Rhodes University Logo
Rhodes > Faculty of Education > Studying > Doctorates and Areas of Research

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

The defining characteristic of a general doctoral degree in the field of education is that it requires the candidate to demonstrate high-level research competence, and to make a significant and original academic contribution at the frontiers of education or in asub-field of education. The research, which may be purely discipline-based, or multidisciplinary, or applied research, must be undertaken at the most advanced academic level, culminating in the production, defence and acceptance of a thesis. Course work may be conducted as a preparation for, or in support of the research, but may not contribute towards the credit value of the degree.The quality of the research should satisfy peer reviews and merit publication. The graduate should also be able to supervise the research of others in his/her area of specialisation” (Government Gazette no 38487 February 2015).

The Areas of Research in which the Faculty can offer support include the following:

  • Academic Development
  • Academic Literacy
  • Psychology in Education
  • Environmental Education
  • Education Leadership and Management
  • Language Teaching
  • Mathematics Education
  • Science Education
  • Information Communication Technology in Education
  • Technology Education
  • Indigeneous Knowledge Systems
  • General Education Theory
  • Higher Education

Prospective applicants need to be in possession of a suitable Masters degree (or equivalent).

After receiving your application the Faculty will decide whether it has the capacity to provide you with appropriate supervision. If the decision is favourable you may be called to a personal interview with your potential supervisor(s). The interview will focus on your research interest (as described in your draft proposal). Pending the outcome of the interview you may then be advised to register formally.

If you are accepted as doctoral student your next task will be to present a seminar to the Faculty on your proposed research. You will be mentored by your supervisor in preparing for this seminar. The purpose of the seminar is to obtain critical feedback in preparation for your final proposal and your research programme. Your final proposal needs to be approved by the Education Faculty Higher Degrees Committee before you may proceed with your research.

Doctoral students are expected to attend a research methodology course, which is offered twice a year and lasts for 6 days. The course focuses on research design, and will provide support for the process of preparing a research proposal.

Please communicate with the relevant Department or Institute in order to explore possibilities for supervision. Ideally you should have identified and have spoken to a potential supervisor and include this person’s name in your PhD application

Centre of Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning 

Education Department or Environmental Learning Research Centre

Institute of the Study of Englishes in Africa


Online application forms can be completed using the following link: https://ross.ru.ac.za/

General Doctoral Studies Information

Student Fees information

Last Modified: Wed, 04 Sep 2019 12:35:05 SAST