• Level on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF): Level 10
  • Entry Requirements: A master's degree
  • Thesis Code: GPP6000W

The PhD thesis must constitute an original, coherent, and consistent body of work that demonstrates the candidate's own efforts. The thesis should not exceed 80,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices).

Candidates will conduct research and advanced study under the guidance of a supervisor, or supervisors appointed by the Senate.

Candidates must be registered for at least two academic years. The approval process involves presenting a research proposal to the School's Graduate Research Committee within six months of registration. Continued registration is contingent upon the outcome of this presentation.

All thesis submissions must adhere to the specifications outlined by the UCT Doctoral Dissertation Board.

Admission requirements
The School aims to admit only PhD applicants who have a strong track record of research and hold a Master’s degree or equivalent. The School will only accept students who wish to work in a research field where the School has expertise.

Application process
PhD applicants may apply at any time of the year. Though the School encourages applicants to apply for first semester admission in September/October or second semester admission in March/April. 
To be considered for admission, you may apply directly to the School by emailing the following documents to

  • Letter motivating why you want to embark on a PhD journey, how the PhD will contribute to your career path (utility - what you plan to do with a PHD), and how will the study contribute new insights to current knowledge.
  • Comprehensive CV with references
  • Research concept note (download a pdf for brief guidelines on what to include in the note)
  • Latest academic transcripts (masters level)

Should you be admitted, the School will invite you to apply online, where you will be required to submit all the required supporting documents. 
Applicants are admitted on provisional basis with the opportunity to work on their proposal under supervision. The DDB requires, a full PhD proposal to be submitted within 6 months of registration. 
Registration takes place after the formal application has been processed and only if a student has been accepted. 

Please note that the School has received and accepted applications up to its limit for 2024/2025 and will thus not be accepting any further applications until next year. Please revisit this page to receive updates on the status of applications and the opening of the new applications process in 2025/2026.



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