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Home > Postgrad studies > Apply for Doctoral and Research Master’s Programmes

Apply for Doctoral and Research Master’s Programmes


Invitation to apply for doctoral and research master’s programmes for 2018


The Faculty of Law invites applications for admission to PhD and Master’s by dissertation programmes in the departments of Public, Commercial and Private Law. The focus areas for each department are as follows:


Public Law

Administrative Justice; Constitutionalism and the rule of Law in Africa; Criminal Justice; Criminology and Governance of Security; Democratisation; Environmental Law; Evidence; Human Rights (including International Human Rights); Law and Society; Land and Policy; Legal Pluralism and Human Rights; Traditional Leaders; International Law (including International Criminal Law); Constitutional Law; Public Accountability; Water and Sanitation Law; Refugee Law; Children’s Rights; and Women and the Law.

Commercial Law

Company Law; Commercial Regulation; Comparative Law in Africa; Intellectual Property Law; International Taxation; Labour Law; Law and Development in Africa; Tax Law; Customary Contracts and Contract Law.


Private Law

African Customary Law; Civil Procedure; Conflict of Laws; Contract/Consumer Protection; Delict; Family Law (including Women and Children’s Law);  Jurisprudence and Legal Theory; Legal Education; Mineral Law and Expropriation Law; Private Law and Human Rights; Property Law (in particular related to Land and Natural/Mineral/Fuel Resources); and Succession.


Online applications supported by the following documentation will be accepted here:

  • A brief CV
  • Transcript (unless they are UCT graduates)
  • Contact details of two academic referees; and
  • A 3-4 page statement of the research topic (the statement of interest form is available on this website.

Successful applicants will be given probationary registration for a period of six months, during which they will be required to finalise their thesis/dissertation proposals under the guidance of their supervisors. In addition, they will be required to participate in a week-long preparatory course at the end of January 2018, and thereafter a course on language and legal reasoning with weekly meetings over a ten-week period.

At the end of the period of probationary registration, final thesis/dissertation proposals must be submitted for consideration by the faculty’s Higher Degrees Committee, which may then recommend entry into a doctoral or master’s programme or a postgraduate diploma.

A limited number of scholarships are offered with the aim of advancing disadvantaged persons, and for the purposes of this funding, we seek particularly to attract black South African students.


The faculty may also offer scholarships to cover tuition fees only to up to ten applicants for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress. A limited number of NRF grantholder-linked scholarships is available for candidates in African Customary Law and Criminal Justice. Only South African citizens and permanent residents are eligible for these NRF scholarships.

The final date for applications is 31 August 2017. For further information click here or contact Patricia Phillips at patricia.phillips@uct.ac.za

UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. For these programmes we seek particularly to attract black South African candidates.



Patricia Phillips

Deputy Faculty Manager, Faculty of Law


Tel (021) 650 5409     Fax (021) 650 5608