Information science is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary profession that includes knowledge management, business management, information technology, information governance, leadership and governance, legal information systems and publishing. The Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science (Ph.D IS) provides advanced studies in information and knowledge management, strategic planning and management, digital information systems, information governance management, publishing and media studies, and information communication technology. The programme provides opportunities to graduates with qualifications in humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and applied sciences.


The programme provides advanced level of learning and training through research and teaching. This is because of the increased need for information professionals in leadership and management positions as witnessed in the present employment trends in information and knowledge organizations, institutions and the society. In producing competent information leaders for highest level of training, the programme proactively prepares students to engage in research and scholarly learning and also to communicate and disseminate research outputs to the public. In designing the programme the needs of the stakeholders were equally integrated.


  1. To train students in advanced research methodologies and techniques applicable to information science.
  2. To develop scholars who can independently conduct original research that contributes to the theoretical and practical understanding of information science.
  3. To foster interdisciplinary collaboration and critical thinking in addressing complex information challenges.
  4. To prepare graduates for academic positions, research leadership roles, and consultancy in academia, industry, and government sectors.

Schedule of Intakes

The Department admits new students at the beginning of every academic calendar year (which is usually September)

Application Information

You will be required to enter some basic information, including your email address and to choose a password. We will then send you an email to the address you entered, so that we can validate your account. When you have clicked on the validation link (sent to you in the email), you will be able to log in to the application system using the "Login" box below

For instructions on how to apply click here

To apply online here

Contact of Support Persons

Phone: +254 20 4918223/+254 20 4913038

Email: dept-lis@uonbi.ac.ke

Mode of Delivery 

  • Face-to-Face Mode

This is through lectures and tutorials using notes, electronic presentations, instruction manuals, group discussions, practical laboratory demonstrations and fieldwork.

  • Open, Distance Learning and e-Learning

In case of delivery through ODeL, special arrangements shall be made for the practical laboratory, field work and computing sessions. Where not feasible alternative arrangements will be made to do them on campus. 

  • Blended Learning

This is a hybrid of face to face with Open, Distance Learning and e-learning.


Course duration

The programme shall be covered in a minimum of six (6) and a maximum of ten (10) semesters for full-time students and a maximum of fourteen (14) semesters for part-time students from the date of registration.

Course units

  1. CPC 8101 Advanced Critical Thinking
  2. CPC 8102 Advanced Academic Writing
  3. CPC 8103 Advanced Research Methods
  4. CIS 8104 Philosophy of Information Science
  5. CPC 8105 Graduate Seminars
  6. CIS 8106 Development, Leadership and Governance
  7. CIS 8107 Digital Innovations and Society
  8. CIS 8108 Knowledge Management and Enterprise Systems
  9. CIS 8999 Thesis




The objectives of a PhD of Information Science (BIS) program are designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies to pursue successful careers in various information-related roles. Students should gain a comprehensive understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of the field. A BIS program aims to develop students' technical skills to effectively navigate and utilize information technologies. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively in teams, recognizing the importance of teamwork and effective collaboration. BIS programs aim to instill a strong sense of ethical awareness and social responsibility.



           (i)        Each course shall be examined by a 1 x 3 hour written examination.

           (ii)       End of semester examination shall constitute 70% while continuous

assessment shall constitute 30% (of the marks in each course).

           (iii)      Continuous assessment shall be evaluated in each course on the basis of

seminar papers, tutorials, essays, practical exercises and assignments.

           (iv)      The pass mark shall be 50% in each paper.

           (v)       Candidates who fail to satisfy the examiners in any course may on the recommendation of the Institute Board of Examiners and approval by Senate be allowed to take up to two resit examinations during the next ordinary examination time within the stipulated study period.

           (vi)      A pass obtained in the resit examination shall be recorded as 50% in the candidates' academic record.

           (vii)     Candidates who fail to satisfy the examiners in the resit examination in any course or fails to complete their study within the stipulated period shall on recommendation of the Institute Board of Examiners and approval by Senate to discontinue.


 b) Research Project/THESIS

 (a)     The supervisors should help students to identify possible areas of research during the second semester of the study.

 (b)     The actual research projects should commence at the beginning of the fourth semester of the study.

  (c)     The students will be required to present before staff and other fellow students their prepared/complete research proposals during the third semester of the study but not later than the beginning of the third semester examinations.

                                  (d)     The entire fourth semester will be devoted to the project work.

                                  (e)     The students will at the end of the fourth semester be required to submit with approval of their supervisors a duly approved completed research project.


c)    Examination of the Project/Thesis

1.The supervisor and an internal examiner will examine the entire project

report. This will account for 70 per cent of the total marks.

2.The candidate will give a 30-minute seminar to be assessed by two internal

examiners. This will account for 30 percent of the total marks.



Admission Requirements  

The common regulations for admission requirements for Ph.D in the University of Nairobi shall apply.

  1. In addition, applicants must be holders of a Master’s degree in information science or any other information science related discipline from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by University of Nairobi Senate.
  2. In either case, the applicant must be able to produce evidence, to the satisfaction of Senate, of his adequate background in the discipline and capacity to carry out original research.
  3. In addition to producing evidence of eligibility for registration, candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree may be required to appear for interview by the Faculty/Institute/School/Centre concerned to determine their suitability for registration.




TUITION 60,000.00
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @4000) 4,000.00
CAUTION - (ONCE) 10,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR) 12,000.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR) 1,000.00
Thesis/tuition 480,000.00
Year 1 - 8 units  
Tuition fees 512,000.00
other charges 47,000.00
Total 559,000.00
Year 2 - Thesis  
Thesis/tuition 480,000.00
Others charges 37,000.00
Total 517,000.00
Year 3 - Thesis  
Thesis/tuition 480,000.00
Others charges 37,000.00
Thesis examinations 50,000.00
Totals 567,000.00
Grand totals 1,643,000.00


Appropriate fieldwork fees shall be charged separately.

  • Foreign students from outside the partner states of the Northern Corridor Integration Project (Republics of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan) to add 25% on all charges.

Exam Regulations

The University of Nairobi policies and regulations on examinations in relation to examination malpractices, disciplinary action and mode of appeal shall apply.

  1. Examination shall include both the written and thesis examination.
  2. Candidates shall have their coursework examined at the end of the semester in which the courses have been taken.
  3. The assessment for each course unit shall consist of:
  4. A 3-hour end of semester written examination that shall constitute 60% of the total marks.
  5. Continuous coursework assessment based on assignments, term papers, seminars and field work that shall constitute 40% of the total marks.
  6. The pass mark for each course unit shall be 50% and graded as stipulated in section 7.0.
  7. A candidate who fails in up to one-third of the course units in an academic year shall be allowed to take supplementary examination(s) in the course unit(s) failed, when such examinations are next scheduled.
  8. A pass obtained in the supplementary examination will be recorded as 50%.
  9. A candidate who fails a supplementary examination shall be allowed to repeat the failed supplementary examination once.
  10. A candidate who, for a good cause, fails to sit for an examination may be allowed to take a supplementary examination, when such examinations are next scheduled. The results of a supplementary examination shall be treated like the results of an ordinary first attempt examination.
  11. A candidate who fails in more than one-third of the course units in an academic year or fails a supplementary examination at the second attempt or fails to complete the programme within the stipulated period shall, on the recommendation of the Faculty Board of Examiners and approval by Senate, be discontinued.
  12. The University of Nairobi regulations on examination malpractices, disciplinary action and mode of appeal shall apply.

Submission and Examination of Thesis

  1. At least three months before a thesis is submitted, a candidate shall give notice in writing and an abstract to the Director of the Graduate School through the supervisor, Chairman of the Department and Dean/Director of the Faculty/School/Institute/Centre.
  2. Every thesis submitted for examination shall be in quadruplicate and in loose form, and must include a declaration by the candidate confirming that the thesis has not been submitted for a degree in any other institution of higher learning and that the contents of the thesis are the original work of the candidate. Every thesis shall bear the signature of the supervisor(s) indicating that the thesis has been submitted with his/her approval.
  3. The length of the thesis should be about 50,000 words.
  4. The candidate must ensure that he/she complies with the University of Nairobi policy on plagiarism (Available at the University of Nairobi website (www.uonbi.ac.ke) and have the thesis tested for plagiarism. The plagiarism tolerance level should not exceed 15%.
  5.   A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in information Science must make a distinct contribution to knowledge and show an understanding of the subject and display originality of thought. It must also include complete references to the materials used in its preparation, whether published or otherwise; and it must also conform to the regulations for the submission of thesis of the University of Nairobi.
  6. The Dean shall in consultation with the Chairman of the Department and the FGSC, recommend to the Graduate School the appointment of examiners of the candidate presenting a thesis as follow:
    1. Dean as Chairman
    2. An external examiner
    3. Two internal examiners one of whom must not have supervised the candidate. The lead supervisor will normally be an internal examiner.
    4. Two other persons competent in the candidate’s area of research, and at least one of whom shall be external to the Department, and
    5. A representative of the Graduate School.



 Attachment Opportunities

Attachment opportunities for Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science students may include research fellowships, collaborative projects with industry partners, teaching assistantships, and international research exchanges. These attachments provide students with opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research and develop professional networks within their field.

Career Prospects

Information science students develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide variety of careers in government, healthcare, research, business, and non-profit organizations where they can work or can create employment opportunities:

  1. Knowledge Management Specialist
  2. Information Managers
  3. Information Resource Managers
  4. Information Technologists
  5. Information Analysts
  6. Digital Records and Information Managers
  7. Information Systems Managers
  8. Content Developers
  9. Researchers
  10. Scholars
  11. Tutors and Trainers
  12. Consultants
  13. User Experience Designer
  14. User Experience Researcher
  15. Senior Library Assistant
  16. Web Architect