Application Stages

  • How do you apply for postgraduate studies in the Humanities?

    A: The departments in the Faculty of Humanities are listed as well as on the Faculty website. You can navigate to each specific departmental website, from the Faculty homepage, to get an idea of programmes offered as well as staff interests and their contact details in order to find a potential supervisor (for research degrees). Please apply online utilising the ‘Applying to UCT’ tab.

    For queries related to your online application, please contact the UCT Admissions Office on (021) 650 2128. You are encouraged to monitor your application status online using the UCT self-service tool.

    Additional links: 

    1. Click here to access the Off Campus Student Accommodation Services
    2. Click here to view Student Housing & Residence possibilities
  • What are the English language requirements for postgraduate studies?

    A: International applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit one of the following:

    • a recent score (obtained within 3 - 5 years before application for admission) of at least 570 (paper-based test) or 230 (computer-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • a recent overall band score of 7.0 (with no individual element of the test scoring below 6.0) on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • or, noting that this may only be written at certain designated venues within South Africa, a score of at least 65% on the university's Placement Test in English for Educational Purposes (PTEEP).

    Information on the TOEFL is available from or Information on the IELTS is available through the British Council at the British consulate or embassy in your country. You may also access the IELTS website

  • Does the Faculty offer postgraduate qualifications in online or distance-learning mode?

    A: The Faculty does not currently offer online or distance learning postgraduate degrees. Regarding PhD studies, the University rules state:

    “During his or her period of registration a candidate will normally be required to attend at the University for a period of at least one year. By “attend at the University” Senate understands that the candidate shall, within reason, be readily available for discussion at the University.”

    You could contact the specific department that you are interested in within the Faculty of Humanities to discuss your PhD research interests and determine whether there is a suitable supervisor available who would agree to less contact time. 

  • How do I track my application status?

    A: You can track the status of your application online using your unique UCT application number. 



  • What are the tuition fees and accomodation costs?

    A: Student fees are available in the UCT Fees booklet, from the UCT Fees Office and from the main UCT website. If you require a pro-forma invoice, please fill in the form and send it to the UCT Fees Office. You can contact the UCT Fees office on: +27 21 650 1704. Alternatively email: Click here for details on UCT fee payment methods . 


International Applicants

  • How do I find out about registration?

    A: You will have received a letter via e-mail indicating that UCT is making you an offer for admission to postgraduate studies. Registration dates for coursework postgraduate programmes are set each year for a week in February and you may only register during this time. UCT Registration dates are available online. Candidates accepted for research Masters (100% dissertation) and PhD degrees may register throughout the academic year but it must be before 1 May if it is to count as the first academic year of study (towards the minimum period of registration). There are 3 main steps to follow in order to become registered with the Faculty:

    1. Step 1: If you are going to accept the offer, you need to fill in Section A of the letter and return it to the UCT Admissions Office. Email:
    2. Step 2: As an international student, before the Faculty can register you, pre-registration clearance needs to be obtained from the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO). Email: You need to deliver your proof of payment of fees, a copy of your passport identification page, a copy of your study visa and proof of medical insurance. They can also assist you in obtaining a study permit by issuing you with a letter of undertaking for the embassy/home affairs office where you are applying. Please contact Ms Nosizwe Mgudlwa if this is required.
    3. Step 3: Once you have IAPO pre-registration clearance, you need to collect your registration forms from the Faculty Office, Upper Campus, Beattie Building, Room 105. Once completed, please submit your completed registration forms to the Faculty Office so that your registration may be processed on system. Should you have any queries, please contact the Postgraduate Faculty Office on: +27 21 650 2691. Alternatively email the Humanities Postgraduate Office


Student Housing

  • What accommodation options are available to postgraduate students?

    A1: For information on the various student residence options on campus, please contact Student Housing Accommodation & Advocacy Services (SHAAS):

    Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2977
    Fax: +27 (0)21 650 4014

    A2: For residence outside campus, please contact Off-Campus Student Accommodation Services (OCSAS):

    Tel: 021 650 4934
    Fax: 021 650 5595
    Visit the OCSAS website


Theses & Dissertations

  • How can I prepare for the Research Proposal (Masters by research) and PhD applications?

    A: Yes, please refer to the PDF document entitled:  Research proposal guidelines PhD Masters which can be downloaded from the Humanities website.

  • What is the process followed for approval of my PhD proposal and when do I submit the final proposal to the Faculty?

    A: A formal research proposal, supported by both your supervisor and head of department, needs to be submitted to the Faculty Office within six months of your first registration. This is to ensure that all concerned with the pursuit of the PhD, viz. the student, the supervisor, the Head of Department and the Faculty, are given or provide every possible support in order to promote the successful completion of the thesis in the soonest possible time. Your departmentally-approved proposal, along with a completed proposal approval form indicating ethics approval - where relevant - must be submitted to the Faculty within this six month period. Once submitted your proposal will undergo Faculty Board approval followed by ratification by the Doctoral Degrees Board, confirming your candidature as a doctoral student at UCT.

  • How do I obtain ethics clearance for my PhD proposal?

    A: Ethics clearance is obtained and filed at departmental level - your departmental ethics representative will be able to send you the appropriate forms. From the Faculty side, we request that the departmental ethics representative signs off on the PhD proposal, verifying that the process of ethics approval has been carried out and clearance obtained where necessary. This signature is expected on the proposal approval form, to be completed once the department has approved the PhD proposal and is ready to submit to the Faculty. For further information regarding Ethics clearance at UCT, access the Research Ethics Policy

  • What is the deadline for the submission of my Masters dissertation/ PhD thesis in order to be eligible for June/ December graduation, all other requirements being met?

    For a PhD thesis:
    The final dates for submission of such notification (intention to submit form) for the purpose of graduation are:

    • 10 January for persons hoping to graduate in June;
    • 20 June for persons hoping to graduate in December;

    The dates for submission of theses are:

    • First day of the new academic year for persons hoping to graduate in June; 
    • 15 August for persons hoping to graduate in December. 
    • This is published in the UCT General Rules and Policies Handbook 

    For a Masters dissertation:

    • Notice of intention to submit a dissertation shall be given in writing to the Faculty Office not later than 15 February for possible graduation in June, and 15 July for possible graduation in December.
    • Except where otherwise determined for a specific specialisation, the dissertation must be submitted to the Faculty Office by the start of the 2nd quarter for possible graduation in June, and by not later than the start of 4th quarter for possible graduation in December.
    • This is published in the Humanities Postgraduate Handbook.

    Please note: The Postgraduate Office and Doctoral Degrees Board Office do not undertake to reach a decision on the examination outcome by any specific date.

  • Is there a cut-off date for recieving a fee rebate if I sumbit my MA dissertation / PhD thesis early?

    A: The fee rebates due for submission of both PhD theses and Masters dissertations are published on page 23, section 8 of the UCT Fees Handbook