Research degrees

Doctoral degrees

Humanities Building


Admission requirements:

  1. Masters degree or equivalent qualification.

  2. Admission through the recognition of prior learning is possible in appropriate circumstances. Such admission is processed and decided in terms of the RPL policy and must be supported by the HOD and approved by the Director: Graduate Studies.


Application procedure:

All applicants are required to submit a proposal together with the formal UCT application form to the Admissions Office. The proposals and supporting documents are forwarded from Admissions to the Faculty Office and are referred to the relevant HOD. The HOD makes a recommendation on the suitability of the applicant for the degree and returns this to the Faculty Office for approval by the Director: Graduate Studies.


Registration procedure:

Registration is processed in the Faculty Office. The student is required to complete an MOU and to obtain the signatures of the Programme Convenor/HoD and the Dean's representative (Deputy Dean: Research, Director: Graduate Programmes or Graduate Programmes Officer) before the registration is completed and recorded on the system. If the recommendation of the HDC is a provisional registration pending further work to the proposal, such a student may be provisionally registered for a period of six months after which the registration is reviewed. Provisional registration will only be extended if a revised proposal is submitted and approved by the HOD. If no revised proposal is forthcoming, the registration will be cancelled.


Appointment of supervisors:

Supervisors are nominated by the HDC at the meeting where the application is decided. The HOD recommends the nominated supervisor to the Faculty Office who refers the recommendation for ratification to the Director: Graduate Studies. It is then published in the Dean's Circular.



  • Continuing students' performance is monitored annually. Before re-registration is recommended in subsequent years, supervisors confirm though the HDC that progress has been satisfactory (October each year). The HOD reports to Faculty Examinations Committee on the progress of students registered for a PhD.

  • The Faculty Office enters the appropriate code for each student (CON for continue or IND for poor progress). Students whose progress is deemed by the supervisor and HDC to be unsatisfactory are informed by the GSH that re-registration will not be permitted. Students exceeding the recommended time for the degree are also informed of this.


Examination procedures:

Examination of Doctoral theses is administered by the Doctoral Degrees Office. Candidates are required to advise the DDO of intention to submit by advertised dates. Once such notice is received, the DDO requests nominations for examiners from supervisors. Nominations are put to the Doctoral Committee of Assessors for Faculty approval, and if supported, submitted to DDO for Doctoral Degrees Board approval. Theses are submitted to DDO for examination.