The programme line that starts with the BTh (previously BA [(Theology]) and continues via the BThHons or previously BAHons (Theology) and MTh or previously MA(Theology), or the programme line that starts with the BDiv (previously the four year BTh) and continues with the one year MDiv or the MTh, is concluded with the PhD. The outcome of a PhD is highly specialised, research-based knowledge and expertise.
Also consult General Regulations with regard to doctoral studies.
- Relevant master’s degree
- At least 65% for the research component at master’s level
- English language proficiency as determined by a proficiency test
- Hebrew passed at second-year level of the bachelor’s degree (for the MTh in Old Testament Studies) or an admissions examination may be required
- Greek passed at second-year level of the bachelor’s degree (for the MTh New Testament Studies) or an admissions examination may be required
Note: The MDiv qualification or a qualification not directly correlated to Theology may be considered for admission to a preparatory year
Examinations and pass requirements
Examination regulations applicable to doctorates in the faculty
A doctorate is conferred on a student only if he or she has complied with all the requirements laid down in faculty regulations: An examined thesis and oral examination. The doctorate is not conferred with distinction.
To be read in conjunction with G.50 (4)
First year PhD students will be called for a proposal defence by their respective departments in the format deemed appropriate by the department. Only with the approval of the proposal at this departmental defence will a PhD student be allowed to register for a second year.
Evaluation of the thesis
- Every examiner independently and individually submits a report to the Head: Student Administration. The reports are treated confidentially.
- Every report has to contain one of the following recommendations:
(aa) that the degree be conferred without any changes to be made to the thesis by the candidate;
(bb) that the degree be conferred as soon as minor changes have been made to the thesis by the candidate, to the satisfaction of the head of the department;
(cc) that the degree be conferred as soon as the candidate has made major changes to the thesis to the satisfaction of the examination panel;
(dd) that the thesis does not meet the required standard, but that the candidate be invited to review the thesis and to resubmit the thesis at a later stage for re-examination;
(ee) that the thesis be rejected and that the candidate does not pass.
- The examiners’ reports are made available to the relevant head of department by the Head: Student Administration.
- In the case of a thesis, the examiners’ recommendations made in terms of G.50.4(d)(ii) are preliminary in nature and subject to the successful completion of revisions as required by the examiners and the recommendation of the Postgraduate Committee.
- If the examiner’s reports are conflicting or scenario ii (cc) is relevant, the candidate should be called for oral questioning to confirm the recommendation of the panel. In this case:
(aa) The head of department arranges and chairs an oral examination during which the candidate is required to do a presentation on the thesis. The examiners appointed in terms of G.50.4(a) constitute the examination commission for the oral examination. If an examiner cannot participate in the examination the supervisor calls upon one of the substitute examiners appointed in terms of G.50.4(a) to act as a member of the examination commission.
If the head of department is the supervisor, a head of department from one of the other departments must be appointed.
After the presentation by the candidate, the examination commission constitutes a closed meeting chaired by the relevant head of department to consider the success of the candidate’s representation, to review all the examiners’ reports and to submit a consolidated report to the Postgraduate Committee with one of the following recommendations:
- that the degree be conferred;
- that the thesis does not meet the required standard, but that the candidate be invited to review the thesis and to resubmit it at a later stage for re-examination; or
- that the thesis be rejected and that the degree not be conferred on the candidate.
(bb) In the case of G.50.4 (d)(ii)(aa), the supervisor provides a short report on the result to the Postgraduate Committee for recommendation to the Dean.
(cc) If the examiners recommend revisions as set out in G.50.4(d)(ii)(bb) to (dd) these revisions must be completed and the revised thesis submitted to the supervisor and the head of department, or the examination committee, as required.
(dd) The supervisor in consultation with the head of department makes the relevant section(s) of the examiners’ reports available to the candidate in accordance with G.50.4 (e)(iii) in order for the necessary changes to be made to the thesis before the review or re-examination.
(ee) If deemed necessary by the Chair of the Postgraduate Committee, the examination commission may be constituted in a closed meeting (which may be telephonic or electronic), chaired by the head of department, to consider the revised thesis, to review all the examiners’ reports and to submit a consolidated report to the Postgraduate Committee.
- If all the examiners recommended in terms of G.50.4(d)(ii)(ee) that the thesis be rejected, the supervisor and the head of department review the examiners’ reports and submit a consolidated report to the Postgraduate Committee.
- The Postgraduate Committee makes a recommendation to the Dean as Chair of the Faculty Board, as follows:
(aa) that the degree be conferred; or
(bb) that the thesis does not meet the required standard, but that the candidate be invited to revise the thesis and to resubmit it at a later stage for review, by the head of the department; or
(cc) that the thesis does not meet the required standard, but that the candidate be invited to revise the thesis and submit it for re-examination by the examination committee; or
(dd) that the thesis be rejected and that the degree not be conferred on the candidate.
Article for publication
- Unless Senate, on the recommendation of the supervisor, decides otherwise, a student, before or on submission of a dissertation, must submit at least one draft article for publication in a recognized academic journal and in the case of a thesis, must submit proof of submission of an article issued by an accredited journal, to the Head: Student Administration.
- The draft or submitted article, as the case may be, should be based on the research that the student has conducted for the dissertation/thesis and be approved by the supervisor if the supervisor is not a co-author.
- The supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring that the paper is taken through all the processes of revision and resubmission, as may be necessary. Conferment of the degree may be made subject to compliance with the stipulations of this regulation.
- A thesis of international standard on a topic in the field of Theology must be submitted and defended in public before the Faculty.
- Prospective doctoral students register for Theology Doctoral Preparatory (Code 06290001) if so determined by the Admission Committee of the Postgraduate Committee.
- The registration period for Theology Doctoral Preparatory is maximum one year, and the student must prepare a substantial research proposal under supervision of the supervisor. If necessary, the supervisor may prescribe additional fundamental material (eg research methodology) which is essential for the preparation of the thesis, to be studied and assessed formally.
- Once the supervisor has completed the assessment to his or her satisfaction and the research proposal is recommended by the relevant head of department and approved by the Research and Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Theology, the student will be allowed to register for the appropriate doctoral programme.
Registration for postgraduate programmes
1. Concurrent registration for a second postgraduate programme
No student is allowed to register for more than one postgraduate programme concurrently, except where the student’s academic record warrants it and with the Dean’s approval. Continuation of study for the second postgraduate programme will be subject to favourable progress reported by the heads of department in the Faculty of Theology. However, no student will be allowed to participate in examinations for a second postgraduate programme in another faculty during the examinations of the Faculty of Theology.
2. Renewal of registration
Students of the University are registered for one year of study. After an academic year has expired, students wishing to continue their studies at the University must renew their registration and pay such fees for renewal of registration as prescribed.
No interruption may occur in a postgraduate student’s registration for a postgraduate study programme. Should a student interrupt his/her studies, such a student will upon re-registration be liable for the full fees applicable to the degree programme.
If a student interrupts registration for the postgraduate programme and it is not renewed within four years of the first registration, the credits obtained will no longer be valid. The student should repeat the modules already passed.
A student for an honours degree must complete his or her studies within two years. Under special circumstances, the Dean, on the recommendation of the relevant head of department, may give approval for a limited fixed extension of this period.
A master’s degree is conferred on a student only if at least one year has expired after obtaining the qualifications required for master’s study.
A doctorate is conferred on a student only if at least 12 months since registration for the doctorate at this University have expired. 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 relevant head of department, may give approval for a limited fixed extension of this period.