Doctoral degree

The School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics is committed to fostering post-graduate research and to expanding its cohort of doctoral students. Doctoral degrees may be supervised by qualified and approved staff in any of the postgraduate programmes offered by the School, and prospective candidates should refer to those sections of the website which deal with staff research interests.

A summary of the procedures for PhD registration is set out below.

The prospective student will submit a short (10 page) proposal to the programme head, who decides if the proposal is compatible with programme research and teaching areas, and if supervision capacity is available. This proposal should include:

  • a provisional title
  • location and nature of the research
  • key issues or research questions
  • broad indication of existing work or literature in the field to which the dissertation will make a new contribution
  • research methodology
  • key references
  • duration of the research and resources which will be needed

If acceptable and possible, then the student will:

  • be required to register provisionally for a period of 6 months in order to fully develop the proposal. The proposal may be submitted prior to end of this period if the supervisor considers it sufficiently developed. The full proposal can follow the headings outlined above, and should particularly indicate how the work will make a substantial original contribution to knowledge.
  • thereafter, the chair of the School Higher Degrees Committee will convene a meeting at which the candidate will be asked to present and defend her or his proposal. The seminar is attended by a member of the Faculty Committee of Assessors.
  • should no major objections arise at the hearing, the proposal will be circulated in a Dean’s Circular as well as to the Doctoral Degrees Board. The student then registers fully.

A PhD student must spend one month or more at the University of Cape Town during the period of provisional registration. Thereafter there is an expectation that the student will spend at least one month at the University for each year of registration. This month does not necessarily have to be spent as one continuous period.

The above requirements are supplementary to those of the Faculty and the University. These requirements are available from the Faculty Office and Handbook 3, General Rules and Policy, University of Cape Town.

Useful text: J Mouton (2001) How to succeed in your Master’s and Doctoral Studies. Van Schaik, Pretoria.

Key Dates