General Criteria

  1. Admission shall be first and foremost on the basis outstanding academic achievement as exhibited in the performance at bachelor’s or Masters levels.
  2. Applicants shall be talented and enterprising graduates with promising and strong leadership potential, seeking to undertake postgraduate study/research in Africa.
  3. Applications shall be for both taught and research postgraduate degrees: Masters and Doctor of Philosophy.

In addition to prioritizing academic achievement, selection could also take into account some desirable cross-cutting issues so as to encourage diversity in the class/programme. They include:

  • Regional/sub-regional balance,
  • Gender balance
  • ICT literacy and Proficiency in English or French is mandatory
  • Satisfactory medical report for some courses as instructed by the department concerned.



  1. An applicant must be a holder of at least a Second Class degree Upper Division or its equivalent awarded by a reputable University or any other recognized institution.
  2. Other specific requirements will vary from program to program.
  3. The duration of the Masters program shall normally be between 24 and 36 months.

Masters Programme Structure

  1. Course Units
  2. The programs shall be conducted on Course Unit (CU) basis;
  3. One CU is equivalent to one contact hour a week over a semester or a series of weeks of at least 15 contact hours; (A semester comprises 17 weeks, 15 of teaching/ study/practice and two weeks of examinations).
  4. One contact hour is equivalent to one hour of a lecture /tutorial/ seminar, or two hours of practicals.
  5. The total Course Units required at the end of a Semester must be at least 15. The Course Units required at the end of a year must be at least 30.
  6. Credit hours for each course = 2 lecture hours + 3 lab hours = 3 credit hours Or 2 lecture hours + 2 tutorial hours = 3 credit hours.
  7. Total teaching hours per semester = 3 credit hours x 15 teaching weeks = 45 hrs

Research requirements

A candidate shall not be permitted to formally start on research work unless he/she has attended a minimum of at least 2/3 of the courses offered in the first year of course work. All masters’ degree program students are also required to present at least one seminar before completing their degree program.


The thesis shall conform to the standing guidelines and regulations of the Pan African University on higher degrees.

The candidate will be required to submit three copies of the thesis accompanied by a declaration to the satisfaction of the Senate stating that it has not been submitted for a degree at any other University.


The Masters Degree shall be awarded to a candidate who has accumulated a minimum of 30 CU for the courses passed; and has successfully fulfilled the requirements of the thesis and passed the oral examination.



  1. Applicants should possess a Masters degree from a recognized university in a field relevant to the area of further studies.
  2. Must present an acceptable research proposal of not less than 3 pages and not exceeding 10 pages in the proposed area of study/research. 
  3. Other specific requirements will vary from program to program.
  4. The duration of the PhD program shall normally be between 36 and 48 months. 

Purpose of Doctoral Training 

The purpose of doctoral training is to impart skills to doctoral students in the art and science of scholarship and to promote broader skills acquisition; and above all, to develop independent and critical thinkers who are able to conduct quality research and initiate innovations that will contribute to the transformation of communities. The end products of PhD training are researchers who can engage with the broader environment of stakeholders. Doctoral scientific and academic training promotes the acquisition of scientific methodology, critical analysis and the initiative for independent study. Doctoral students are expected to probe deeply into their subjects and be at the forefront of research and innovation in their fields. 

Doctorate programmes offered at PAULESI

The PAU will offer doctorate degree by course-work and thesis only. A student pursuing a doctorate by coursework and thesis is expected to attend formal training in a set of courses and secure a number of course units before embarking on the thesis. The number of courses to be studied and the length of the thesis may vary from discipline to discipline or from program to program.

The student is expected to work with his/her supervisors to select the most appropriate courses from within and outside his/her respective faculty/institution/school. After completing the coursework component and passing the examination set at the end of it, the student will then spend approximately two years completing the thesis under the guidance of the supervisor and Doctoral Committee. The student is required to have a specified minimum number of course units as prescribed by the Unit in order to graduate, in addition students are expected to present at least one seminar paper prior to submitting a satisfactory thesis and successfully defending it in a public oral examination.

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