Link to programme information on department website:

Students need to consult the departmental brochure on our website at https://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/economy/business-management


The Department of Business Management offer a PhD by dissertation only. PhD dissertations can be either a monograph or a series of scientific articles (the so-called PhD by publication/articles). Prospective students should consult the EMS faculty calendar (see the faculty website) and the brochure of the department https://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/economy/business-management

Eligibility criteria:

Criteria for registering for aPhD at the Department of Business Management:

  • A full-thesis master’s degree in Business Management (or any of its sub-domains) awarded by a reputable university;
  • Suitable academic qualifications in your area of specialisation (e.g. Marketing or Investment Management or Financial Management), and
  • A viable topic for a dissertation.
Important Dates [for application in 2024]:

PhD applications are considered at any time of the year.

Application process:

Two options are available to apply for admission to one of the faculty’s doctoral programmes:

  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.

    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 schola​​​​rship 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:

The departme​nt will primarily consider PhD applications in the following broad areas of study in the field Business Management:

  • Financial Management
  • Investment Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Management
  • Innovation Management

Students wishing to explore adjacent fields of study our do a multi-disciplinary study need to consult with the chair of the department.​​