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Master by Research and Doctoral

Application for Masters or Doctoral Degrees by Dissertation (MA, MSC, PhD)

Application date for degrees by dissertation (MA, MSc, PhD) is: 31st October each year

This applies to both local and international applicants

Students will only be admitted to study if an academic staff member can support their proposed research. Therefore, please use the departmental website to access information about the various research interests and staff in the department. Applicants should propose a supervisor in the application enclosed so you should familiarize yourself with staff members research to make this decision. Applicants for entry into the Masters by Dissertation programme should possess an Honours degree with excellent marks. Applicants for entry into the PhD programme should possess a Masters degree with excellent marks.

The Department reviews postgraduate applications twice a year. For dissertation Masters and PhD degrees we will review applications in June for a second semester start. The deadline for these applications in the end of March of each year. For all our coursework Masters programmes, as well as dissertation Masters and PhD degrees looking to start in February, we will review applications in November. The deadline for these applications is the end of October each year.

Applicants should submit:

  1. A Departmental Application Form
  2. A UCT application Form (please read the relevant informatio if you are a foreign applicant)
  3. A 1000 word statement of research interest. This should take the form of a mini-thesis proposal
  4. A writing sample:
    • Masters: preferably your Honours project/paper or a paper of equivalent academic depth
    • PhD: preferably a chapter of your masters thesis or a paper of equivalent academic depth.
  5. Letters on the departmental reference form, from two academic references who are able to speak to your academic abilities and suitability for chosen programme.
  6. All university-level transcripts (official or certified copies)

Applications are considered for Masters by Dissertation and PhDs throughout the first and second semester.

Please note that if you are accepted into the Masters and PhD by thesis programmes, you will be required within a specified period to write and present a research proposal. The Department will use this process to assess the viability of your research and its appropriateness for your degree programme. If the requirements for the proposal are not met, the Department will not allow you to continue with the degree.

If you have additional queries about entry into any of our postgraduate courses, please contact the Postgraduate Coordinator, Dr Shari Daya (

Should you have any queries regarding making an application for any of the above mentioned programmes please contact Tanya Basadien ( who is the Postgraduate administrator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)