Thank you for your interest in the doing Honours in our department. As you prepare your application you may want to read through the following explanation of the admissions requirements and process. We look forward to receiving your application.

Admission requirements

A Bachelors degree in English, or equivalent qualification.

Students with a strong academic record who have taken time off since completion of their BA are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

  1. Make an online application for study through the central UCT admissions office by no later than 31 October for South African applicants and no later than 30 September for international applicants.
  2. Attach to your application the following three documents:
    1. Statement of motivation of about 1 page. Please include at the end of the statement the names and contact details (email and telephone) of two academic referees whom the Committee could contact if needs be. We do not require written references to be submitted in the first instance.
    2. Sample of your written work in the form of a critical essay of approximately 3000 words. We recommend that you submit an essay you were especially confident about from a final-year English Literature course.
    3. Academic transcript. External applicants must attach an official academic transcript; internal applicants can submit an unofficial transcript showing their student number.
                Please note that the names of two academic references will need to be submitted at the time of your application.

Admissions process

The decision-making process will involve a close examination of your transcripts, an example of a critical essay and a statement of motivation. Please provide the names of two referees at the end of your statement of motivation.

Admissions decisions will be made by a Departmental Committee.

In line with the UCT mission of equity and excellence, the Committee will deliberately seek to ensure that the class will reflect the diversity of talent available in the country.

The Departmental Committee will meet during November each year to make decisions on admissions. Applicants will then be notified early in December by email whether they have been accepted. In exceptional cases a small number of applicants may be wait-listed for acceptance.

Once an applicant’s admission has been confirmed by the English Department, the Humanities Faculty Office Graduate School will send a formal letter of admission stating registration dates.

Successful candidates are asked to confirm their acceptance in writing within two weeks.


Prospective Honours students may apply for the Konstantin Sofianos Scholarship. Information about the application process, which involves writing an essay in response to a set question, may be found on the Scholarship website. The applications window usually opens in October and closes in January.

Information about financial aid can be found on the Postgraduate Funding Office website. Honours students must submit form 10A to be considered for funding.