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Postgraduate Scholarships

Postgraduate Scholarship Opportunities

Call for Applications for 2022

The call for postgraduate scholarship applications in 2022 is now open.

Please download the application forms here (pdf) or here (Word). Please also download the confidential reference request form here.

Note: it is your responsibility to send the confidential reference request form to your referees who have to send the form directly back to us without copying you. Please therefore make sure that you download the reference request form and forward it on to your referees for completion in good time for the application deadline. 

Closing date: 31 January 2022 (Note that your application must be sent to us in one single pdf document by this date. Please also note that referee request forms must be submitted by this date (make sure that your referee understands that the completed form must be sent to us by 31 January 2022).

The only corresponding e-mail address for this call is lawscholarships-pg@uct.ac.za. Both your completed application form as well as your completed reference request forms must reach us by 31 January 2022 at the above e-mail address. Please note that the Faculty does not have the resources to follow up on referee request forms that have not been received by 31 January 2021. In all instances, it is your responsibility to ensure that your referees have sent us the completed referee request form by 31 January 2022.

Scholarships background

The Faculty of Law, through its own fundraising efforts and donor support and legacies, has a number of scholarships in support of postgraduate study every year. Some scholarships are awarded on application, while others are awarded based purely on merit at the discretion of the Law Faculty Postgraduate Scholarships Committee. Full information is available in the Faculty Handbook or you can contact the Faculty Office.

Please note:  The UCT Postgraduate Funding Office has a handbook on general funding opportunities for postgraduates.

Dates, process and application forms for the next Call for Applications will be made available timeously, when the call goes out. The next call will be made toward the end of 2021 for applications for 2022. Keep an eye on this page.

Scholarships for postgraduate study awarded on application

Only candidates registered within the minimum time for completion of their degree are eligible for the award of any of these scholarships, bursaries or grants.

Excellence in Law Postgraduate Scholarships

The Faculty of Law has raised donor funding to be able to offer scholarships to previously disadvantaged South African postgraduate candidates. Several Excellence in Law scholarships are available annually, at LLM, MPhil and PhD level. These are awarded based primarily on academic merit, although financial need may also be a consideration.

  • Closing date: 31 January
  • Value: R60 000 pa for LLM or MPhil candidates and R90 000 pa for PhD candidates
  • Tenure: One year for LLM or MPhil by coursework and research candidates.. Two years for Masters by research only candidates subject to satisfactory progress in the first year of registration. Three years for PhD candidates subject to satisfactory progress in the first and second year of registration.

Law Faculty Master's and Doctoral Scholarships

To encourage postgraduate research, the Law Faculty makes awards to suitable candidates for masters degrees by research only or doctoral degrees in the Faculty of Law at UCT. This funding is in addition to other scholarship opportunities and is intended as a form of bridging finance to give candidates contemplating higher degrees the security of knowing that their financial needs will be at least partially met for the first year of their studies, which is a critical period in their progress. Successful candidates must also make application to the UCT Postgraduate Funding Office and other appropriate sources for scholarship funding. Any award from external sources that takes financial support beyond the level of R230 000 per annum for a master's candidate or R283 000 per annum for a doctoral candidate will then be deducted from the scholarship granted by the Faculty.

  • Closing date: 31 January 
  • Value: R84 000
  • Tenure: One year (The scholarship may be re-awarded on application once only.)

Basil and Con Corder Scholarship

In 1997, a scholarship was established in terms of the wishes of the late Basil Corder. The scholarship is awarded to a University of Cape Town graduate in law who is registered at the University of Cape Town for the LLM degree by coursework and minor dissertation, on the basis of financial need, proven academic merit and having displayed a concern for the wider community through service individually or in voluntary organisations. Preference will be given to an applicant who will be completing part of the degree at a university outside South Africa. In the event that there are no suitable candidates for the award at the level of LLM studies, the scholarship may be awarded to an applicant registered for the Intermediate or Final Level LLB, on the basis of financial need, proven academic merit and indication of concern for the wider community, as set out above.

  • Closing date: 31 January
  • Value: Variable (approximately R10 000)
  • Tenure: One year

Ethel Walt Human Rights Scholarship

Ethel Walt was a human rights activist who directed her passion for social justice through her work in the Black Sash. This scholarship is awarded towards tuition for the LLM or MPhil programme in Social Justice or Human Rights Law by coursework and minor dissertation. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate proven community involvement of some kind, and a commitment to engaging in community issues after graduation.

  • Closing date: 31 January
  • Value: R10 000
  • Tenure: One year

The Alexander Burman Memorial Grant

One grant is awarded each year to a woman who is either a South African citizen or permanent resident, and is in their first year of a PhD in the field of socio-legal studies. The award is based primarily on academic merit although financial need may also be considered, and preference will be given to candidates from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Closing date: 31 January
  • Value: R100 000
  • Tenure: One year, non-renewable

Sir William Solomon Memorial Scholarship

In 1939 Miss Emile Jane Solomon bequeathed R10 000 to the University to found a scholarship in memory of her brother, the late Sir William Solomon MA KCSI KCMG, formerly Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa.

The scholarship is available for candidates taking research degrees in law by thesis only.

  • Closing date: 31 January 
  • Value: R20 000 for LLM or MPhil and R30 000 for PhD
  • Tenure: One year (The scholarship may be re-awarded on application once only)

Wilfred Kramer Law Grants 

Wilfred Kramer Law Grants are available for those who enrol for approved higher postgraduate study in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town. In addition, limited funds are available for candidates who wish to participate in an approved exchange programme at an overseas university; the candidates do part of the LLM coursework at an approved overseas university and the balance of coursework as well as the minor dissertation at UCT Law Faculty. Further information is available from the Law Faculty Office.

  • Closing date: 31 January
  • Value: Variable
  • Tenure: One year (a grant may be re-awarded on application once only)

Beric Croome Postgraduate Tax Law Scholarship

Generous financial support from Dr Beric Croome, an Advocate of the High Court and qualified CA who completed a PhD in Tax Law in this Faculty in 2008, has enabled the establishment of a fund from which an annual scholarship of R10 000 will be awarded to a candidate undertaking postgraduate tax law studies and who has an undergraduate record that reflects effort and perseverance, has financial need and who provides some evidence of having overcome disadvantage.

  • Closing date: 31 January
  • Value: R10 000
  • Tenure: One year

The Dikgang Moseneke Postgraduate Fellowship

The fellowships have been established by the UCT Faculty of Law, in recognition of the contribution that Justice Dikgang Moseneke has made to the field of law in South Africa. The fellowships are intended to promote and encourage academic research into areas of legal theory and practice, and their impact on social justice, democracy, constitutionalism, public accountability, development, and social change. The fellowships are awarded to suitable candidates registered for postgraduate studies at master’s and doctoral level, a major component of which would be a thesis within the broad area of law, justice and society. Only one PhD and one LLM fellowship is awarded each year.

  • Closing date: 31 January
  • Value: R140 000 pa for PhD; R90 000 pa for Masters
  • Tenure: One year for a candidate registered for an LLM by coursework and research degree. Two years for a candidate registered for an LLM by research only degree, subject to satisfactory progress being shown in the first year of registration. Three years for a candidate registered for a PhD degree, subject to satisfactory progress being shown in the first and second years of registration.

Faculty International Student Bursaries

The Faculty awards bursaries for Postgraduate Diploma and coursework and research Master’s candidates which will reduce the International Term Fee. These are awarded based on academic merit, financial need and Faculty requirements. Further details may be found in section 5.7 of the Student Fees book.

  • Closing dates: 31 January
  • Value: Variable

For other funding and grants see Book 14 in the series of handbooks, available from the Postgraduate Funding Office.

Scholarships awarded without application

Ilse Lowissohn Grants

In 1984 a sum of R10 000 was bequeathed to the University by the late Miss Ilse Lowissohn for the purpose of providing a grant to assist a graduate of the Faculty of Law to undertake courses of postgraduate study in legal history or comparative law at an overseas university. Candidates are selected annually by the WP Schreiner Professor of Law from graduates of the faculty who have shown interest in the historical and comparative dimensions of Roman-Dutch law. Recipients must be registered or intend to register for an approved course of postgraduate study at an overseas university and use the grant to further their knowledge of Roman Law or one of the modern civil law jurisdictions.

  • Value: Variable
  • Tenure: One year

Ina Ackermann Scholarship

A scholarship in memory of the late Ina Ackermann was established in the Faculty of Law from contributions donated to the Ina Ackermann Memorial Fund by family, friends and colleagues. The scholarship is awarded annually in recognition of the importance which Ms Ackermann attached to the role of women in the practising legal profession and is awarded to a woman graduate of the Faculty of Law at UCT who proceeds to the full-time first semester programme offered by the School for Legal Practice. Factors considered when making the award would include academic achievement, financial need and potential for success in the practising legal profession.

  • Value: Variable
  • Tenure: Six months

UCT Postgraduate Funding 

Master’s And Doctoral Degrees - Application For UCT Financial Support For South African And Permanent Resident Students (Via Postgraduate Funding Form 10a)  - for more information call 021 650 2141/1917 or email generalfunding@uct.ac.za

Students who intend registering toward a Master’s or Doctoral qualification at UCT may be eligible to apply for financial support. Such support, depending on eligibility and selection criteria, includes either financial need and/or merit bursaries.

In line with the UCT transformation agenda, in allocating funding for these awards, priority will be given to funding Black South African and permanent resident applicants who qualify for financial need. In the current context “Black” includes African, Coloured and Indian students. “Financial need” refers to students who qualify via the National Means Test for either Financial Aid (where gross annual family income <R350 000) or GAP tuition bursaries (where annual gross family income is between R350 000 and R600 000).

Students applying for either financial need and/or merit awards may do so via the Postgraduate funding form 10A.

It is critical for prospective students to also source other awards for which they may be eligible, such as from the National Research Foundation (NRF), the department/Research group where the student will be registered, as well as through other external sources such as private/external donors. For details of all awards administered via the Postgraduate Funding Office, see http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/fees-funding/postgraduate-degree-funding/noticeboard/.

General Eligibility

  • Applicants must be South African or permanent residents.
  • Applicants must apply for a full-time Master's or Doctoral program in the relevant department/faculty

(i.e. Only applicants who have applied for an academic place via the UCT’s Admissions Office will be considered for funding).

  • All Master's and Doctoral applicants who apply for financial need or merit awards are required to have applied for an NRF bursary, if they are eligible for NRF funding.
  • Priority will be given to students who have a minimum grade point average (GPA) score of 60% for their Honours degree.
  • Students will not be eligible for funding support if they are employed in excess of 20 hours per week during the year of study. (Note – if you are to hold NRF funding concurrently with UCT funding, the NRF requirement is for not more than 12 hours of work per week during the year of study).

Conditions of Financial need or Merit award

  • Eligible applicants are funded for two years for the Master’s degree (first and second year only) or three years for the Doctoral degree (first, second and third year only), and must be full-time students.
  • Professional or full coursework Master’s degrees, including MBA’s and MMED’s, are ineligible for funding.

Financial need eligibility criteria

  • Information provided on form 10A will be used to determine an applicant’s financial need (the “assessed need”) by applying the National Means Test (NMT) used by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the criteria used by UCT to determine eligibility.
  • Applicants will be defined as either
    • financial aid eligible, where gross annual family income is between <R350 000, or;
    • eligible for GAP tuition bursary where family income is between R350 000 and R600 000, or;
    • not eligible for needs-based financial support, but may be considered for a merit bursary.

Value of Financial need awards

  • The value of the financial need bursary will be calculated on “assessed need” for the full cost of attendance (FCOA) in 2020 and will take into consideration other scholarships awarded to students.
  • Depending on budget availability, students who are eligible for financial aid may be funded for their FCOA or “assessed need”, which is the approved cost of study (including tuition, and applicable accommodation and food allowances.
  • Students who do not meet the UCT financial aid need based criteria but meet the criteria for a GAP tuition bursary according to family income, will be eligible for a percentage of their approved course tuition fees.

Value of Merit awards

  • Merit awards normally cover your tuition fees in part only. Merit awards are approximately R30,000 per annum.

Application instructions

  • Applicants are required to download and complete the form 10A from: http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/fees-funding/postgraduate-degree-funding/bursaries-scholarships/merit-need-awards  
  • Applicants who apply for financial need must complete the application checklist and provide all supporting documentation for assessment.
  • Students who have previously been supported by NSFAS/UCT as undergraduates or full Financial Aid at Honours, still need to complete form 10A to apply for funding for their Master’s or Doctoral degree.
  • Original copies of applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted to the UCT Postgraduate Centre & Funding Office.

2. International/ Refugee Scholarships for Postgraduate Full-Time Students (FORM 10C) - Closing date: 31 July preceding the year of study. Intended for full-time Honours, Masters and Doctoral International students and Refugees. For enquiries please email: generalfunding@uct.ac.za or telephone 021 650 1917/ 2141/ 3629

International and refugee scholarships 

A limited number of scholarships are available annually to international and refugee students for postgraduate study in any discipline at UCT. As there is only one call for applications each year, it is important that the application procedure is strictly followed. These scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis and preference is given to senior candidates.

All UCT international and refugee students' scholarships are supplementary as a contribution towards Cost of Attendance. Students who apply must have the means to fund their studies.

Honours – R25 000
Master’s – R30 000
Doctoral – R35 000

The scholarships are renewable for the duration of the course of study, if satisfactory progress is maintained, for 1 year at honours level, 2 at master's level and 3 at doctoral level. Students who are eligible for renewals of awards made, may apply for such renewals by completing Form 10F.

Applicants must apply for full-time admission through the UCT admissions office or the faculty office. Late applications are not accepted.

Closing date: 30 September (preceding the year of study). Email generalfunding@uct.ac.za for further information and application process.