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University of Cape Town Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Admissions

University of Cape Town Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Admissions

Our postgraduate programmes are designed to build the intellectual and technical capacity of graduates so they can critically engage in and find creative solutions for the challenges of transformation at all levels of social and public life in South Africa. The conceptual and practical training is designed to prepare students for leadership in research, policy and decision-making and equip them for a wide range of professional and academic career paths in and beyond South Africa.

Humanities postgraduate programmes draw on the established expertise of faculty members, four SARChI Research Chairs and two Mellon Research Chairs as well as a range of nationally and internationally recognised research institutes who are at the cutting edge of research and policy development. Offering an array of innovative and inter-disciplinary programmes, postgraduate students have access to specialised libraries and the latest communication and information technology.

Students register for a course of study in a particular department in the Faculty and complete the required core courses and electives. At least one of those electives a year can come from courses provided by other departments. This enables students to pursue their academic interests within a more flexible plan of study and provides access to a wide range of courses and teaching staff than any one department can offer.

Graduates proceed through the following academic stages:

  • Honours degree which is usually one year in duration; then on to a
  • Master’s degree either by coursework or research; and then to a
  • PhD

The Faculty is particularly proud of its record of attracting top candidates to its Masters and PhD programmes and of supervising them to graduation in a reasonable time.

Policies and guidelines for postgraduate programmes in Humanities are set by the Graduate Programmes Committee, which is chaired by the Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

University of Cape Town Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Admissions and Registration

Once the application and supporting documentation have been received by Admissions, your details will be captured and the application referred to the faculty. The faculty staff will in turn check the documents submitted and, if admission criteria have been met, send a memo to the HOD/Programme Convenor enclosing the supporting documentation for consideration. Applicants who apply directly to departments are referred to the Admissions Office to complete an application form as no processing can occur without the applicant being on system.

Decisions to accept or refuse applicants are made by departments but will be conveyed to you by the faculty. You will receive a letter from the faculty advising you of the outcome in due course, but do take into consideration that final results are needed before departments can make decisions and in some instances, the decision will be deferred until undergraduate and honours results are supplied.

Applicants are required to have a Bachelors degree in the relevant discipline or equivalent qualification. Admission through the recognition of prior learning is possible in appropriate circumstances. Such admission is processed and decided in terms of the RPL policy and must be supported by the HOD and approved by Director: Graduate Studies. The HOD communicates his decision to the Faculty Office who will inform the applicant and process the registration.

Registration procedure:

Registration is processed by the Faculty Office. The student is required to obtain the signatures of the Programme Convenor and the Deans’ representative (Deputy Dean: Research, Director: Graduate Programmes or Graduate Programmes Officer) before the registration is completed and recorded on the system.

Progression:

Continuing students’ performance is monitored annually. Before re-registration is recommended in subsequent years, supervisors confirm though the HDC that progress has been satisfactory (October each year). The HDC reports to FEC on the progress of all students registered for higher degrees. The Faculty Office enters the appropriate code for each student (CON for continue or IND for poor progress). Students whose progress is deemed by the supervisor and HDC to be unsatisfactory are informed by the GSH that re-registration will not be permitted. Students exceeding the recommended time for the degree are also informed of this.

Examination procedure:

The administration of honours examination processes are done by departments. The appointment of external examiners is done by the Faculty Office, once external examiners have been approved by the Faculty Board (via a DC).

University of Cape Town Faculty of Humanities Masters Degrees

Admission:
Applicants are required to have a honours degree or equivalent qualification. In addition, all applications for Masters by Research (Dissertation 100%) are required to submit a research proposal. No formal registration can take place until the proposal has been considered and approved by the department’s Higher Degrees Committee (HDC). Admission through the recognition of prior learning is possible in appropriate circumstances. Such admission is processed and decided in terms of the RPL policy and must be approved by the Head of Department (HoD). The HDC communicates its decision to the Faculty Office who will inform the applicant and process the registration.

Registration procedure:
Registration is processed by the Faculty Office. The student is required to obtain the signatures of the Programme Convenor and the Deans’ representative (Deputy Dean: Research, Director: Graduate Programmes or Graduate Programmes Officer) before the registration is completed and recorded on the system. An MOU (or annual supplement) must be submitted at registration.

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Appointment of supervisors:

  • Research Masters: the candidate is accepted when the research proposal is accepted and the supervisor approved by HoD. The HoD forwards the research proposal, which details the supervisor, to the Faculty Office who refers the recommendation for ratification to the Director: Graduate Studies. It is then published in the Dean’s Circular.
  • Coursework Masters: candidates are required to have approval for their research topic and supervisor by the end of first year of studies. The HoD forwards the name of the supervisor and the research topic to the Director: Graduate Studies. It is then published in the Dean’s Circular.

Progression:
Continuing students’ performance is monitored annually. Before re-registration is recommended in subsequent years, supervisors confirm through the HDC that progress has been satisfactory (October each year). The HOD reports to Faculty Examinations Committee on the coursework results and the progress of students registered for higher degrees. The Faculty Office enters the appropriate code for each student (CON for continue or IND for poor progress). Students whose progress is deemed by the supervisor and HDC to be unsatisfactory are informed by the Faculty’s Postgraduate Office that re-registration will not be permitted. Students exceeding the recommended time for the degree are also informed of this.

Examination procedures:
Examination of masters’ theses is administered by the Faculty Office. Students are required to submit a notice of intention to submit by the advertised dates. Once such notice is received, the Faculty Office requests nominations for examiners from departments. Nominations are put to the Director of Graduate Studies, and if supported, published in a DC for faculty approval. Approved examiners are approached by the Faculty Office and the thesis submitted by the Faculty Office for examination. Masters’ theses are examined by two external examiners; the supervisor is required to provide a non-evaluative report and is not part of the examination process. The examiners’ reports and recommendations are considered by the Masters Dissertation Examinations Committee (MDEC). The MDEC makes a decision on the basis of the examiners’ reports. The student is advised of the MDEC’s recommendation by the Faculty Office.

 

University of Cape Town Faculty of Humanities Doctoral Degrees

Admission requirements:

  1. Masters degree or equivalent qualification.
  2. Admission through the recognition of prior learning is possible in appropriate circumstances. Such admission is processed and decided in terms of the RPL policy and must be supported by the HOD and approved by the Director: Graduate Studies.

Application procedure:
All applicants are required to submit a proposal together with the formal UCT application form to the Admissions Office. The proposals and supporting documents are forwarded from Admissions to the Faculty Office and are referred to the relevant HOD. The HOD makes a recommendation on the suitability of the applicant for the degree and returns this to the Faculty Office for approval by the Director: Graduate Studies.

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Registration procedure:
Registration is processed in the Faculty Office. The student is required to complete an MOU and to obtain the signatures of the Programme Convenor/HoD and the Dean’s representative (Deputy Dean: Research, Director: Graduate Programmes or Graduate Programmes Officer) before the registration is completed and recorded on the system. If the recommendation of the HDC is a provisional registration pending further work to the proposal, such a student may be provisionally registered for a period of six months after which the registration is reviewed. Provisional registration will only be extended if a revised proposal is submitted and approved by the HOD. If no revised proposal is forthcoming, the registration will be cancelled.

Appointment of supervisors:
Supervisors are nominated by the HDC at the meeting where the application is decided. The HOD recommends the nominated supervisor to the Faculty Office who refers the recommendation for ratification to the Director: Graduate Studies. It is then published in the Dean’s Circular.

Progression:

  • Continuing students’ performance is monitored annually. Before re-registration is recommended in subsequent years, supervisors confirm though the HDC that progress has been satisfactory (October each year). The HOD reports to Faculty Examinations Committee on the progress of students registered for a PhD.
  • The Faculty Office enters the appropriate code for each student (CON for continue or IND for poor progress). Students whose progress is deemed by the supervisor and HDC to be unsatisfactory are informed by the GSH that re-registration will not be permitted. Students exceeding the recommended time for the degree are also informed of this.

Examination procedures:
Examination of Doctoral theses is administered by the Doctoral Degrees Office. Candidates are required to advise the DDO of intention to submit by advertised dates. Once such notice is received, the DDO requests nominations for examiners from supervisors. Nominations are put to the Doctoral Committee of Assessors for Faculty approval, and if supported, submitted to DDO for Doctoral Degrees Board approval. Theses are submitted to DDO for examination.

 

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