Interdisciplinary Digital Knowledge Economy Studies

The LINK Centre's PhD degree programme for candidates seeking to conduct intensive research into an element of the African ICT ecosystem and digital knowledge economy.


The PhD in Interdisciplinary Digital Knowledge Economy Studies is a research-only degree programme, offered through the LINK Centre. The LINK team teaches, researches and advises on a wide range of information and communication technology (ICT), innovation, and digital transformation matters in South African, African and other Global Southern contexts. 

Applicants who are interested in undertaking in-depth research on topics related to digital innovation, or digital transformation, in any sector including digital transitions in the agricultural and mining sectors, in the manufacturing sectors (including the major manufacturing sectors for South Africa, or in the emerging technology hubs environment, or in digital fabrication), in the services sectors (including broadcasting sector and services, financial services, any of the public services, telecoms sector and services) may apply.

The intended research should be interdisciplinary, potentially drawing on at least two disciplinary focus areas, for example, social sciences and law, or management sciences and innovation sciences, or public management and development studies.

Entry Requirements

To commence the application process, please send the following documents to LINK Director Luci Abrahams (PhD) at and LINK Degree Coordinator Nokhanyo Yolwa at
  • Academic transcript for your Master's degree programme
  • Final post-examination research report for the Masters degree programme
  • Detailed CV
  • One-page concept note on your intended topic of study
On the basis of our review of these documents, we will advise on a suitable programme of study for the relevant academic year.
Applicants who hold a degree from a university outside South Africa, even if they are South African citizens, must have the degree evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), see

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.