South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government Masters and PhD Bursaries 2017, South Africa

Publish Date: Jul 17, 2017

Deadline: Aug 31, 2017

Applications open for Masters and PhD bursaries

The South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, situated in the Dullah Omar Institute, offers high quality Masters and PhD programmes on multilevel government. These programmes deal with question such as: how are multilevel states designed? how are powers delineated? how are the finances allocated to provincial and local governments? how does national government supervise subnational governments? Both programmes combine legal and constitutional studies with other disciplines, such as political science and public administration. Applications are open for both admission and financial support.

LL.M/M.Phil in Law, State and Multilevel Government

This one-year Masters Course equips students to understand how South African provinces and local government work, how the system compares to other countries on the continent and on what global theories and practices it is based. Students emerge with a thorough understanding of how multilevel states are designed, how powers are delineated, how finances are allocated, how national government supervises subnational governments and how different levels of government work together. The Course combines legal and constitutional studies with other disciplines, such as political science and public administration. Furthermore, it combines theory with practice, including an internship in government. Students are taught and supervised by distinguished scholars in multilevel government, including Prof Nico Steytler - the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Prof Jaap de Visser - Director of the Dullah Omar Institute at UWC and Prof Yonatan Fessha - Associate Professor at UWC’s Law Faculty. The Course is managed by Dr Tinashe Chigwata.

Overview of the course

The course comprises four modules and a research paper. Students may also apply for permission to do two modules and a mini-thesis, instead.

The modules are:

  • Multilevel Government (MLG)
  • Rule of Law and Good Governance (RLGG)
  • Local Government (LG)
  • Constitutional Practice (Internship)
  • Constitution Design in Divided Societies (offered by the Law Faculty)


  • Seminars for each module are conducted on Fridays, for seven weeks, from 9:00 to 16:00

The seminars will be conducted in the following order

  • MLG from February to March
  • LG from April to May
  • RLGG from August to September



UWC Campus (Law Faculty)


Performance is assessed on the basis of (1) regular writing assignments and (2) a formal examination at the end of the module.


The internship is open to students selected on the basis of their performance in the modules. Interns are placed at partner institutions in or working with government. Performance is examined on the basis of a portfolio produced by the student.

Research paper

Students must write a research paper (or mini-thesis) after completing the coursework.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • an undergraduate degree and an honours degree in law, political science, economics, public administration or other related social science;
  • proven ability to undertake advanced research; and
  • relevant experience, where applicable.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted to Ms Valma Hendricks on or before 31 August 2017 by email at

Applications must include a current CV, a motivation letter, certified copies of academic records (degree and transcript), and a writing sample, which may include a published article, a research paper or a thesis.

The short listing and selection process

  • Shortlisted candidates will be notified about three weeks after the closing date for applications.
  • All shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in person or telephonically.
  • Successful candidates will be selected and notified by mid-November.

How to apply for bursaries

  • The programme offers prestigious bursaries of the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government in the 2018 academic year. The Dullah Omar Institute may offer other highly competitive bursaries, depending on availability of funds.
  • The bursary covers all tuition fees and a living allowance.
  • Students wishing to apply for bursaries must add a motivational letter to their application to Ms Hendricks.

To be awarded a bursary, an applicant must be in financial need, have an excellent academic record as well as proven research ability. Bursaries are only available for full-time students.

PhD in Multilevel Government

The Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) hosts a Doctoral Programme, dealing with the law, policy and practice of multilevel government in South Africa, the region and beyond. PhD candidates are supervised the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Prof Nico Steytler and sometimes co-supervised by other DOI staff members. Doctoral studies have been completed on local government in South Africa, federalism in Ethiopia, Devolution in Kenya, Local Government in Uganda, and Decentralisation in Zimbabwe. PhD studies are underway on:

  • local government and socio-economic rights in South Africa;
  • local government and food security in South Africa;
  • professionalisation of municipal management in South Africa;
  • Multiparty democracy in the Southern African Region; and
  • Constitutional transplanting of the South African model of multilevel government


SARChl offers two full-time doctoral bursaries, commencing in the 2018 academic year. The bursary, for full-time study on campus, includes study fees, a monthly stipend, IT equipment, and a travel budget for international and national conferences. The DOI may also offer additional bursaries depending on the availability of financial resources. Successful candidates will participate in the activities of the Institute and the SARChl. To apply, forward a copy of relevant research outputs, academic record, CV, a letter of motivation and the email addresses of three referees to Ms Valma Hendricks ( / +27 21 959 3707).

Deadline: 31 August 2017

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Opportunity Types


Eligible Countries

South Africa

Host Countries

South Africa