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PHD Programme

Who may apply?

We welcome applications from candidates wishing to pursue doctoral studies in public and population health. A Masters degree is a prerequisite for admission except in the case of medical doctors. Please note that unless the special permission of the Senate is obtained, no person may be registered as a student of this University while he/she is registered as a student of another university. Additionally, special permission of Senate is required to register in the same academic year for more than one degree or diploma in the same faculty, and no person may register in the same academic year as a student in more than one faculty without the written authority of the Deans concerned.

Application Process

To apply to the programme, please complete the Postgraduate Application form online. Only online applications will be accepted. In addition to the standard application form, the following documents are required and should be uploaded with your application.

  • Detailed curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement explaining why you want to pursue doctoral study
  • Academic transcripts - see instructions in Application form
  • Concept note outlining your proposed area of research (approx. 3-5 pages). 
    Please do not exceed this limit. Only the first five pages of the concept note will be reviewed.
  • A sample of written academic work of which you are the primary author e.g. Masters thesis/research report, journal article
  • Completed PhD application questionnaire (this can be downloaded at 
  • A letter from your proposed supervisor indicating willingness to supervise (this is optional, but candidates who have identified a supervisor tend to be have stronger applications)

Applications for the SPH PhD programme are considered twice a year - in April/May and in October by a selection committee comprising faculty members representing different disciplines. Successful candidates can then register during the January and April and July and September enrolment periods respectively.

Applications must be received by March 31 to be considered at the April/May selection committee meeting and by August 31 to be considered at the October meeting.  Applications received after the deadlines will automatically be considered at the next meeting. Applicants are notified of the decision of the selection committee within one month of the meeting.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Funding your PhD

You need to consider both your university tuition fees (and international student fees where relevant) and the costs of your research when thinking about how you will fund your PhD.  If accepted, you should discuss your plans for funding your research with your proposed supervisor – if your research involves primary data collection, you will likely have to apply for grants. Some supervisors may have funded positions available. You may check this website periodically for funded PhD opportunities.

Other PhD funding support includes CARTA fellowships for junior faculty at any of the participating African institutions. Please see the Faculty Research Office website for further opportunities.