Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Research Development and Support 

Doctoral Office

Doctoral Studies

Dr Jyothi A Chabilall
Head of Doctoral Office
Room 1062
First Floor
Clinical Building
Tel: +27 21 938 9778
Email: chabilallj@sun.ac.za


  • Prospective PhD students need to discuss the possibility of undertaking doctoral studies with a Head of a Department/Division/Centre.
  • The relevant information is available from the Doctoral Office.
  • APPLICATIONS may be made at any time of the year until 30 November
  • Students may apply via OPTION A OR OPTION B



Registra​tion takes place through the Faculty Office, Contact Ms VB Joseph: vbj@sun.ac.za

A doctoral candidate applicant must register EVERY Year and in either the first or the second se​mester of a given year:

  • First semester registration opens closes on 31 March each year; and
  • Second semester registration closes on 31 August each year


​No registration will take place after 31 August of any given year.



  • ​1 August for December Graduation
  • 15 October for March Graduation


NOTE: Intention to submit dissertations for Doctoral examinations should be communicated to Doctoral Office: chabilallj@sun.ac.za at least SIX (6) months prior to the date of graduation.

  • The dissertation should be handed to the Doctoral Office with a release form signed by the Supervisor/ Head of Department/Division/Centre.
  • Students are to email a pdf copy to the Doctoral Office and submit bound copies for each examiner who requests one.
  • It is the responsibility of the student and supervisor to upload the dissertation on SunLearn after the results are confirmed.




There are TWO OPTIONS available when applying for doctoral studies:

OPTION A: [An application may be submitted at any time of the year until 30 November of any year, but final registration will take place only from 1 January to 31 August of any given year]

The candidate will submit his/her full application for consideration for PhD studies in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences - and proof of payment (if applicable) to the Doctoral Office and declare that he/she accepts that:

  1. He/she will be registered after both the Committee for Postgraduate Research (CPR) and the relevant Ethics Committee approve of the proposed study.
  2. In special circumstances (e.g. for bursary purposes), he/she may request (with motivation from the supervisor) to be registered once the evaluation committee has approved the application.
  3. The approval process may take three (3) to six (6) months before it is complete, depending on the level of risk of the study as well as modifications required.
  4. He/she may be required to make amendments/modifications regularly, and agree to do so timeously.
  5. The protocol may be rejected if it does not fulfil the prerequisites of the Faculty, or if he/she fails to address the concerns of the CPR or Ethics Committee, if applicable, and that he/she will (in such a case) not be registered for PhD studies.


 OPTION B: [Immediate registration, which is available as indicated]

 The candidate wishes to be registered immediately for PhD studies in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

  1. To enable the University to do this, he/she must submit FORM A1 to the Doctoral Office, as well as:
      • A recommendation from the Head of the relevant Dept/Division/Centre,
      • Motivation from the proposed supervisor,
      • A preliminary protocol,
      • CV of the applicant,
      • Recently certified qualification documents (if last qualification was not from Stellenbosch University),
      • A non-disclosure agreement
      • An MoU and
      • An application form for admission to the SU and proof of payment (if applicable).
  2. He/she will have to submit a full application for PhD to the Doctoral Office WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS of date of registration.
  3. He/she understands that he/she will have to pay the applicable registration fees when these are due.
  4. He/she understands he/she can register through OPTION B only once, and that if he/she fails to submit the full application as required above, his/her registration will be discontinued. In such a case he/she may be allowed to apply for registration again only under OPTION A, and only if the Department/Division/Centre and supervisor(s) recommend this.​​​