Doctor of Philosophy (Industrial Relations)






No closing date. Admissions subject to availability of supervisors and academic place.


The PhD in Industrial Relations is a full research doctoral programme. The programme provides an ethically defensible bridge for professionals who are moving beyond their primary discipline into organisational leadership positions and who are required to work in the dynamic complex environment of contemporary Africa and its transition agenda.

Doctoral students are required to demonstrate a comprehensive and high level of thinking, enquiry and insight by exploring untapped scientific territories in pursuit of universal knowledge within a changing GLOBAL environment through critical engagement with communities. Students must not just engage in meaningful and sound academic discourse in various contexts of Industrial Relations, but also write scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Working at the most advanced academic levels, the outcome culminates in the production of a thesis, which generates new knowledge.

Entry Requirements

As a research-based degree, a master’s degree in Industrial Relations or a cognate discipline with a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application is a requirement. A module in Research Methodology at a postgraduate level is required.

Programme structure

While there is no coursework required of students, students must attend regular sessions with her or his supervisor, follow instructions from supervisors, and submit progress reports twice a year. Students are further expected toattend research and writing workshops convened by the discipline, the School of Management, IT and Governance or the College of Law and Management Studies, present papers at conferences and publish at least one article in an approved peer-review journal. Candidates may undertake full-time or part-time study. The requisite 392 credits are earned solely through thesis research and production.

Programme teaching and supervision

Students enter into a contract with his or her supervisor to govern and facilitate the research experience.
Programme supervisors
The Dean and Head of School and/or the Research & Higher Degrees Committee draw dissertation and thesis supervisors from the discipline or other duly qualified academics upon review and approval.

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Westville Campus

Tel : +27 31 260 8162

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Pietermaritzburg Campus

Tel : +27 33 260 6152

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