Learn about the postgraduate application process at UCT here.

You can also find information about UCT’s admission criteria for postgraduate study here.



    The purpose of the Honours programme in Archaeology is to look in depth at current issues in the discipline, both internationally and in southern Africa. Those taking part are expected to become fully involved in the academic life of the Department, attending such seminars as may be given by staff members, research students and visitors. In addition, they must participate in the structured programme of lectures and tutorials and write a research dissertation. The dissertation is a central part of the Honours programme. Each student must prepare a project proposal, worked out with a supervisor, and approved by the Head of Department. In addition, students must take part in one open seminar, where they present their project to the Department. All students are required to participate in two weeks of fieldwork.


    Using the resources of both the Departments of Archaeology and Environmental & Geographical Science, this Honours programme focuses on the palaeoenvironmental context in which humans lived during the long course of the Quaternary. Course requirements include modules from both Archaeology and from Environmental & Geographical Science and a research project (48 credits).


    This course consists of an investigation of an approved topic chosen for intensive study by the candidate (student), culminating in the submission of a dissertation. The dissertation shall demonstrate the successful completion of a programme of training in research methods, a thorough understanding of the scientific principles underlying the research and an appropriate acquaintance with the relevant literature. It must be clearly presented and conform to the standards of the department and faculty. The dissertation will usually consist of a report detailing the conduct, and analysis of the results of, research performed under the close guidance of a suitably qualified supervisor/s. The dissertation should be well-conceived and acknowledge earlier research in the field. It should demonstrate the ability to undertake a substantial and informed piece of research, and to collect, organise and analyse material.


    The PhD is a research degree on an advanced topic under supervision which can be taken in any of the departments in the faculty. Examination is by thesis alone. A candidate shall undertake doctoral research and advanced study under the guidance of a supervisor/s appointed by Senate. The thesis must constitute a substantial contribution to knowledge in the chosen subject, must show evidence of original investigation and give a full statement of the literature on the subject. The PhD degree demands that the candidate can conduct independent research on his/her own initiative. Through the thesis the candidate must be able to demonstrate that he/she is at the academic forefront in the topic selected, that the work is original and that it advances our knowledge in the relevant field. Candidates are referred to the rules for this degree as set out in the General Rules and Policies handbook, found here.


  • View our departmental brochure here
  • Access the Science Faculty Code of Conduct here
  • Find the Faculty of Science handbook, which holds a section on Archaeology, here
  • Find the Humanities Faculty handbook, which holds a section on Archaeology, here
  • View the Archaeology Library Guide here