Human Nutrition
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Human Nutrition

Education - Postgraduate

Doctoral Programme

PhD (Nutritional Sciences)

A doctoral degree may be obtained in Nutritional sciences through recognition of high quality, original research and is assessed based on a dissertation subject to University regulations.

Specific admission requirements
You can be admitted to the degree PhD (Nutritional Sciences) provided that:
you have obtained a master’s degree in Nutrition/Dietetics; or
you have obtained a relevant MSc degree (Master of Science) of the University, or another university approved by Senate; or
you have obtained another qualification (and have allowed for the required period following the qualification) that is deemed sufficient by Senate.

Academic merit, nutrition at the Masters level, research experience and output and the proposed research focus area are, amongst others, considered in the selection of students.  

The Division can accommodate a select number of full-time or part-time doctoral students in the following (overarching) research thematic areas:

  • Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Food and Nutrition Security
  • Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health 
  • Specialized Nutrition Support
  • Gastrointestinal Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Food Labelling
  • Health Systems Strengthening
  • Monitoring Evaluation Policy
  • Evidence Based Methodologies
  • Education Research


Candidates may also enrol for doctoral studies outside these thematic areas, provided the proposed study falls within the area(s) of interest and expertise of the available research promoters.

Application procedure and closing date
Contact the Chair of the Postgraduate Committee, Division of Human Nutrition (Prof XG Mbhenyane; xgm@sun.ac.za) to inquire regarding the application process. PhD candidates can apply throughout the academic year.
Only a limited number of students are selected depending on capacity.

Duration of programme
The maximum duration is five years.

Current doctoral candidates
Click here for current candidates. 

Programme information

From Stellenbosch University Faculty Yearbook: Medicine & Health Sciences 2021. Click here​.
 (The University reserves the right to make changes to programmes as required; Annual changes occur in yearbook inscriptions: always consult the yearbook during the year of registration for up-to-date information.)

The language specification for all postgraduate courses is English.

​Programme Costs​

For information regarding costs, please see the Stellenbosch University Student Fees Yearbook. Click here​.
For Information regarding bursaries and loans. Click here.

Programme Enquiries

PhD Enquires/Applications
Prof XG Mbhenyane
Tel: +27 (0)21 938 9259
E-mail: xgm@sun.ac.za

Administrative/General Queries
Florence Coetzer or Shané Isaacs
Tel: +27 (0) 21 938 9603 / 9259
E-mail: florence@sun.ac.za/scvanniekerk@sun.ac.za​

Financial Queries
Sean Davidse
Tel: +27 (0) 21 808 3530
E-mail: seand@sun.ac.za​