3 - 5 Years

NQF Level


Closing Date

31 October


Prospective students (who may originate from any disciplinary background) will undergo a rigorous process of selection. If you are committed to:

  • rigorous research in an applied context
  • high-intensity learning that stretches you intellectually and practically
  • contributing to knowledge in the field of leadership and cognate areas in Africa and globally
  • making a positive difference to organisations, communities or society

Extract from the UKZN Academic Rules: 

Criteria for admission to study

a) An applicant shall not be registered for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy / a supervised Doctoral degree by research in any college unless the applicant has:

  • satisfied the requirements for a relevant prerequisite degree as
  • specified in the College concerned (Masters); or
  • been admitted to the status of that degree in terms of Rule GR7(a); or
  • attained a level of competence as defined in Rule GR7(b)

b) A college may prescribe further minimum criteria for admission to study.

Periods of registration

A student registered for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy / a supervised Doctoral degree by research in any college shall be so registered for a minimum period of four semesters for full-time students or eight semesters for part-time students before the degree may be conferred.

The staff have interest in a variety of Leadership areas and you are invited to discuss aligned interests with them.

Click here to view staff research interests.

Application Procedure

Applications will need to be made online

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  1. Brief curriculum vitae which should include details of your current work situation and any research related activities including publications (e.g. articles, reports) that you may have (co)authored,
  2. Cover letter (indicate in your covering letter which of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership Academic staff members you have consulted regarding your intended research. Click here to view staff research interests, You may also suggest whom you would like to work with as the promoter of your study. If you do not know any Graduate School of Business & Leadership staff, then indicate in your recommendation what kind of expertise you would consider to be appropriate to support your studies.)
  3. 5 page description of the research that you intend to pursue for the PhD studies. Click here to download the Research to download the Research
  4.  A copy of your academic record, especially the results obtained for your Honors and Master’s degree (for example the results for course work and the research components where applicable)
  5. A photo-copy of the abstract of your masters research dissertation
  6. Certified copies of Degree certificates 
  7.  Certified copy of I.D /Passport 
  8. SAQA approval letter for International Applicants

N.B. All certified copies must not be older than 3 months of certification date.


Most frequent questions and answers
  • There is no closing date, however, admission is subject to availability of supervisors.
  • Full-time study means that a student will take 3 years/6 semesters to complete a doctoral programme.
  • Part-time means that a student will take 5 years/10 semesters to complete a doctoral programme.
  • Our doctoral programmes are full research, therefore, students are not required to attend classes.

Yes, support is provided in the form of research workshops as well as seminars; doctoral students are encouraged to attend these support sessions. Students are also expected to make arrangements with supervisor/promoter as needed.

Full-time doctoral students qualify for full fee remission for the minimum duration of the degree (3 years/6 semesters). This applies to all students, i.e. local, SADC and international who are full-time students, who register for a doctoral degree by dissertation. The fee remission covers tuition fees, of which the initial registration fee is part, but does not cover the application fee which must still be paid.

Full-time doctoral students qualify for full fee remission for the minimum duration of the degree (3 years/6 semesters).

Who should apply?

Need to get in touch?

Ms Zarina Bullyraj Doctoral, DBA & PhD bullyraj@ukzn.ac.za +2731 260 2784
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