The DIFS MSc/PhD application process
We are pleased that you are considering either an MSc or PhD degree with us in the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (DIFS) at Rhodes University. Please work your way through the following steps, as it will guide you through the application process. The process applies to all MSc/PhD applicants to the DIFS:
(1) Do you have time to read for this degree?
Our post-graduate program is based on full-time attendance in nearly all cases, unless you are a full time
employee AND your employee is prepared to allow you substantial time dedicated to studies, in which case you
are invited to motivate to register part time. Would you be able to dedicate two years (for MSc) and three years
(for PhD) to this study on a full-time basis?
(2) Do you have a project topic and a DIFS/SAIAB supervisor?
Note that we only offer an MSc and PhD by thesis; we do not offer these degrees by course work. That means
that you need a research project and a project supervisor. So, the next step will be to familiarise yourself with our
research staff at the DIFS and SAIAB (see links below).
It is strongly recommended that you make contact with them directly and introduce yourself and secure a project
with one of them and that you secure a place in their research program. This stage will also include putting a
short one/two page project proposal/research concept note together, which your proposed supervisor will help
If you need help in making contact with any of our staff, please contact our front office firstname.lastname@example.org.
(3) Do have the prerequisites to read for an MSc or PhD?
Your proposed supervisor will review your academic career and assess you (just as you would be assessed in a
job interview) and part of this assessment will be to also make sure that you qualify to read for the degree. This is
your responsibility too; please familiarise yourself with the prerequisites in the Higher Degree Guide (link below).
South African legislation requires that: to read for an MSc you must have obtained a BSc Honours or four year
BSc that is equivalent to NQF level 8 (determined by the South African Qualifications Authority, SAQA); and to
read for a PhD you must have obtained an MSc degree.
(4) Do you have funding to: (a) support you for the period of the degree; (b) cover your
university fees; and (c) to cover the costs of your proposed research?
You must make sure you have secured funding for your studies and research. You can complete this step
together with your proposed supervisors or apply and secure a COTRA or any other scholarship (see links
(5) Online application procedure:
Once all the above steps have been completed and finalised, THEN only do you complete the official application form. This can be found here.
(a) have all relevant sections completed by yourself;(b) the “Statement by Supervisor" must be completed and signed - YOU must arrange this with your prospective supervisor;(c) the form must be accompanied by a one or two page concept of your research proposal (your proposed supervisor should help you complete this);(d) the form must also be accompanied by official, stamped transcripts showing your previous academic record;(e) proof of payment of the application fee.
The completed scanned form, together with the above supporting documentation, must please be emailed to the DIFS administration office (email@example.com ), where after the HOD will check the application and sign it off. The HOD will then print and forward the application to the Dean of Science, who will complete his section and forward the application to the Registrar; after which you will receive notification of your completed application directly from the Registrar.
With particular reference to those applicants that intend to apply for COTRA scholarships: Please note that there
are two stages to the COTRA application process:
(A) If you meet all the requirements for COTRA scholarship, then you can apply directly to COTRA for a
scholarship that, if successful, will secure the funding for you to attend Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries
Science (DIFS) at Rhodes;
(B) If your scholarship is successful you will then be asked to apply for admission to Rhodes University (5-above;
most of the application steps 2-4 are covered for you in the COTRA funding application process). Please note
that COTRA scholarship applicants should NOT apply for admission to Rhodes University ahead of hearing the
outcome of your application for COTRA funding.
In the mean time here are a few useful links so that you can familiarise yourself with the COTRA scholarship and
the DIFS at Rhodes:
- COTRA webpage: http://cotraintrafrica.org
- MSc funding opportunities: https://www.ru.ac.za/postgraduategateway/masters/funding
- PhD funding opportunities: https://www.ru.ac.za/postgraduategateway/doctoraldegrees/funding
- Rhodes University Dept Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (DIFS): https://www.ru.ac.za/ichthyology
- DIFS online application procedure and process: https://www.ru.ac.za/ichthyology/studying/prospectivestudents/applicationprocessformscphdcandidates
- Meet the staff of DIFS at Rhodes: https://www.ru.ac.za/ichthyology/people
- South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (a partner of the DIFS): https://www.saiab.ac.za
- Meet the staff of SAIAB a partner of the DIFS: https://www.saiab.ac.za/scientists.htm
- Facilities at Rhodes University Dept Ichthyology and Fisheries
- SAIAB research programs (a partner of the DIFS): https://www.saiab.ac.za/research.htm
- Rhodes University International office: https://www.ru.ac.za/internationalisation
- Library at Rhodes University: https://www.ru.ac.za/library
- Library at the DIFS and SAIAB: https://www.saiab.ac.za/library.htm
- Rhodes University higher degree guide
Last Modified: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:29:25 SAST