Over the past six years CREST has offered a comprehensive academic training course for doctoral supervisors on the African continent. There is an ever-growing need for more African scholars and scientists to contribute to innovation and development on our continent and to enhance Africa’s participation in the knowledge economy. Due to the rapid increase in doctoral enrolments and graduates at African universities over the past two decades, many more well-prepared supervisors are needed at African universities.

Since its inception in 2018, the CREST course has received a total of 1184 enquiries of whom 846 eventually registered for the course and a total of 587 candidates completed and graduated from the course with a certificate of competence. The course is truly a pan-African course with 263 enquiries from South Africa, but the vast majority (900) from the rest of Africa.

This CREST course offers a flexible study opportunity to academic staff members, particularly novice doctoral supervisors, who are interested in advancing their knowledge, skills, and networks in doctoral supervision. The course is presented over eight weeks of course work between the first week of August and last week of September, followed by one month (October) to complete a short Capstone Assignment.

What does the course cover and the module dates for 2024?

Module 1: 5 – 9 August 2024
Doctoral studies in Africa: The need for the doctorate and the state of doctoral studies in Africa

Module 2: 12 – 16 August 2024
Nature, purpose, standard, and format of the doctoral degree

Module 3: 19 – 23 August 2024
Roles and responsibilities of the supervisor and the student

Module 4: 2 – 6 September 2024
Supervisory models, styles and practice

Module 5: 9 – 13 September 2024
Supervising the preparation phase: Selection of doctoral candidates, supervisor allocation, supervising the development of the research proposal and literature study

Module 6: 16 – 20 September 2024
Supervising the execution phase: Responsible conduct of research and ethics, project management, thesis writing, doctoral examination

Key dates

Closing date for application: 10 May 2024

Vetting process of applications completed and successful candidates are informed accordingly by 15 June 2024

Who presents the course?

The course is presented by CREST, an academic centre of Stellenbosch University in South Africa. CREST has vast experience in doctoral supervision and is known for its expertise in research methodology and in science policy and knowledge production on the African continent. Our partner in this course is the Centre for Higher and Adult Education at Stellenbosch University (CHAE). The course is taught by Professors Johann Mouton (CREST), Chrissie Boughey (CHERTL, Rhodes University), Liezel Frick (CHAE), and Dr Nompilo Tshuma (CHAE).

How is the course presented?

The course is presented through the web-based learning management system of Stellenbosch University. The course materials are 100% online (i.e. there is no need to travel to Stellenbosch) and participants can access the course materials and participate in the online activities when it is convenient for them. Participants must have access to a reliable and reasonably fast and stable internet connection, in order to be able to download the multimedia components of the course and participate in the online activities and discussions.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a Certificate of Competence from Stellenbosch University.

How much time will it take?

Successful participation will require about nine hours per week over a period of eight weeks. Participants should plan to spend another 15 to 20 hours on the final assignment.

What are the entry requirements?

To be considered for the course, you must be employed by or affiliated with a university in Africa, have a doctoral degree (or expect to receive your doctoral degree by the end of 2023), you have to supervise or co-supervise doctoral students (or be expected to do so in the future), and you need a letter of support from your head of department or dean.


If you want to be considered for the course, please CLICK here to complete the pre-registration form.


The enrolment fee is R7,500 (seven thousand five hundred South African Rand) per participant.

Limited funding available from DAAD

The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst / German Academic Exchange Service) have limited funding available for coordinators, as well as current/future supervisors of DAAD scholarship holders within the DAAD In Country/In Region scholarship programme. Complete the funding application form before/on 10 May 2024 if you qualify for either of these categories.

Doctoral supervision alumni group: 2023

Doctoral supervision alumni group: 2019

The presenters

Johann Mouton

Liezel Frick

Chrissie Boughey

Nompilo Tshuma

Course support staff

Rolene Langford

Marinda Faasen

Marthie van Niekerk


Please contact Rolene Langford if additional information is required.