Industrial Psycholohy
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

PhD Applicants

The Department offers a PhD by dissertation only. The Department offers no coursework/structured PhD programme. The PhD programme can be followed either through the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences or through the Department.  Only a limited number of candidates can be accommodated on the PhD programme via the Doctoral School, each year.

To qualify for consideration for admission to the PhD programme in the Department of  Industrial Psychology via either the Doctoral School or the Department, the following criteria apply:

  • You need to have graduated with a recognized master's degree with Industrial Psychology for PhD in Industrial Psychology or Human Resource Management for PhD in Human Resource Management as a major. 
  • If you graduated from a non-South African university your university needs to be recognised and approved by the Postgraduate Office of Stellenbosch University;
  • You need to have graduated with an average percentage mark of 65% in the master's degree in Industrial Psychology or Human Resource Management for the respective PhD's;
  • You need to have developed a comprehensive research proposal that meets the research aspirations of the Department.

For more information on how to apply for admission to the PhD programme via the Department please contact Ms Coreli CIllie on 021 808 3005 or

To apply for admission to the PhD programme via the Doctoral School you need to apply directly to the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.​​

To process your application, in the case of the departmental application, we require the following additional information:

1. The type of master's degree that you have completed [full thesis or structured masters] and the title of the thesis.

2. An abstract of your master's thesis.

3. A copy of a manuscript prepared or accepted for publication, reporting on your master's research [if available].

4. A comprehensive doctoral research proposal. The research proposal should at least cover the following aspects:

4.1 Background and necessity of the envisaged research.

4.2 Research objectives.

4.3 Literature review:

4.3.1 Systematic, reasoned theoretical argument culminating in a theoretical structural model.

4.4 Research methodology:

4.4.1 Research problems

4.4.2 Research hypotheses

4.4.3 Research design

4.4.4 Sampling

4.4.5 Measuring instruments/operationalization

4.4.6 Statistical analysis

4.5 Expected results and interpretation.

5.6 Expected conclusions and recommendations [theoretical, practical & further research]

4.7 Estimated contribution of the study in meeting the stated research objectives.

Upon receipt of all the required information the Department will appoint a departmental selection committee who will process your application. A recommendation will subsequently be made to the University. A conditional positive recommendation will allow you the opportunity to amend the proposal in accordance with suggestions made by the selection committee. A contact person would moreover be allocated to you to assist you in improving the initial research proposal. Once the major shortcomings in the initial research proposal had been successfully attended to a faculty committee will be nominated to evaluate the departmental recommendation. An unconditional positive recommendation will directly result in the nomination of a faculty committee who will evaluate the departmental recommendation. Registration would be conditional on a favourable faculty evaluation. You could be requested to defend your research proposal during one or both phases of the selection process. Should your application be successful you will be assigned to a promoter. The initial research proposal will subsequently be refined in collaboration with the promoter. The refined proposal will eventually be presented to a departmental research committee [possibly also including experts from outside the Department] to suggest possible additional improvements for the consideration of the candidate and the promoter. 

For a Doctorate a dissertation is required that is the outcome of original and independend research (see guidelines for doctoral study in the Yearbook, Parts 1 and 10). 

Program coordinator:


Prof GP de Bruin

Tel:      +27 21 808 3009