Doctor of Philosophy with a specialisation in Digital Transformation

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Faculty Website:   Johannesburg Business School
Department: Department of JBS
Programme Level: Postgraduate
Programme Name: Doctor of Philosophy with a specialisation in Digital Transformation
Programme Code: P19DTQ

Medium of Facilitation: part-time
NQF Level: 10
NQF Credits: 360
SAQA: 117902

Application Start Date: 1 April 2024
Application End Date: 31 October 2024

Campus: Auckland Park Kingsway

Contacts: Mariëtte Steyn 011 559-1866

Duration of Study: 2 Years

Programme Fees


Applicants who are interested in undertaking in-depth research on topics related to digital transformation, addressing real world transformational issues, and empowering society at large to bridge the digital divide. A Masters in business, economics, science and behavioural sciences will be required, although the cross-disciplinary approach of the programme will also make provision for applicants with Masters in the creative areas. We aim to create and develop knowledge relevant to challenges that exist across a range of industries and sectors.


During the first year, students will take tailored coursework covering research methods and relevant academic literature to enable them to carry out independent and high-calibre research with a sound understanding of the principles and theories underpinning digital transformation practices. At the end of the first year students will be required to produce and defend a final research proposal. Subsequent years of registration are taken up by the research component, which culminates in a DPhil thesis. The DPhil programme is organised into a course-work component and supervised research: A discipline-based core curriculum: This structured course-work component is non-credit bearing, but candidates are required to pass the requisite courses and submit a comprehensive proposal before proceeding with their thesis. An independent research thesis: As a DPhil student, you will be expected to pursue supervised research culminating in a doctoral thesis which constitutes the examinable product for which the DPhil degree is eventually awarded.

Admission Requirements

The JBS Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) with specialisation in Digital Transformation is a research degree undertaken with the guidance of a supervisor for at least a minimum period of two years after full registration. Full registration will only be allowed after the successful completion of course work and defense of research proposal. DPhil applicants need to: Hold a recognised Master’s degree (or in special circumstances, at the discretion of the Senate, a qualification recognised by the Senate as equivalent). A Master’s degree in an associated field of business, economics, science or behavioural sciences is preferred, however, given the cross-disciplinary approach of this programme, provision will also be made for applicants with Master’s degrees in the creative areas. Candidates with a Master’s degree in a related discipline may also qualify at the sole discretion of the JBS. Submit a certified copy of the applicant identity document. Provide certified copies of academic records and transcripts of the applicant’s qualifications to date. In the case of master’s equivalent credentials, verification of whether the qualification is equivalent to a South African degree is required. This can be done by contacting the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Two written motivations by either academics or senior management peers or colleagues who are able to testify as to the applicant’s written and verbal competencies, as well as ability to perform high level academic research and writing. Nominate a suitable potential supervisor with the application – should the applicant not have a suitable supervisor in mind, a supervisor will be allocated to the student. Provide a written motivation by the applicant as to their preferred topic of research and rationale as to why they believe they should be selected as an appropriate programme candidate. Append their most recent CV to the application submission. There is NO requirement to submit a research proposal document. This will be produced by the student during the provisional registration phase.

More Information

Applications for 2023 are now closed.  Year 1 Two blocks of two weeks each and proposal defense. The lectures are organised in two blocks of two weeks each and they will take place between February and May. The courses consist of highly interactive lectures, seminars and case discussions. Students are also required to defend their proposals before a review panel to be able to register for the second year. Year 2 Full registration to work on your DPhil thesis under the guidance of a supervisor. Students will be required to present papers at a colloquium in May and October every year, as well as submit progress reports. Upon completion, the submitted thesis will go through examination in which external examiners are involved and concluded through the viva voce examination.  
Extended BSc in Life and Environmental Sciences (Zoology and Chemistry)

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