PhD in Philosophy

PhD in Philosophy

Admission requirements

Students may apply for admission into the PhD (Philosophy) programme on the basis of a strong MA degree in Philosophy from a recognised university. Provisional acceptance is at the discretion of the Department of Philosophy, based on the applicant’s 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 before a Doctoral Admissions Committee 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 a PhD in Philosophy 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. Your 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 applications portal at this link.

Once you have been (provisionally) admitted into the PhD programme, you will work with your supervisor to develop a formal PhD proposal – normally a three to six-month process. 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