PhD in Nursing


The Doctoral Programme leads to a PhD Degree in Nursing. This is an advanced degree aimed at equipping nurse scientists with academic skills as well as specialised knowledge of a small area of nursing science. The Doctoral programme also accommodates candidates from other health science disciplines. On completion they obtain a PhD in Health Science which is offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences. The academic skills involved are theorizing, researching, communicating with peers in academic debates, and academic mentoring.

The programme is not focused on improving professional or clinical skills, or on broadly based knowledge of the nursing discipline.

It is, however, aimed at producing well-rounded beginning academics equipped and motivated to continue actively in the field of building the theory base of nursing.


The candidate has to reach specific objectives in terms of all the programme components. This can be summarized as follows:


  • Plan and implement a research project and produce a research thesis on the topic, linking to topic adequately to the theoretical base of nursing science.
  • Master a personal computer for word processing and statistical analysis.


  • Present a paper at a national or international nursing forum.
  • Publish three articles in professional journals.
  • Build a supportive network for future academic endeavors.



  • Participate in research supervision
  • Analyze the process of mentoring.


The programme is a three year full-time programme. If taken on a part-time basis, the candidates should expect to take at least four years. It is much better to register as early as possible in any given year, so that you have full academic years for your work.


1. One day a month over the whole period has to be spent on the campus. This time should be available for meetings with the supervisor and other staff, and for educational experiences and library research.

2. Candidates doing the programme part-time also have to spend six months on the campus as a full-time student. This time will be used to consolidate research supervision and other skills, promote networking and other learning.

3. Each student should have easy access to a personal computer, since all typing and statistics have to be done by the student her/himself, and all work has to be handed in typed. It is recommended that any person embarking on a PhD should have a PC.

4. It is expected that the candidate gives adequate time to the programme. At least two days per week over the whole period is necessary for you to make steady progress and gain the maximum from the experience.


Candidates have to possess a Masters Degree which includes a research component (doing research).

Not every person who completed a Masters is suited to the Doctoral Programme. It is only the academically talented who should go on to this exacting programme. If the following statements are honestly true about you, you may well be one of these:

1. I find a research stimulating and would like to do it every day of my working life.
2. I had very little difficulty in understanding the research process.
3. I had very little difficulty in understanding statistics/and or qualitative anayltic methods.
4. I write academic paper with relative ease.
5. My supervisor in my Masters had very little trouble getting my work up to standard.
6. My supervisor said quite a few times that s/he would like me as a Doctoral student.
7. I can give examples of my critical thinking skills.

On application, the School will require a copy of your Masters thesis for inspection, as well as the name and address of your Masters supervisor. We will also require you to write an admission examination.


1. Mrs Carol Dhanraj at the School of Nursing for enquiries about this examination on Tel No.: 031 2602255/2602499; Fax 031 2601543; Email Address:

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