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Postgraduate degree funding
Home > Fees & funding > Postgraduate degree funding > Applications & requirements

Applications and requirements

The page provides information on when and how to apply for postgraduate funding.

Various sources of funding of different values are available for students intending to pursue honours, master's and doctoral degrees at UCT. The noticeboard and the annual handbook list many internal and external funding opportunities. You are advised to check the noticeboard regularly for updates. You may also request a one-on-one session with PGFO staff.

Funding application procedure

In order to obtain funding for your postgraduate studies you should:

  1. Contact the head of department and potential supervisors in the department in which you intend to register. They may be able to inform you of departmental and/or project-linked funding not listed on this website. For a research master's or doctoral degree you will need to identify potential research projects with your prospective supervisor in order to apply for funding. Ideally, you should do this at least 7 months before you intend to begin your degree.
  2. Apply for funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF). The application deadline for these awards is normally in June/July for master's degrees and in October for honours degrees. You will not be considered for UCT merit awards (applied for via the Postgraduate Financial Assistance Application Form) unless you have also applied to the NRF.
  3. Apply for any prestigious fellowships for which you may be eligible. Other opportunities will be listed on the noticeboard. These awards are more prestigious and often more generous than government or internal UCT funding. Deadlines can fall as much as 9 months before the start of the degree.
  4. Apply for other UCT funding opportunities. The deadlines for most of these awards are before 31 October. However, some UCT-administered awards do differ from this. Consult the noticeboard and the Financial Assistance for Postgraduate Study and Postdoctoral Research handbook for more information.

Requirements for postgraduate funding

The duration of postgraduate funding awards is strictly 1 year for an honours degree, the first 2 years of a master's degree, and the first 3 years of a doctoral degree.

Annual renewal of awards for master’s and doctoral study is subject to:

  • satisfactory progress
  • continued evidence of need in the case of need-based bursaries
  • availability of funds

Students must make every effort to complete their studies within these periods.

Students in the following programmes are not eligible for the awards administered by the Postgraduate Funding Office:

  • fourth or later years of bachelor's degrees
  • postgraduate diplomas and certificates
  • most professional degrees such as the BCom(Hons) in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management (FAPM)
  • second degrees at the same level (eg, a second honours degree)
  • any other university-designated part-time programme
  • the HDE, LLB and BArch degrees

Some of the programmes mentioned above may be funded through the Student Financial Aid Office.

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