The PhD programme in Statistics have a minimum residency of 2 years. Degrees are awarded on the basis of independent research providing an original distinct contribution to the methodological field of Statistics. The straightforward statistical analysis of a data set from an applied field might qualify for a PhD in the applied field but does not warrant a PhD in Statistics.

Eligibility criteria:

Applicants must have completed a Masters degree in Statistics with evidence of having passed accredited Masters-level courses in the field where the PhD research will be performed.

If an applicant is interested in pursuing a PhD with potential supervisors who are members of MuViSU the following requirement will apply to applicants who did not complete a Masters degree in Statistics at SU: The material of the modules 10597-822 Multi-dimensional Scaling A and 11910-852 Multi-dimensional Scaling B must be self-studied and all assignments must be completed. Only applicants who obtain an average for at least 65% for the assignments will be considered.

Important Dates [for application in 2024]:

Application and admission are processed on a rolling basis.

Application process:

1. Option 1: Applications can be submitted on the SUNstudent application portal to be formally considered for admission to a doctoral programme - https://student.sun.ac.za/. Once a profile has been created on SUNstudent, log in and follow the prompts to apply to the relevant PhD programme.

  • The following documents are compulsory submissions as part of the application:
  • Comprehensive CV.
  • Evidence of written academic work.
  • Letter of motivation.
  • Preliminary Research proposal (Please consult the research themes below before writing your concept note. Once you have selected a research theme, please consult the guidelines to the basic layout of a research concept note.)
  • Summary of master’s research.
  • Certified copies of academic certificates.
  • Certified copies of academic transcripts.

2. Option 2: Candidates can apply for a full-time doctoral scholarship from the Graduate School of Economic and Management (GEM). Successful GEM applicants are automatically granted provisional admission to the relevant PhD programme and an application on SUNstudent is therefore not required to be considered for one of the GEM scholarships. However, please note that only 2-3 of these awards are made per year.​

Research themes:

Applicants are advised to consult the personal research webpages of staff members (links can be found at http://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/economy/statistics/staff/academic-staff) to establish the possible theoretical research themes in line with the research of potential supervisors. ​