Preparing to submit

For the Masters dissertation:

  • Candidates are required to give a written notice of intention to submit 6 weeks in advance of submitting their dissertation.
  • Once you submit your notice of intention to submit, the Humanities Postgraduate Office starts the process of appointing external examiners, so that there will be no delay once you submit your dissertation. If you do not notify the Postgraduate Office of your intention to submit, examiners will not have been appointed in advance and the examination of your dissertation may be delayed. (Do not notify the Faculty's Postgraduate Office of your intention to submit if you are not ready - if examiners are appointed and you do not submit, it becomes difficult to find examiners again when you submit later.)
  • It is recommended that the dissertation be submitted for examination five months before the graduation ceremony to allow time for the examination process to run its course. Note: Graduation dates are published in the UCT academic calendar.
  • The Faculty's Postgraduate Office sends a copy of your dissertation to each examiner. Examiners are expected to return their reports in 6 weeks. If the examiner has not done so by week 6, the Postgraduate Office administrator(s) will follow up. The Faculty's Postgraduate Office does not undertake to reach a decision by any specific date.
  • Within 48 hours of receiving the examiners' reports, the Faculty's Postgraduate Office administrators send these to the department which has 5 days to respond and to produce a consolidated report. Once the department has responded by submitting the consolidated report, your reports are put to the Masters Dissertation Examination Committee (MDEC).
  • The MDEC will consider the reports at its next available meeting. Once the results are known, you will be informed.
    • If no corrections are required, the result is entered on the system.
    • If corrections are required, your supervisor oversees these and informs the Faculty's Postgraduate Office when these are satisfactorily done so that the result can be entered.
  • The final library copy of your dissertation must be uploaded to PeopleSoft before your result can be entered making you eligible to graduate. If you are required to revise and resubmit, you need to re-register so that you can receive supervision while working on the amendments required.

Overall processing time from date of submission is 12 weeks (longer if notice of intention to submit was not given or there are delays with the examiners).

Please see the latest Student Fees handbook for details on rebate dates for submission of Doctoral theses and Master’s dissertations (Section 8).

For the Doctorate:

The Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB) has produced guidelines for the submission of theses as well as for abstracts for PhD theses.

Please see the Doctoral Degrees Board website for details of PhD examination.