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Doctor of Philosophy

Join top candidates from across the continent, engage in robust knowledge sharing and hone your research skills.

Programme Overview

The WBS PhD programme is the largest in South Africa and one of the most highly regarded on the continent. We seek out and bring together top candidates from across Africa to address important topics in their PhD research that are relevant to the advancement of business and society on our continent. We have students from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia and of course South Africa, and the best faculty from across the continent so that our PhD is authentically African in perspective. As a student of our PhD programme, you will gain real cultural and social insights from our commercial and political debates, you will sharpen your ability to articulate, grow in confidence and realise the vastness of the knowledge domains you can master by developing your learning and research skills. A PhD shows the world you are capable of putting in the disciplined effort, logical thought and leaps of insight needed to be a ground-breaking innovator. It tells employers that you work diligently to discover new truths, evaluate alternative approaches and forge ways forward based on solid evidence.


The School is particularly keen to enrol students in the following areas of study:

  • Strategy
  • Methodological Issues
  • Business & Society
  • Decision Sciences
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Organisational behaviour & diversity management
  • Energy Leadership
  • Digital Business
  • Philanthropy and Social Investment in Africa
    • Areas of study include but are not limited to African philanthropy, Community philanthropy, Public policy and philanthropy, Venture philanthropy, Corporate social investment, SDGs and philanthropy, Religion and philanthropy, Social investment, Impact investing, Wealth advisory, and Management of philanthropy among others.

Essential Websites to Visit:

Textbooks are available on

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Entry Requirements
  • A Bachelor’s degree with Honours – upper 2nd class or better (i.e. both with an average of “B” or better).
    OR a Bachelor’s degree plus a postgraduate Diploma (both with an average of “B” or better).
  • A good master's degree (i.e. an average of “B” or better).65% or more for specialised Masters Research Report and 70% or more for MBA research report.
  • An outline of your proposed research.
  • Availability of a suitable supervisor.
  • A non-refundable application fee.
  • Complete the on-line application form on the following link (parts 1&2).
  • Complete the Application Qualification Assessment Form.
  • Motivation letter.
  • CV.
  • A 12-pager proposal.
  • Certifiedacademic transcripts/records - Undergraduate, Honours and Masters Degree.
  • Certifiedacademic certificates - Undergraduate, Honours and Masters Degree.

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CRM Enquiry
Application process

How to apply to Wits

Online application

Application Closing Date: 30 September 2023

Complete the Online Application form (parts 1&2)

A non-refundable application fee

Document Downloads
2023 PhD Guideline Document


Complete the Application Qualification Assessment Form
Motivation letter
A 12-pager proposal
Certified academic transcripts/records - Undergraduate, Honours and Masters Degree
Certified academic certificates - Undergraduate, Honours and Masters Degree


A R15 000 minimum deposit will be required upon acceptance of a place on the programme

Financial Assistance -

Words from our Alumni

Disclaimer: Cancellation of programmes by WBS

WBS is entitled to cancel or change the date of delivery of a programme without notice and for any reason without incurring any liability to individuals who have applied or are enrolled on the programme or any funders of such individuals (“participants” or “funders of participants”).

Without derogating from the aforesaid, and insofar as it possible, WBS will provide the participants or funders of the participants with 30 (thirty days) days written notice of any cancellation or changes in the dates of delivery of the programme. 

Insofar as the programme is cancelled or rescheduled prior to delivery of the programme then in that event the participants and funders of the participants will not be charged the full programme fees.