The PhD is a pure research degree which follows on one of the Nuclear Masters degrees. The aim is to make a unique new contribution to the field of Nuclear Engineering. Therefore it requires the student to be able to think originally and innovatively and to work very hard to turn this thinking into a proven research result and a logically written PhD thesis. 

One often sees that advertisements for nuclear engineering industry positions in the international market which state for example the following as minimum requirements:

  • B.Eng. and a Masters in Nuclear Engineering, or a

  • PhD in Nuclear Engineering

This suggests that engineers who want to enter the nuclear engineering industry might be sufficiently qualified if they have a Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering.

However, scientists, who for example entered via an honours in physics and now want to enter the nuclear engineering industry might have to go all the way to a PhD in Nuclear Engineering to achieve this dream. So they should give very positive consideration to doing a PhD.

A PhD is not for the fainthearted! So if you want to do PhD: Congratulations you made a fantastic choice! However, please just remember to give 120% effort from day one in order to avoid disappointment down the road!

As was explained above, if you want to enter one of our Masters Degrees in Nuclear Engineering, you will first have to do the corresponding Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in order to do your Nuclear Engineering theory modules. However, since the PGDips contains theoretical modules, as opposed to a research dissertation, you do not need a Study Leader for any of the PGDips and thus you do not need to search for one before you can start your studies.

However, as has been explained above, it is very important that you decide before you choose one of the two PGDips whether you want to go into a career in nuclear reactor design or nuclear technology management. In order to do this it should be very helpful for you to discuss this issue with one of our lectures. The standard point of contact is normally our postgraduate programme leader, prof Dawid Serfontein, whom you can phone or WhatsApp on 082 787 2909 or email.

However, you are also free to discuss these issues with any of our lectures as listed below. Some of our lectures work at outside nuclear institutions, such as NECSA or overseas universities. They  only come in to lecture one module and they might thus not be so well informed about the details regarding the different PGDip’s or the different Masters degrees. So, it might be better to contact one of our full-time NWU lecture.

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