Applications for Dissertation Masters (MA, MSc) or PhD

We have two application deadlines for degrees by dissertation (MA, MSc, PhD). The first is 31 March for a mid-year start. The second is 31 October for a start in the following academic year. We cannot process applications in between these dates, so any application submitted after one deadline will be rolled over to the next.

This applies to both local and international applicants.

Students will only be admitted to study if an academic staff member can support their proposed research. Therefore, please use the departmental website to access information about the various research interests and staff in the department. Applicants are not required to but can propose a supervisor in the application enclosed so you should familiarise yourself with staff members research to make this decision. It is not, however, necessary to contact individual supervisors in advance or to secure the agreement of a proposed supervisor prior to making the application. Your preferences will be taken into account by the application review committee. Applicants for entry into the Masters by Dissertation programme should possess an Honours degree with excellent marks. Applicants for entry into the PhD programme should possess a Masters degree with excellent marks.

Applicants should submit:

Applicants should submit a UCT online application Form and attach the following documents to the online application preferably in one document:

  1. Scanned academic transcripts
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Research proposal (1000 words)
  4. Letters on the departmental reference form, from two academic references who are able to speak to your academic abilities and suitability for chosen programme.

For more information regarding the online application please click here (please read the relevant information if you are a foreign applicant)

If your application is successful, you will be required to present your research proposal to the Department within 3-6 months after registration for the degree. At this point the viability of the project and its appropriateness for your degree programme will be considered. If the requirements for the proposal are not met, the Department may not support your continuation in the programme.

If you have any queries about the EGS postgraduate research programme, please contact the Dissertation Masters and PhD programme convenor, Dr Suraya Scheba (

Should you have any queries regarding making an application for any of the above mentioned programmes please contact Environmental Sciences Secretary ( who is the Postgraduate administrator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)