Namibia Doctoral Degrees Award

Namibia Qualifications Authority NQA Doctoral Degrees Award

Characteristics and purpose

A Doctoral degree is the highest qualification awarded within the National Qualifications Framework.  Such degrees may be:

  • a pure research degree – a Doctor of Philosophy or
  • a practice-oriented degree – a Named Doctorate or Professional Doctorate (eg Ed.D, DMus)
  • a degree based on coursework, examination and dissertation.

Degrees carrying the term ‘Doctor” in the title must:

  • refer to a research or practice degree that is at a significantly higher level and of significantly higher status than a masterate
  • normally represent the culmination of a structured sequence of instruction at educational institutions that starts at bachelor degree level and reaches a stage beyond masterate when the student becomes an increasingly independent scholar and makes a substantial and original contribution to knowledge.  Coursework may apply but should:
  • only contribute to the preparation for research, except in the case of a Named Doctorate;
  • be at a level above that of masterate qualifications; and
  • not normally cover more than one full-time academic year (ie, no more than the equivalent of 120 NQF credits).
  • require the development of the learner under the guidance of recognised experts in the field of study and under circumstances which allow the student access to appropriate research resources, and
  • be awarded on the basis of an original and substantial contribution to knowledge in the form of a thesis as judged by independent experts applying contemporary international standards.

The thesis should constitute the entire body of work that will be assessed (except in the case of a Named Doctorate where it must contribute to a minimum of 2/3rds of the final award – generally a minimum of 240 NQF credits).  Learners in the visual or performing arts may present a creative work in place of the thesis.

A lower qualification may not be awarded for early exit from a Doctoral degree programme except where exit represents the attainment of another qualification.

Research Doctoral degrees may not be attained through credit accumulation.

Higher Doctorates and Honorary Doctorates shall not constitute part of the National Qualifications Framework.

Level of certification

Level 10.

Size of qualification

In credit terms, a Doctoral degree would carry a value of a minimum of 360 NQF credits, all of which would be Level 10.