Centre for Applied Ethics

PhD in Applied Ethics

Centre for Applied Ethics

PhD in Applied Ethics

Admission requirements

Students may apply for admission into the PhD (Applied Ethics) programme on the basis of a strong MA degree in either Philosophy or Applied Ethics from a recognised university, or an equivalent qualification as judged by the University Senate. Provisional acceptance is at the discretion of the Department of Philosophy, based on your academic record and our available research expertise. Official admission into the PhD (Applied Ethics) programme depends on the successful defence of a formal doctoral proposal and final approval by the Higher Degrees Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

How to apply

Students who are interested in applying for the PhD (Applied Ethics) programme should first identify a potential supervisor who works in their field of interest. You can access our individual research profiles via our staff page. Once you have identified a potential supervisor, please approach them with an initial expression of interest, together with the following:

  1. Curriculum vitae.
  2. Proof of previous degrees and marks attained.
  3. An academic writing sample (article in peer-reviewed journal or chapter from your MA thesis).
  4. A brief outline of your proposal – no more than two pages. This outline should contain your thesis statement, a brief summary of your proposed argument, and an initial bibliography. The purpose of this outline is to help us determine whether your research interest aligns with one of our areas of expertise and whether you understand your field well enough to be able to undertake a PhD research.
  5. You may be asked for academic reference letters as well. There is no need to include them in your initial approach to a potential supervisor, but you may be asked to provide such letters down the line.

If you are given the go-ahead, you may then submit a formal application via the university’s admissions portal at this link.

Once you have been provisionally accepted and registered for the PhD (Applied Ethics) programme, you will work with your supervisor to develop a formal PhD proposal – normally a three to six-month process. This proposal will then be defended before a Doctoral Admissions Committee, which will determine whether your research topic is viable and whether you are equipped to complete it successfully. Once the proposal has been approved, you will be able to start work on the PhD dissertation itself.

Application deadline

Applications are considered throughout the year.


For further inquiries, please contact Prof Vasti Roodt at vroodt@sun.ac.za