Department of Finance, Risk Management and Banking

Master’s and Doctoral studies in the Department of Finance, Risk Management and Banking

Supervisors and research fields

Staff in the Department of Finance, Risk Management and Banking can offer supervision in a broad range of fields, including Finance and Investments, Insurance and Banking, and Risk Management.

More detailed information on the various research focus areas can be obtained from the College of Economic and Management RFA document.

Prospective students (2023)


Unisa’s admission policy has changed and students are now required to submit a detailed research outline for each master's and doctoral qualification for which they apply. No application submitted without a detailed research outline will be considered.

Students are expected to make suggestions of their own regarding the specific subject or field in which they would like to do research, within the bounds of the Research Focus Areas of the Department. They need to research what has previously been done on the topic and whether there is a gap in the research that they wish to address in their studies. Students are required to submit a detailed research outline with their application. The research outline (no more than 7-10 pages, maximum) should include the following:

  • Title and cover page
  • Contents page
  • Summary of the topic (1/2)
  • Background to or context of the proposed study (1-2 pages)
  • Short literature review – students must provide evidence that they have read and reported on the latest academic literature on the topic [journal articles and textbooks] (3-5 pages)
  • From the literature review, students must identify the information gap or research problem and must support this with evidence (1/2 page)
  • The research objectives (primary and secondary) must be stated (1/2 page)
  • A discussion of the research approach and method to be followed. Details of how the data will be gathered (sampling) and how it will be analysed must be included (2-3 pages)
  • The source and availability of the data must be justified (will companies and/or participants be willing to take part in the proposed study – if participants are to be drawn from within companies, permission for the person to take part must be obtained from the company concerned) (1/2 page)
  • Details of the expected contribution of the study (1/2 page)
  • Possible limitations of the study (1/2 page)
  • A list of references (it is difficult to say what is sufficient, but about 30 is reasonable. The Harvard referencing method must be employed and references should not be older than 10 years)

The page limit excludes the cover page and list of references.

The Department is interested in well-articulated expressions that demonstrate a clear research focus and understanding of the research topic.

Plagiarism of any form is unacceptable. Research outlines that are suspected of containing any form of plagiarism will be rejected.

Technical requirements for Research Outline

  • Arial font, point size 12
  • Justified lines
  • Page numbers
  • Normal margins

Selection process

Applicants' attention is drawn to section 3.1 of the Procedure for Masters and Doctoral Degrees, which states “The minimum qualifications for admission to master’s and doctoral studies are set out in the Admissions Policy and are informed by the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (2013). Unisa is, however, not obliged to accept any prospective student who meets the minimum requirement as there may be other factors on the basis of which the prospective student cannot be accepted. Factors that will be considered before admitting the prospective student to register include, but are not limited to, the following: the prospective student’s academic record, the topic he or she wishes to research, the quality of the research outline submitted as part of the application, the capacity and expertise to supervise the prospective student and possible limitations imposed by enrolment planning. Such factors will be indicated on the college websites.”.

Please note that not all applications can be accommodated due to limited space,  fierce competition and the stringent selection criteria to undertake a Master’s or Doctoral degree. The Department has space only for a maximum of 42 new postgraduate students in its 2023 programme.

Last modified: 2023/08/07