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Wits/AERC Collaborative Phd Programme

Applications are invited from qualified and motivated candidates for a PhD programme in the field of Economics.

This programme, supported by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), combines the traditional PhD structure in the School of Economic and Business Sciences (SEBS) and a partnership with other universities in Africa. It offers a rigorous and competitive training leading to the award of a doctoral degree in economics at the University of Witwatersrand.

During the programme, candidates will have the opportunity to learn in conjunction with students from other degree-awarding universities in Africa, both at our campus and at a Joint Facility for Electives in Nairobi, Kenya. The programme extends over four years, involving training in core subjects, electives, a thesis proposal, field work, thesis preparation and defence. Students will spend some time at the University of Cape Town and in Nairobi, Kenya for coursework and then at WITS for their thesis component.

All applicants must have a Master’s degree in Economics and must submit the following documents: CV, academic transcripts, research proposal, a motivation letter, SAQA certificate and proof of payment of the application fee.

A limited number of full scholarships will be offered competitively to applicants from the sub-Saharan Africa region. Applicants from within the SADC region are therefore encouraged to apply.

The programme begins in January each year and the closing date for the 2020 intake applications is 30th April 2019. Please note that this programme is offered on a full-time basis only, and accepted candidates must start the programme in January 2020.

For more information on the AERC, please visit:


For applications and administrative enquiries, please contact Ms. Lucia Fennessy
Tel: 011 717 8241

Please download the application form from and send it together with the required documents to Ms Lucia Fennessy on: Please note that for this particular programme only (the AERC PhD programme) you do not have to upload your documents online.