Skip to content


PhD in Biomedical Engineering

This doctoral programme (PhD in Biomedical Engineering) is aimed at developing specialist researchers in biomedical engineering, with particular ability to develop new knowledge at the forefront of biomedical engineering technology. They will be able to develop novel, complex biomedical engineering systems by integrating the medical and the engineering domains. The graduates will be able to apply these systems to human patients, addressing healthcare needs of South Africa and of global communities.

The programme prepares the candidate for a research, academic or high-level consulting career. It requires a candidate to undertake independent research, with minimal supervision, at the most advanced academic levels culminating in the submission, assessment and acceptance of a dissertation, as well as two papers suitable for submission to peer-reviewed journals. The defining characteristic of this qualification is that the candidate is required to demonstrate high level independent research capability and to make a significant and original contribution at the frontiers of biomedical engineering knowledge.

PhD programmes in biomedical engineering are offered by many leading universities internationally, e.g. KU Leuven (Belgium), University of Surrey (UK), John Hopkins University (USA), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) and University of Sydney (Australia). The structure of the programme proposed here is aligned with those found in Western Europe. PhD programmes in the USA are also similar, but often contain an element of compulsory course work.

For more information on the rules and procedures, including selection criteria, that apply to the postgraduate programmes hosted by the IBE please click here to consult the Biomedical Engineering Programmes Guide for 2021.

Selection Criteria

  • Minimum admission requirements

  • Masters of Engineering, Masters of Science, Masters of Engineering Science or the equivalent thereof at NQF-level 9;

  • Other academic degree qualifications and appropriate experience (assessed using the regular “recognition of prior learning” procedures) that have been approved by the Faculty Board. Including, MSc (medical, biological, mathematical/physical and agri- sciences), MEng, MScEng.

  • Students with a structured master’s degree will be considered if they have demonstrated their independent research ability, normally in the form of publications in peer reviewed journals.

  • The selection process also considers non-academic criteria, such as communication skills, to ensure that students are appropriately equipped to achieve the proposed learning outcomes.