Link to programme information on department website:

To cultivate the capabilities to showcase expertise, generate new knowledge, and actively contribute to scholarly discussions on theories of knowledge and the processes of knowledge production within the accounting disciplines.

Eligibility criteria:

In addition to the programme specific admission requirements detailed in the calendar, the School of Accountancy (SOA) applies the following admission requirements when assessing applications for the PhD programme in Accounting. These requirements must be met to the satisfaction of the SOA before a potential applicant will be eligible and considered for admission to the programme:

  • A relevant master’s degree aligned with your intended area of specialisation. For applicants who have not completed a full-thesis master’s degree, evidence of the successful completion of an SOA-approved research methodology course is required.
  • A clear alignment with the research interests of the SOA.
  • The availability of research supervisory capacity within the SOA in your intended area of specialisation.
  • Submission of a research concept note. Please refer to the guidelines to preparing a research concept note.
Important Dates [for application in 2024]:

Applications open: rolling basis

Applications close: rolling basis

Programme start date: 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 - 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.

    Please note that candidates that have applied formally on SUNstudent can also apply for institutional or statutory funding to qualifying options listed on the SU Postgraduate Office’s website.

  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:

Financial Accounting

Management Accounting




Any other information?

Please contact the Deputy Director Research (School of Accountancy) – Dr G.F. Nel ( for additional assistance. ​​​