Queries about rules and regulations should be directed to the individual faculty postgraduate managers. You can find their contact details here.

  • Cancellation of registration

    If you wish to cancel studies at UCT, you must first fill out a cancellation of registration form. That form, and more information can be found here.

    There is also a section on cancellation of registration in the General Rules and Policies handbook.

    You may experience delays when contacting faculty offices about course and curriculum changes. However, you should receive an automated email stating expected response times or alternate contact details.

  • Cancellation of study and courses

    The rules for adding, substituting or withdrawing from a course are outlined in the General Rules and Policies handbook.

    All changes in curriculum must be made through the relevant faculty office. Find your postgraduate faculty manager’s contact details here.

    You may experience delays when contacting faculty offices about course and curriculum changes. However, you should receive an automated email stating expected response times or alternate contact details.

    You can find the relevant forms for curriculum and course changes here.

  • Dealing with supervision and academic problems

    Should a conflict arise between you and your supervisor, both parties should try to solve this amicably. If that is not possible, there are conflict resolution procedures that may be followed.

    These details can be found in the Conflict Resolution Process for a Supervisor-Postgraduate student relationship document here.

  • Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB)

    Once the relevant faculty has approved your PhD research proposal, the Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB) approves PhD candidates and deals with the examination of your PhD thesis.

    You can find more information on the role of the DDB, along with useful policy guides and documents for doctoral students, here.

  • Examination: coursework postgraduates

    General rules on examination can be found in the General Rules and Policies handbook. Here you will find information on exams and class tests, supplementary and deferred examinations, extra time in examinations, and checking of examination results.

    You can also visit the UCT examinations website, which gives information on examination timetables, notices and seating plans.

  • Examination: submitting a thesis

    Master’s and PhD candidates submitting a dissertation/thesis for examination must do so online via the PeopleSoft. Find a helpful overview of the digital submission of a thesis/dissertation for examination here.

    At least six to eight weeks before your expected submission, you are required to complete and upload an ‘intention to submit’ form on PeopleSoft.

    Guidelines on how to complete the ‘intention to submit’ form are available here.

  • Graduation

    Years of hard work are celebrated at graduation and ceremonies are usually held in March or April, and December. For more details, including the dress code, see the General Rules and Policies handbook.

  • Handling disputes

    Should conflicts arise at UCT, there are several ways they may be resolved. When two parties are in a dispute, resolution in an informal arena is encouraged. Mediation can give a framework for resolution in an objective and transformative way.

    You can find a copy of the UCT mediation policy here.

    The UCT Ombud’s Office is an impartial, confidential and independent body that works outside of formal structures. They help to resolve disputes and promote equitable treatment within the university.

    You can find their contact details here, or you can email them at: ombud@uct.ac.za.

    On the academic front, conflict resolution varies from faculty to faculty. If a conflict arises between you and your supervisor, you can find out more about the procedure to follow in the Conflict Resolution Process for a Supervisor-Postgraduate student relationship document here.

    Should you have any complaints of discrimination on the grounds of disability, these should be lodged with the Discrimination and Harassment Office at the Office for Inclusivity and Change.

  • Leave of absence

    A leave of absence (LOA) can be granted by the senate under certain conditions. Reasons for a LOA may include illness, compassion, maternity leave or an external study opportunity other than a formal exchange.

    You only qualify for one LOA for the duration of your degree. An LOA is not a short-term absence – this would be arranged at faculty level. Visit this link to find your postgraduate faculty manager’s contact details.

    More information on LOA can be found in the General Rules and Policies handbook here.

  • Legal services

    UCT’s legal services, within the Office of the Registrar, provide in-house professional assistance to the university.

    Among other things, they are responsible for the management, administration and prosecution of student disciplinary matters in the University Student Discipline Tribunal and the University Tribunal of Appeal. Their contact details can be found here.

    The UCT Law Clinic also provides legal aid to those who are unable to afford the services of a law firm. It plays an important role in teaching UCT's legal students through coursework, community service and research opportunities. Find their contact details here.

  • Memorandum of understanding (Mou)

    A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between a postgraduate student and a supervisor exists to guide student-supervisor interactions and timelines. It clarifies the roles and responsibilities of both parties to ensure a mutually productive supervision experience.

    The MoU is completed during the Registration Process and is described in detail here. MoU forms can be found here.

  • Policies and rules handbook

    This handbook contains detailed general rules of the university. It includes rules on application, admission, readmission, registration and exams, as well as disciplinary jurisdiction and procedures.

    It also outlines rules on conduct, meetings, traffic and rules for residences and the library. University policies can also be found in this handbook.

    Download the General Rules and Policies handbook here.

  • Readmissions

    You may appeal for readmission if you struggled academically through the year, but you are still eligible to write supplementary or deferred exams if applicable to your postgraduate coursework.

    This appeal must be made before your supplementary/deferred exam results are released at the end of January. Note that each faculty has its own Readmission Appeal Committee.

    Details on the process to be followed for readmission can be found here.

  • Research Data Management (RDM)

    UCT researchers and postgraduate students who receive funding from bodies such as the NRF must have a Research Data Management (RDM) plan. This plan shows how research data will be managed, curated and published. This data must also be stored on a trusted digital repository.

    Importantly, your RDM plan cannot be implemented retrospectively at the end of your degree. Students should consult their supervisors and UCT’s RDM services to get their RDM plan in order at the start of their degree. 

    • UCT’s RDM services assist researchers with organising, managing, curating and sharing their research data, to facilitate its preservation and access for present and future use. Together with UCT eResearch and ICTS, we give you access to the datasets and tools that you need to enhance and complete your research.
    • The ZivaHub repository allows researchers to make research data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Its launch makes UCT Libraries the first academic library in South Africa with an open-access institutional data repository (IDR) available to its research community.

    The UCT Research Data Management Policy helps you navigate the RDM process and can be found here.

  • Rules for doctoral students

    The Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB) is responsible for approval of PhD candidates and administrating the examination of PhD theses. More information on procedures, format and submission can be found here.

    It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the DDB’s rules at least three months before you intend to submit your thesis. This will give your enough time to prepare and follow the steps involved.

    General rules for PhD degrees and other PhD documents are available here. You can also find useful FAQs about PhD study, the DDB and other PhD procedures here.

  • Scholarship progress reports

    Postgraduate scholarship funding renewal is not guaranteed. Most awards are based on academic performance and available funds. To prove satisfactory academic performance, you must submit a progress report, signed by your supervisor.

    The Postgraduate Funding Office will send you the progress report documents that you need to your UCT email.

    Learn more about progress reports and managing your funding here.

  • UCT handbooks

    Helpful handbooks are produced each year to guide you through many of regulations and processes at UCT. Each faculty has a specific handbook, including specific postgraduate handbooks, and there are also handbooks for UCT’s general rules and policies.

    Handbooks can also be found for student housing and residence life, student services and support, student fees, bursaries and financial assistance, and authorities and information of record.

    You can find links to download each of the UCT Handbooks here.

  • Useful resources

    UCT Research Support Hub

    Intellectual Property Guidelines and Discourse forms

    Research Data Support and Guidelines

    Further guidelines relating to the deferred publication of a dissertation/theses on OpenUCT

    Guidelines for doctoral students