The Section of Organisational Psychology offers a PhD by dissertation only.  We do not offer a PhD by coursework and dissertation.

To be accepted as a PhD candidate, you must hold a master’s degree in Organisational or Industrial Psychology or Human Resource Management, which includes a minimum of 50% research.


The main requirement of a PhD is that the candidate adds new academic knowledge to the field of Organisational Psychology or Human Resource Management.

Producing a manuscript describing your work or consultation efforts does not fulfil this requirement and would not be accepted as a proposal. Also, note that the University requires ethical clearance for all data collected for research purposes. Therefore, existing data collected outside the ethical rules of UCT cannot be used for a PhD.

UCT is a residential university. The Section may require you to spend six months on campus during your first year of registration. During this time, you will be supervised closely to prepare a proposal that would be acceptable to the various university committees. Your proposal must be presented within the first six months of your PhD registration.

We may also require you to do additional courses in Organisational Psychology, research design or statistics.


You can apply for PhD studies throughout the year.

To apply‚ you should email the following documentation to the Head of Section, Carren Duffy:

  1. A short CV (not more than two pages) stating your contact details and academic qualifications (graduated degrees).
  2. An electronic copy of your master’s dissertation.
  3. Your academic transcripts and certificates.
  4. A proposal outlining the research you would like to conduct.

The Head of Section will check that you fulfil the necessary prerequisites and requirements, and if so, forward your documents to suitable supervisors in the Section of Organisational Psychology. Supervisors with capacity and a shared interest in the research area will engage in further discussions with candidates. Please note that there may not always be a suitable supervisor at UCT.  


Please consult the Fees Handbook for the cost of a PhD. International applicants should check under the relevant section, International Students, for their fees.

Limited financial support is available through scholarships, bursaries, and student loans. Please contact the Postgraduate Funding Office for more information. 

Please note that some scholarships require application by June of the year preceding study. You are advised to apply in June even if you do not know by then whether you have been selected into the programme. International students should note that funding is limited and are advised to apply for sponsorship in their own countries.



For more information, please refer to the Commerce Postgraduate Handbook.