This is an interdepartmental programme. The curriculum is to be determined by the heads of department in the biological sciences.
Duration of studies
The doctorate is conferred on a student only if one of the following periods has expired:
- At least four years after complying with all the requirements for a three-year bachelor’s degree.
- At least three years after complying with all the requirements for a four-year bachelor’s degree.
- At least two years after complying with all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree of five years or more.
- At least two years after complying with all the requirements for a master’s degree.
- With the exception of a shorter period that may be approved by the Dean, at least 12 months since registration for the doctorate at this University has expired.
The head of department may set specific residential requirements for students who are required to live on campus.
Renewal of registration
Subject to other faculty regulations, a student for a doctorate must complete his or her studies within three years after first registering for the degree. Under special circumstances, the Dean, on the recommendation of the head of department or the Postgraduate Committee, may give approval for a limited fixed extension of this period.
The curriculum for the PhD degree consists of the following:
- Theoretical knowledge of the major subject/s and such additional modules as may be prescribed.
- A thesis.
Conversion of a master’s to doctoral study
The stipulations of G.41 apply as follows:
- Under special circumstances, the dean of a faculty may convert the registration of a candidate for the master’s degree to registration for a doctoral degree.
- For such conversions, the head of department and the supervisor must be satisfied that the student’s completed work is of the standard that would be expected of a doctoral student, that the student is capable of completing a doctoral degree, and that the project is of appropriate standard and scope to constitute a doctoral study.
- For such conversions, the head of department and the supervisor must be satisfied that the student has demonstrated that he or she has the potential to fulfil the requirements of a doctoral degree without having completed a master’s degree.
- Application for conversion may be submitted at any time during the course of study for the master’s degree.
- The application for the conversion must include the following documentation:
- A detailed progress report by the candidate of the work completed for the master’s project. The report must provide proof that the results obtained thus far are of such a standard and scientific significance that they justify conversion to a doctoral project. The report should include details of presentations made at conferences and of material that has been submitted for publication and/or published.
- A detailed proposal for the intended doctoral project, written by the candidate, including the objectives of the project.
- A recommendation by the supervisor with specific comments on the ability of the applicant as a potential doctoral candidate as well as the feasibility of the conversion, especially with regard to the information provided by the candidate in his/her reports (items (i) and (ii)).
- A recommendation by the head of department, if he or she is not the supervisor, in which the ability of the candidate as a potential doctoral candidate is confirmed.
- If the dean considers it advisable for the faculty, the candidate may be required to present a seminar to the department in support of the application. In this case, the head of department should include a report on this in his or her recommendation.
- The application of the candidate, together with the reports and recommendations, is submitted for consideration to the dean, (who may delegate to the Chairperson of the Faculty Postgraduate Committee) for approval. The decision should be submitted to the Faculty Board for approval.
Candidates are required to familiarise themselves with the General Regulations regarding the maximum duration of study and the requirements to submit an article/s for publication.
In addition to the requirements of General Regulations G.1.3 and G.62 the MSc, MScAgric, MInstAgrar or other appropriate degree is a prerequisite for admission to PhD studies. Additional requirements and conditions can be specified by the Dean on the recommendation of the head of department and the supervisor.
Examinations and pass requirements
- Consult the General Regulations that apply to the calculation of marks.
- In order to obtain the PhD degree the candidate must:
- pass the examinations and the prescribed modules, as determined in the study programme;
- pass the thesis; and
- pass the final examination on the thesis and general subject knowledge.