Postgraduate Information

Should you be interested in applying for a Masters (involves no coursework but a dissertation) or a PhD in Dietetics or Human Nutrition, please note the following:

International Students
Prospective postgraduate students who did not obtain their undergraduate qualification/s at a South African University need to submit their qualifications to the South African Qualifications Authority ( in order to determine whether their existing qualification/s are equated to a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 8. This is extremely important as in South Africa, a Masters degree is equated to a NQF level 9, while a PhD is equated to a NQF level 10. Should your existing qualification/s therefore not be equated to a SAQA level 8, you would not be eligible for enrollment e.g. as a Masters candidate. In addition, the application process cannot commence without submission of a SAQA certificate to Higher Degrees, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

Students that Obtained their Undergraduate Qualification/s at a South African University
Students that obtained their undergraduate qualification/s at a South African university, irrespective of whether they are not South African citizens, do not have to obtain a SAQA NQF rating of their qualifications.

Contact details for the Coordinator: Post Graduate Studies (MSc and PhD)

  • Dr Chara Biggs
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 033 260 6153
  • Fax: 033 260 6270
Dr Biggs will determine whether the proposed topic and existing qualifications fall within the scope of Dietetics and/or Human Nutrition. She will also determine whether staff from Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the time of a enquiry, have the capacity to supervise a prospective candidate and if so, who would be in the best position to supervise such a candidate in their field of research interest. Once a supervisor/s have been allocated to a student, the following steps are required to facilitate registration:

Steps Forming Part of the Registration Process:

  1. Payment of an application fee. This will generate a student number for students who did not obtain their existing qualifications at UKZN. Students with a UKZN student number, i.e. completed their undergraduate qualifications at UKZN, will retain their original student number. However, ALL prospective candidates need to pay the application fee and then follow the official registration process. PLEASE NOTE: payment of the application fee does not imply that you have registered for a postgraduate qualification. It is only the first step of the registration process.

  2. Once a supervisor has been assigned to you, you will develop a research proposal under the guidance of this member of staff as the submission of a research proposal forms part of the registration process.

  3. To download the necessary registration documents that MUST be completed electronically, with the exception of form AP1-1: Application for Post Graduate Admission, go to homepage of SAEES, click on Postgraduate Information and then click on Application Forms.

  4. Also note that apart from the relevant application forms, candidates need to submit the deposit slip as proof of payment for the application fee, along with a certified copies of the following: Identity Document/passport, academic transcripts and academic certificates.

  5. International applicants must also submit a certified copy of their study visa, police clearance certificate (if applicant is older than 23 years) and proof of funding for incidental expenses

General guidelines of the process to be followed (may be amended for individual cases)

  1. Write and submit a research proposal.
  2. Present a budget for the research and apply for funding.
  3. Apply for ethics approval from the relevant committees.
  4. Present two seminars: a) Literature review of the topic to be researched  b) Methodology for researching your topic.
  5. After ethics approval has been obtained, plan and carry out the pilot project.
  6. Plan and carry out the research project, collect and analyse data.
  7. Submit draft chapters for supervisor/s input.
  8. Submit draft dissertation/thesis to the supervisor/s as a ring bound copy.
  9. Once supervisor/s have provided input and corrections have been made, the final dissertation/thesis is submitted.
  10. Present your findings to staff of Dietetics and Human Nutrition and other interested parties.
  11. Submit final thesis ring bound for the examiners.
  12. Make corrections as stipulated by the examiners and submit in final format to Higher Degrees, UKZN.
  13. Write and submit one article to a Department of Higher Education and Training accredited journal.

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