How Long Does It Take To study Ph.D. In South Africa?

What is Ph.D.?

A Doctor of Philosophy is the most common degree at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study.


PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields.

How Long Does It Take To study for Ph.D.? In South Africa?

South African PhDs generally take between two to three years to complete if you are in full-time study, with a minimum of 4 years if you are studying part-time.

Do Ph.D. students get paid in South Africa?

Students at a Ph.D. level in South Africa can expect to earn 18,000 per month on average.

A Ph.D. student in South Africa earns an average salary of ZAR 10,000 per month.

Entry Requirements To Study Ph.D. In South Africa

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is a research degree undertaken with the guidance of a supervisor for a minimum period of two years.

Ph.D. applicants need to:

Hold a recognized Master’s degree (or in special circumstances, at the discretion of the Senate, and approved Bachelor’s degree or a qualification recognized by the Senate as equivalent). Verification of whether the qualification is equivalent to a South African degree is also required. This can be done by contacting the South African Qualifications Authority.

Demonstrate that they have the necessary competencies in research methodology and practice required for the completion of an independent study research degree.

Nominate a suitable supervisor with the application.

International applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit one of the following unless this requirement is waived by the GSB Research Director:

recent score on the TOEFL Test of at least 570 (paper-based) or 230 (computer-based) or 88 (internet-based).  This must be obtained within 3-5 years before applying to UCT.

recent overall band score of 7.0 (with no individual element of the test scoring below 6.0) on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Information on the TOEFL test is available here. For the IELTS contact the British consulate or embassy in the applicant’s home country.

Schools Offering Ph.D. In South Africa

Top Ranked Universities on PhDPortal

University of Johannesburg601601
University of Pretoria601401
University of the Western Cape601
University of South Africa (UNISA)801601