The General Rules for Doctors' degrees shall apply.
Refer also the relevant pages of the General Prospectus.

Admission requirements

  • A cognate master’s degree by research only, passed with at least 60% or an equivalent grade that reflects a relevant standard of knowledge in a particular field as well as research competence


  • A cognate master’s degree by course work and research, with the treatise or mini-dissertation passed with at least 60% or an equivalent grade. In addition, a pass of at least 60% or an equivalent grade should have been attained for each of the course work modules.
  • Candidates who have completed their master’s degree by course work and treatise or mini-dissertation may be required to do and pass an approved research methodology module, at the appropriate level, with at least a 60% or an equivalent grade, should such a module not have been included in their learning programme
  • Candidates who have not met all of the criteria as outlined above, may apply for provisional registration for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and will be required to register for and pass, with at least 60% or an equivalent grade, a module or modules as recommended by the HOD for approval by the RTI Committee of the relevant School within the Faculty;

Conditions that apply

  1. Timeous application is required to allow for a thorough adjudication of applications.
  2. Applicants, as part of their application, need to present a preliminary proposal outlining the focus and nature of the intended research and a full CV.
  3. Upon application, candidates, who have not previously studied at Nelson Mandela University, will be required to submit an official, verified transcript of their academic record that, where applicable, includes the syllabus of each module passed in their preceding degree programme together with a copy of the research project, mini-dissertation or treatise.
  4. The acceptance of an application is subject to the availability of the implied supervisory capacity, both in terms of time and expertise.


International students who have completed previous qualifications in a language other than English must submit proof of English language proficiency reflecting minimum adequate scores as follows:

v  IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score with minimums of 6 in each section;


  • Paper-based (PBT) – 580 minimum overall score with minimums of 53 in listening, 52  in reading and 59  in structure/written;
  • Computer-based (CBT): 237 minimum overall score with minimums of 19 in listening, 19 in reading and 25 in structure/written;
  • Internet-based (IBT): 92 minimum overall score with minimums of 18 in listening, 17 in reading, 22 in writing and 22 in speaking.


The programme of study shall extend over a minimum period of two years and a maximum period of six years (General Rule G4.2 applies).


To provide students with the opportunity to conduct research in the field of Development Finance and related subfields at Doctoral level culminating in the preparation and presentation of a thesis.

Learning Outcomes

Student will be able to:

  • Delineate appropriate research objectives/aims/hypotheses
  • Delimit the scope of the study as evident from the research objectives/aims/hypotheses
  • Maintain the focus of the study consistent with the aims and objectives as set out in the research proposal
  • Provide an unambiguous title conveying the focus of the study
  • Conduct and present a comprehensive and critical review of contemporary, relevant and authoritative scientific sources and theories in the field or related subfields of Development Finance
  • Devise, critically evaluate and present a relevant research design and methodology representing a logical progression from the research objectives/aims/hypotheses to the research process
  • Use appropriate analytical techniques in order to meet the objectives/aims/hypotheses of the study
  • Accurately interpret and discuss the findings that are well substantiated by the results of the analysis
  • Present the results coherently and make logical conclusions based on the research results
  • Highlight the applications, implications and unique contributions to the field of study
  • Make appropriate recommendations and proposals for future research with consideration of the limitations and shortcomings of the study
  • Present the thesis in a linguistically and technically appropriate way meeting all prevailing academic requirements
  • Prepare and submit an article for publication in the format required by an appropriate accredited journal, based on the research conducted for the thesis.

Core Content

A doctoral thesis that complies with the criteria as set out in Rule G4.8


Thesis – 100%

To be examined by a panel consisting of three examiners.


External examination forms an integral part of the assessment of the thesis.

Pre-Requisites for this Module


Co-Requisites for This Module


Please refer to the Application Procedure page and the link below for application details


Contact information
Dr Amanda van den Berg
Tel: 27 41 504 4275