’s project.