National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

Dr. Muhammad Ajmal

Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

PhD Program

PhD Prorgram

At National Institute of Psychology, admission to PhD programme is made on competitive basis. This is in accordance with the rules and direction of Higher Education Commission (HEC Pakistan) and the quality assurances measure at National Institute of Psychology. The minimum period for completion of PhD programme is three years whereas the maximum period is seven years. Only under exceptional circumstances, to be described in detail by the candidate and supported by the supervisor, the research board may allow extension beyond seven years.

The prerequisite qualification for admission into PhD at National Institute of Psychology requires that a candidate must:

  • Possess an MPhil degree or its equivalent with a minimum CGPA of 3.00 or first division in psychology from a recognized university.
  • Submit a copy of synopsis /research work. Admission will be given subject to the availability of the supervisor in the relevant field of research strictly according to HEC’s requirements.
  • Be a college or university teacher or a member of the research staff of a research organization who holds an MA/MSc degree but has shown undoubted promise for research may also be considered for admission to PhD. In this regards, the teacher must be teaching at post graduate college.
  • For teachers and all in in-service candidates, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the employer is required to be attached with admission form and routed through proper channel.

The PhD program at NIP is a rigorous program that entails:

  • Higher Education Commission has finalized the quality parameters of PhD program for adoption by all the universities/ Degree Awarding Institutions of the country in order to ensure uniform minimum standards. Sixteen years of schooling or 4 year education after FA/FSc (130 credit hours) will be compulsory for admission in MPhil/MS Programme leading to PhD.
  • Before moving into the PhD program, candidates will need to complete 30 credit hours out of which 24 credit hours will be reserved for course work, which may lead to the award of MPhil/ MS/Equivalent Degree.
  • The minimum CGPA should be 3.00 or first division in MS/MPhil/Equivalent Degree for admission into PhD.
  •  Another route is through conversion of an existing MPhil candidacy into PhD candidacy. After successful completion of two semesters, a student registered for MPhil degree may be transferred, on the recommendations of the Admissions Committee of the department to the Advanced Studies and Research Board (AS & RB), for the PhD Programme. The student needs to pass all the 24 credits of the MPhil course work, obtaining an aggregate of 75% marks or more. The course work in MPhil work may be counted towards the residence requirement for PhD Programme.

The process for taking admission is as follows:

  • A candidate seeking admission to PhD Programme shall apply on the prescribed form.
  • The application shall be submitted to the chairman of the department/ Institute in which the student wishes to pursue his/her studies.
  • The institute will then invite PhD candidates for a qualifying test. The candidates passing the test will be considered for an interview.
  • The admission committee, when satisfied, shall recommend candidates to the Advance Studies and Research Board who they find suitable for admission to PhD Programme.
  • The admission shall be approved by the Advanced Studies & Research Board.
  • A ‘notification of registration’ for each candidate approved for admission to PhD Programme shall be issued by the university.
  • Each student so selected shall be required to register and pay the dues within 30 days from the date of issuance of the notification of registration, failing which the admission of the selected candidate shall deem to be cancelled.

The procedures related to fee and other dues are simple. Each student shall be required to pay tuition fee and other charges as may be prescribed by the Syndicate from time to time. According to the rules set by higher education, HEC Pakistan quality assurance and endorsed by Quaid-i-Azam University and the institute (through Syndicate/ Advanced Studies and Research Board held on 9th August, 2005) for PhD level studies.



The student is required to pass additional PhD level course work of at least 18 credit hours during the PhD programme. PhD students will be offered different courses in each semester and they can select courses according to their own field and interest. For the course work, the mode of registration and examinations regulations shall be same as in MPhil.


  • A student shall be required to pass a comprehensive examination, consisting of a written and an oral report, within two years of admission to the PhD Programme.
  • If a student does not pass the comprehensive examination in the first attempt, he/she may be given one more chance on the recommendation of his/her supervisor. The registration of a PhD student shall be deemed as cancelled if he/she does not pass the comprehensive examination even in the second attempt.
  • A department shall normally hold at least one comprehensive examination in an academic year.
  • The comprehensive examination shall consist of written and oral parts. The examination shall be conducted by the PhD Examination Committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor on the recommendations of the Chairman/ Director of the department and Dean of the faculty concerned in consultation with the supervisor. The supervisor of the student will also be co-opted as a member of this committee. The pass percentage shall be 50%.
  • After passing the comprehensive examination, but before the submission of his/her thesis, a PhD student will give at least one seminar on a topic relevant to his/her field of research.


The thesis submitted by PhD candidate shall comply with the following conditions:

  • It shall form a distinct contribution to knowledge and afford evidence of originality, shown by the discovery of new facts, by the exercise of independent critical judgment, and/by the invention of new methods of investigation.
  • It shall not include research work for which a degree has already been conferred in this or any other university.
  • It shall be written in English and the presentation must be satisfactory for publication.
  • Any part of the thesis which has been published before submission of the thesis may be appended at the end of the thesis.
  • The thesis shall be typed on A4 size (“11.69× 8.27”) paper with margins of 1-½ on the left and 1 on the right, top and bottom of each page. The thesis shall be hard bound with sky blue cloth cover and golden lettering on the front and the spine.
  • Note: At first time submission (Spiral Binding); 5 copies of thesis (Three copies main universities, one copy for supervisor, one copy for director). At final submission (Hard Binding); 6 copies of thesis (One copy (with soft copy) main university, one copy for director, one copy for supervisor, one copy for NIP library, one student copy and one copy for HEC (with soft copy)


All PhD students are required to review at least 100 articles relevant to their research work and prepare summaries of them as per NIP requirement throughout PhD programme. For the students convenience these articles have been spread throughout programme by splitting them in each semester. The reviewed articles will be reflected in the research progress sheet of each student.


The student is required to present two seminars on his/her research in whole PhD programme as per following schedule.

  • First seminar usually presented during the fourth semester after the data collection.
  • Second seminar in the final stages of work, at least 4 months before submission of thesis.

PhD progress sheet is specifically designed to monitor and evaluate each student’s progress systematically in each semester. The PhD progress sheet provides each student some specific benchmarks of research to be completed in each semester throughout PhD program. The guidelines for obtaining satisfactory report include the following suggestions:

  • Ample time should be given to the Supervisor for checking of a draft. A minimum of 30 days (per chapter) are MUST. This would mean that the latest date would expire a month before the end of a target date, if a draft is being handed over to the Supervisor.
  • Failing to meet the latest deadlines will automatically earn one unsatisfactory report. On two such unsatisfactory reports the case will be recommended to University for failing the student/cancellation of admission, no matter what the reasons of the delay might be.
  • A report is to be submitted by the student as well as the Supervisor at the end of every semester to Director for onward submission to University. Two consecutive unsatisfactory reports by the Supervisor may lead to the failing/cancellation of the student’s admission by the University.
  • Student should meet the supervisor at least twice a week, during the residency period, and at least twice a month, after the completion of the residency period, to obtain satisfactory report.
  • All drafts will be submitted to the supervisor with dates of submission and checking on each.
  • Data will be submitted with the supervisor with dates and signatures.
  •  In case of consecutive two adverse reports, the research board may cancel the registration of the candidate.

BIANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT (University Requirement)

The supervisor of a PhD student shall submit a detailed report to the research board by 30th June and 31st December each year on the progress of the student in accordance with the prescribed format. In cases where no supervisor has been appointed, progress report will be submitted by the chairman of the department concerned. To obtain this satisfactory report NIP has created its own research progress and monitoring sheet. This sheet makes it possible to achieve the all degree awarding mile stones easily semester wise. In case of consecutive two adverse reports, the research board may cancel the registration of the candidate.


Acceptance / Publication of at least one research paper in an HEC approved Journal is essential for the award of PhD degree (University requirement). The student is required to submit or get published the article from PhD research work till the end of fifth semester (NIP requirement)


  • The Research Board shall appoint a supervisor (and a co-supervisor, if necessary) from the relevant field and approve the field of research/title on the recommendations of the department concerned.
  • Research proposal defense has to be  passed by the candidate within one year of admission.


  • FOREIGN EVALUATION. PhD dissertation will be evaluated by at least TWO foreign experts as per University requirement. These foreign experts will be from technologically advanced countries. Names of these foreign evaluators will be finalized and thesis will be sent to them at the completion of dissertation (by the end of sixth semester). 
  • The supervisor shall suggest a panel of at least six external examiners from the approved list. The Vice-chancellor shall appoint two external examiners from the suggested panel to evaluate the thesis.
  • The reports of the examiners shall be placed before the Research Board for consideration of the thesis is adjudged as adequate by examiners, the Research Board shall allow the candidate to appear in the viva-voce (thesis defense) examination.
  • If two examiners find that the thesis is wholly inadequate it may be rejected by the Research Board.
  • If any of the examiners suggests modification/revision of the thesis, the candidate shall be required to resubmit a revised version of the thesis, duly certified by the supervisor, within one year.
  • The revised version of the thesis shall be approved by the same examiner who suggested modification/revision of the thesis.
  • If any of the examiners finds the thesis adequate but suggests minor modifications/revision, this may be incorporated without referring again to the examiner.
  • The viva-voce examination shall be conducted by the two external examiners appointed by the Vice-chancellor from the panel approved by Research Board, the Supervisor and the Chairman of the concerned department.
  • The viva-voce examination shall be open to the public but the evaluation will be done only by the panel of examiners.
  • If the candidate fails to satisfy the examiners in the viva-voce examination he/she may be given a chance to defend the thesis for the second and final time within a period of six months.
  • A candidate who successfully completes all the requirements shall be awarded, with the approval of the Research Board and the Syndicate, the degree of PhD under the Seal of the University.
  • The Vice-chancellor may approve the recommendations of the Research Board on behalf of the Syndicate regarding the award of PhD degree to the candidate.


During the whole PhD programme student is required to complete residency of two years. While residency period, student is required to come in department daily and have meeting with supervisor at least twice in a week. However, in case where the supervisor and co supervisor are satisfied that research work can be carried out outside the university, residency requirement may be exempted.


Research Advisory Committee is specially formed to facilitate students at any time in the process of their research; this committee constituted on members who have sound professional experience of research who provide valuable guidance and recommendations to the research students in order to ensure smooth progress of the research.


NIP appointed research coordinators along with administration staff for the assistance and smooth running of the research process. Research coordinators are supposed to maintain the record of each student’s research progress and guide them to fulfill different university and NIP degree awarding requirements.


Dissertations should be prepared while taking into view following guidelines

  • In first chapter introduce the subject area of the study and its importance with the help of relevant literature review discussing the theoretical viewpoints relevant to your research.
  • Clearly define the nature and rationale of the present study and its implication.
  • Clearly specify the objectives and hypotheses (if any)
  • Give proper sample specifications
  • Operationally define variables
  • Give details of tests or instruments used in the study.
  • Results should be reported preferably in the order/sequence of the variables and factors of the study which have been described before in draft.
  • Discussion should not base on repeat relevant literature; rather should give a critical analysis of the findings of the present study in the light of relevant research quoted in the chapter of introduction.
  • Try to make complete references list at the end. Try to quote all references following APA manual style.
  • Annexure/ Copies of tests and instruments used, indigenously developed, translated and adapted must be submitted in Testing Resource Centre (TRC) at NIP and should not be made a part of thesis/ dissertation in the bound form. PhD coordinator will provide these measures to examiner.
  • First draft must be checked before the submission of second draft.
  • Please proof read a draft well before submission; it must be complete in all respects. It is expected that No typo/ grammar/editing and referencing mistakes are made in any draft at any stage.
  • APA Style manual must strictly be followed while writing any draft.