The PhD is a research degree on an advanced topic under supervision. Examination is by thesis alone.

A candidate undertakes doctoral research and advanced study under the guidance of a supervisor(s) appointed by Senate.

The thesis must:

  • constitute a substantial contribution to knowledge in the chosen subject
  • show evidence of original investigation 
  • give a full statement of the literature on the subject.

The PhD degree demands that the candidate is able to conduct independent research on his/her own initiative. Through the thesis the candidate must be able to demonstrate that he/she is at the academic forefront in the topic selected, that the work is original and that it advances our knowledge in the relevant field.

More information for doctoral candidates is available on the UCT Students site.

Information about funding opportunities can be found online.

More details can be found in the Science Faculty Handbook.

How to apply

In order to be accepted for PhD studies in Computer Science at the University of Cape Town, you must first identify a supervisor who is willing to take you on.

Please look at the list of academic staff members in Computer Science and contact individuals in your area of interest. Please, only contact staff if you are interested in working in their research area. Blanket emails across the entire department are ignored and deleted.

Once you have identified a potential supervisor who is willing to supervise you, please complete the following steps:

Apply on the University of Cape Town's central applications system for admission to a PhD in Computer Science. As part of this process you will need to include a research proposal. Among the other requirements of an acceptable proposal, this should clearly state who your supervisor will be.

There are no opening or closing dates for applications. You can apply at any stage. You will be notified of the outcome of your application soon after you have completed the application process.