Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programme

A PhD Programme in Gender and Development Studies was launched in 2001, the PhD degree is obtained with RIGDPR staff as main or secondary supervisors. Registration is done through the central AUW offices, the procedures follow the regulations of the UNIVERSITY GRADUATE STUDIES COMMITTEE (UGSC). 

Programme Objectives

The aim of the PhD programme is to provide research training in a manner that fosters development of independent research skills in candidates. These Skills include the capacity to formulate a significant problem, to develop mastery of appropriate conceptual and methodological skills, and to relate the research topic to a broader framework of knowledge in the relevant disciplinary area.

Admission to PhD programme

Applicants for PhD study must hold a masters degree from AUW or its equivalent and must demonstrate at the masters level, outstanding ability and potential to conduct scholarly research. The student is admitted to the PhD programme upon the recommendation of the School Graduate Committee (SGC) and the approval of University Graduate Studies Committee (UGSC). Equivalence requires the approval of UGSC.

Programme of study and research

A student can pursue a programme of advanced study and research approved by the SGC and UGSC under an appointed supervisor. Any subsequent change in plan requires the approval of SGC and UGSC. A student is expected to produce an examinable thesis in a period not less than three years and not exceeding five years full time, after registration and start of graduate work. Any extension beyond the five years requires the approval of the UGSC.

A Student should:

(a) attend seminars, tutorials and undertake course decided by the supervisor and SGC.

(b) not pursue any other program or course at the University or elsewhere without the approval of the SGC and the UGSC; and

(c) pursue the program without interruption from the first enrolment date to the completion of the thesis unless the SGC and the UGSC approve an interruption.


(a) A student must complete regular reports in the form set by the UGSC. A report must show the students progress and compliance with the rules.

(b) A student must submit the report, every six month, to the coordinator. The reports must be forwarded to UGSC with the comments of the supervisor and the SGC.

Professional Development

Professional development is considered an integral part of the PhD training program and might include tutoring or instructing. A student is expected to present and lead a seminar or workshop at least two times every year.

Leave of Absence

(a) Leave of absence may be granted, up to a maximum period of six months at a time, on the written application of the student, the recommendation of the coordinator and the SGC and the approval of the UGSC. Application for a second consecutive period of 6 months should be particularly well documented. Leave of absence beyond an aggregate of 12 months will not normally be approved. Any period of leave of absence will be counted in the computation of candidature.

 (b) Students may be granted maternity leave for a period up to 12 months. The leave should be arranged in advance . Maternity leave is a separate entitlement to other requests for leave of absence and will not diminish the entitlement or compromise a student's application for another leave.

Withdrawal from Programme

(a) without academic penalty: (i) A student may withdraw from the programme without academic penalty by giving notice to the SGC and the UGSC; (ii) A student who has withdrawn from the programme may apply for readmission at a future date.

 (b) with academic penalty: (i) The coordinator of the programme can recommend to the SGC termination of a students' enrollment if the student has not made satisfactory progress with work after receiving sufficient notice and guidance.The recommendation of the SGC is forewarded to UGSC for approval. A student whose enrollment has been terminated cannot apply for readmission to the same programme at a future date. (ii) A student will be asked to withdraw if she fails to pay the fees.


Supervisor will be:

(a) Full time or part time members of the academic staff of the university and hold professorial or associate professorial ranks. They should have appropriate research experience and a continuing active participation in research.

 (b) Professors or associate professors from other universities.

 (c) All supervisors and co-supervisors have to be approved by the UGSC and one of them should be from within AUW.

 (d) Supervisors and co supervisors must sign a form indicating their willingness to supervise.

Duties and responsibilities of supervisor

A supervisor must: 

(a) Be familiar with and adhere to the rules of UGSC and bring relevant rules to the attention of the student;

(b) Assist and guide the student in the development of an appropriate program of study and research.

(c) Communicate frequently with the student to discuss progress and assist in the resolution of difficulties;

(d) Identify specific areas in which the student requires development of her skills (e.g.computing ,academic writing,statistics,Enlish language) and refer the student to the appropriate sources of assistance.

(e) Report on the students' progress every six months and encourage the student to give seminars and if possible write articles for publication.

(f) Advise the student on the appropriate aims, scope and presentation of thesis;

(g) Review major sections of the thesis during its writing and provide critical comments; (h) Certify to the SGC through the coordinator, whether the thesis has reached an appropriate level of presentation and academic merit to be examined.

Change of Supervisor

A supervisor will be changed if he/she fails to meet the expected commitments or for reasons that the UGSC sees relevant. The UGSC may replace a supervisor or co supervisor after considering such recommendation from the SGC.

Arrangements during the absence of supervisor: When a sole supervisor goes on extended leave for more than 3 consecutive months, an acting supervisor from within the University must be nominated. It is the responsibility of the coordinator and SGC to make a nomination to the UGSC, normally at least a month before the supervisor departs and after consultation with the candidate. It is expected that the original supervisor will continue to have regular contact with the candidate when possible but the acting supervisor will be responsible for the day–to-day assistance.


The thesis must demonstrate the outcome of a sustained programme of supervised research that has produced original findings.

A student must give 4 weeks notice to the supervisor, coordinator and the SGC of her intention to submit a thesis.

A student must follow the instructions of preparation of thesis as outlined in the thesis manual as approved by UGSC.

Examination of Thesis

Appointment of Examiners

(a) Three months before the thesis is submitted, the SGC shall recommend to the UGSC the names of three examiners, together with a reserve name, should one of the three declines. At least one examiner should be from outside the University.

(b) Examiners must be of professor or associate professor ranks; must be or have been within the three years previous to the appointment actively associated with : (i) a university; (ii) an institution of higher learning or (iii) a research institution. Examiners should have had experience in supervision or examination.

(c) The supervisor of the candidate is not to be appointed as an examiner.

(d) the UGSC will formally invite the examiners and all correspondence will be conducted by UGSC.

The examination

(a) Each examiner shall separately assess the quality of the thesis and send a written report within 6 weeks of receiving the thesis.

(b) The recommendations of the examiners, following the examination, will be either: (i) Pass with minor changes. (ii) Pass with major changes. (iii) Fail. (f)

Revision of thesis

A student must complete changes within: (i) 2 month – if required to revise and make minor changes. (ii) 4-12 months – if required to revise passages and make major changes.

When submitting the revised thesis , the student must include : (i) A list of amendments . (ii) A statement indicating how the revised thesis meets the point raised by the examiners report. A thesis that need minor corrections will be re-read by the supervisor for approval. Thesis with major changes will be sent to an internal examiner who will mark it as Pass or Fail.

Copies of the thesis

1. After the examination is completed, the student must provide the UGSC with six permanently bound copies of the thesis of which one copy must be hard cover bound, together with an electronic version of the thesis. The copies of the thesis must be distributed as follows:

(a) One hard cover bound copy and one electronic copy to the AUW Library .

(b) One copy to Khartoum University Library.

(c) One copy to Central Archives.

(d) One copy to the UGSC.

(e) One copy to the School.

(f) One copy to the Supervisor.

2. The copies must be delivered before the award of the degree. The student should sign a form authorizing the library to make the thesis available for consultation for the purpose of research. The UGSC, after considering a written request from the student or supervisor, determines that there are sufficient academic or commercial reasons to justify delaying access to thesis. Delay of access may be approved for a maximum period of 12 months.

Approved by UGSC on Tuesday, 6th February, 2007.