PhD Pharmacology

This three year full-time program is offered to students who are in possession of an MSc degree in Pharmacology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physiology or other related scientific fields. All students other than those in possession of a MPharm or masters degree in Pharmacology will be expected to pass a basic course in Pharmacology. Students from other universities will be expected to complete a practical module in the first semester of their first year of study.

Students will carry out a research project in any of the pharmacology areas of interest to the department (see Research Focus Areas). This will be done under the tutelage of a supervisor, with assistance by senior students and technical staff. Students will be expected to perform independent research, design and execute a research protocol, which will ultimately lead to scientific report and publication. Given the timeline of the degree, projects are to start in January, with examination of the dissertation in the third year in August.

Entry requirements

To be eligible to apply for PhD Pharmacology, students should possess the following:

  • Masters degree in a biological or scientific field.
  • Masters degree grade-point average ≥65%.
  • Undergraduate pharmacology (FAR 381 and FAR 382, or equivalents thereof) average ≥60%.
    • ​In exceptional circumstances, applicants who are not in possession of such modules may take this during the honours year, however, this should not be seen as a guaranteed option​.​
  • ​International students must have qualifications verified by SAQA.
Application procedure

Due to the intensive nature of the postgraduate studies, as well as supervisor and infrastructure availability, only a limited number of students can be accepted per year. Students need to apply using the online postgraduate application portal of the University of Pretoria. All applications must be accompanied by a short curriculum vitae, full academic record, motivation letter (indicating the area in which you wish to conduct your research), summary of your current practical skillsets and a written report/manuscript to assess writing ability. After the application has been submitted, please send through your details to Ms Christa Swart ([email protected]) so that we may track your submission. It is up to the applicant to ensure that their details have been received by the department. Please note that the deadline for PhD Pharmacology is towards the end of September of each year. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline for 2022: 30 September 2021

Contact person


   Prof Werner Cordier

   012 319 2521
   Room 6-8, Basic Medical Sciences Building

Published by Magdalena Swart

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