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Doctorate in Programme Evaluation
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Doctorate in Programme Evaluation

The Section of Organisational Psychology offers a PhD in programme evaluation by dissertation only. We do not offer a PhD by coursework and dissertation.

  • Prerequisites

    The minimum admission requirement is a master’s degree in programme evaluation with a component in quantitative research methods at HEQF level 9. Candidates should have an average mark of 65% for their master’s degree. Also note that a named degree (in other words a degree that has a label indicating that it is in the discipline of programme evaluation/monitoring and evaluation) is required. A degree in any other discipline with only a module in programme evaluation is not sufficient for admission into this doctorate.

    Please note that while we greatly encourage PhD candidates who are experienced programme evaluation practitioners to apply for our programme, professional experience in programme evaluation alone is not sufficient for admission into this doctorate – as master’s degree in programme evaluation is also required.

  • How does the selection process work?

    You can apply throughout the year for PhD studies.

    To apply, please forward a short cv, stating your contact details, academic qualifications and courses completed in research design and/or statistics. A short proposal (minimum ½ a page) describing the proposed evaluation topic for the PhD should also be included, as this is essential to determine whether or not an appropriate supervisor can be identified for your chosen area of research. These documents should be forwarded to the Programme Convener, Assoc Prof Sarah Chapman: Sarah.Chapman@uct.ac.za  or 021-650-5218.

    A preliminary check will then be performed to ensure you fulfil the necessary prerequisites and requirements, and if so, the relevant documents will be forwarded to potential suitable supervisors in the area of your interest. Because most potential supervisors limit the number of PhD students that they agree to take on annually (in order to ensure the quality of supervision they give to their existing PhD students), there may not always be a suitable supervisor for your particular topic of proposed research at UCT. For these reasons, please be aware that the selection process is highly competitive and offers are made to a very limited number of applicants.

    If you meet the minimum entry requirements, and if a potential supervisor is identified and agrees in principle to work with you as supervisor on your dissertation, you will be asked to formally apply for (and in due course register) for the PhD programme on the university website.

  • What are the steps I need to take to acquire my PhD?

    Once an offer has been made you are able to register. There are then regular administrative steps that all PhD candidates at UCT must proceed through successfully to acquire their degree. Please see the below rough guide for an idea as to what will be required of you if you undertake a PhD at UCT.


  • Other requirements

    The main requirement of a PhD is that the candidate adds new academic knowledge to the field of programme evaluation. This will usually involve an evaluation of an existing social programme or initiative, and/or a substantial contribution to our understanding as to the theory and practice of programme evaluation (i.e., knowledge about how we should evaluate this particular programme or initiative). Producing a manuscript describing your work on a programme or an existing evaluation report does not fulfil this requirement and would not be accepted as a proposal. Also note that the university requires ethical clearance for all data collected for research purposes. Therefore, existing data collected outside the ethical rules of UCT cannot be used for a PhD.

    The University of Cape Town is a residential university. We do not offer PhDs by correspondence or through online degrees. In addition to regular, face-to-face meetings with your supervisor on campus, the Section may also require you to spend 6-12 months resident on campus during your first year of registration. During this time you will be supervised closely to prepare a proposal that would be acceptable to the various university committees. Please make note of these requirements, especially if you are an international applicant not currently in residence in Cape Town.

    We may also require you to do additional courses in programme evaluation, research design or statistics.

  • The degree is in programme evaluation, but is registered in Management Studies (under Organisational Psychology). What is the relationship?

    The relationship is primarily administrative, and not necessarily pedagogical (although a number of excellent programme evaluators apply management studies principles to their work). The degree is registered in the School of Management Studies (Commerce Faculty), and is administered by the Section of Organisational Psychology. However, a background in organisational psychology or management studies is not a requirement for entry into the degree, and graduates will similarly not acquire a professional qualification in organisational psychology on the basis of the degree.

  • Cost and financial assistance

    Please go to the University website and check the cost of a PhD.
    International applicants should check under the relevant section, International Students, for their fees.

    Unless specifically advertised, there is typically no dedicated scholarship or bursary fund for successful PhD in programme evaluation candidates. Limited financial support is available in the form of scholarships‚ bursaries and student loans through the UCT funding mechanisms. Please contact the Postgraduate Funding Office for more information (pgfunding@uct.ac.za). Please note that some scholarships require application by June of the year preceding your study year. You are advised to apply in June even if you do not know by then whether you have been selected into the programme.

    International students should note that funding is limited and are advised to apply for sponsorship in their own countries.

  • Student housing

    Should you want to know about student housing at Cape Town University‚ please contact res@uct.ac.za.

  • Who should I contact if I wish to ask or discuss anything else?

    Please contact Assoc Prof Sarah Chapman: Sarah.Chapman@uct.ac.za or 021-650-5218

For more information on the programme, please refer to page 180 of the 2020 Commerce Postgraduate Handbook.