Bursaries & scholarships

Travel scholarships

The University of Cape Town strives to provide a high-quality postgraduate experience. Besides the advantages of world-class academic staff, the breadth of research activities, comprehensive libraries and excellent facilities, there are many support structures designed to ensure that your postgraduate studies are successful and rewarding. In addition the University have made available limited mobility grants to support registered master’s and doctoral students for support to attend conferences or further research at approved universities. The following awards are available to students:

UCT Conference Travel Grants

Application for Conference travel between April - September (Application has closed)

The purpose of the UCT Conference Travel Grants is to provide an opportunity for doctoral and master’s applicants to apply for a grant to present a paper or a talk at a conference. A condition of this grant is that (a) students must have their papers accepted (b) must confirm that they have secured the balance of funds to undertake their travel and (c) on completion of the conference and return to UCT students must submit a travel report stipulating their experiences of the travel, the impact of this exposure on their research and potential publications that may arise from it.

The conference travel grants consists of two rounds of application. While there are no restrictions on race or gender all students who apply must be registered under the following eligibility criteria:

  • Master's students in the FIRST year of study, who intend to submit early in the 2nd year, can apply in the 2nd semester of the 1st year if they can provide strong motivation and on receipt of evidence that they will submit before the first semester of the next year
  • Master's students in the 1st year of study can apply in their 1st year to travel to a conference in the SECOND year of study
  • Master's students in the SECOND year of study
  • Doctoral students who will attend a conference in the SECOND, THIRD OR FOURTH (but who are registered for the 3rd year) YEARS of study. Doctoral students who successfully apply in the 3rd year of study may use their grants in the 4th year of study on condition that they are registered at the time of the conference
  • Doctoral students who are registered for the 4th year of study at the time of application are ineligible
  • Successful applicants must be registered students of the University of Cape Town for the full duration of their conference stay
  • Students who have UPGRADED from master's to doctoral study are eligible in the FIRST AND SECOND years of registration as a doctoral student only. Evidence of the upgrade must be provided

Closing dates for application for the 2018 academic which is subject to change is as follows:

  • The first closing date is the 9 March. This closing date applied to travel between April and September
  • The 2nd and final closing date and 31 August for travel between October and March of the following year. The Selection Committee meets in March and September

Scholarships for International Travel

Application for Scholarship for International travel between April - September (Application has closed)

The above scholarships are available to assist master's and doctoral students registered at the University of Cape Town to proceed to an approved international institution for purposes of a visiting scholars programme, for research, or for attendance at specific and approved courses. The awards are intended for individual senior students and have been established to enhance the research activities being conducted for the completion of the degree.

There are two rounds of application/award per annum and students may apply for support for a minimum of 2 months to a maximum of 10 months.

Closing dates for application for the 2018 academic which is subject to change is as follows:

  • Students applying to travel abroad in April, May, June, July, and August, September must submit their applications by no later than 28 February.
  • Students applying to travel abroad in October, November, December and January, February and March of the following year must submit their applications by no later than 31 August. The Selection Committee meets in March and September.

Commonwealth Scholarships tenable United Kingdom 2018

Universities South Africa (USAf) is the Nominating Agency for South African citizens who wish to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarships tenable in the UK for the academic year commencing in September/October 2018.
South Africa can send a maximum of 50 nominations of which no more than half (22) may be for PhD study.

Applications may be in either of the following two categories for study in the UK:
• Taught Master’s courses (One Year) (excluding MBA)
• PhDs

Please note the Agency does not nominate candidates for:
Distance Learning Scholarships to study UK Master’s degree courses in your home country
o Academic Fellowships for mid-career academics to spend time at UK universities
o Professional Fellowships for mid-career professionals to spend time at a UK host organization
o Split-site scholarships

More information on these awards and other awards available from the Commission are available on the website www.dfid.gov.uk/cscuk.
From 2018, all Commonwealth Scholarships funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) will be offered under six themes:
1. Science and technology for development
2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
3. Promoting global prosperity
4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance
5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
6. Access, inclusion and opportunity

Online application closing date 22 February 2018
Hard-copy submission to University South Africa 27 February 2018


  • Specific application procedures apply, including the submission of formal documentation from the applicant’s current or intended overseas university.
  • The full application procedure and requirements can be downloaded here:
  • Late, incomplete or inappropriate applications will be disqualified

Direct all enquiries to jana@usaf.ac.za