Planning your postgraduate studies for 2022/2023

28 June 2022

Dear postgraduate students and supervisors

We are sprinting towards the halfway mark of 2022. Now is a good time to take stock of your progress in your postgraduate studies and to plan for the next stage. You may be getting ready to submit your final report, dissertation or thesis; or you may be making sure that you have appropriate support in place to complete your studies in good time.

Here are some guidelines to assist you in submitting your thesis or dissertation, and in accessing resources and funding your studies in 2023.

Preparing to submit your thesis or dissertation

If you are a research-centred postgraduate student who is 18 months or more into your master’s programme or 2½ to 3½ years into your PhD programme, it is time to consider your readiness to submit. You need to start planning this with your supervisor, if you have not already done so.

To aim for December 2022 graduation, you will need to submit in early July and your final results will need to be on the system by 31 October. Those who submit in mid-July will also meet the 50% fee waiver deadline of the first day of the second semester. (There is also a deadline for the 25% fee waiver at the start of the fourth quarter.)

Please declare your intention to submit your dissertation or thesis six to eight weeks before submitting, to ensure that examiners are appointed and the examination process proceeds in good time. If you are thinking of July submission, you should be onto this straight away! You can do so via the PeopleSoft platform.

When you are ready to submit, you can go through a helpful overview of the digital submission of a thesis/dissertation for examination.

Assistance and resources at hand

Postgraduate study is a stretching experience at the best of times. I encourage you to make use of the people and resources that the University of Cape Town (UCT) makes available to you. They can help you maintain your momentum through your studies and become “unstuck” when the going gets tough. Knowing when and how to draw on help is an important skill, not only for postgraduate studies but also for life.

Everyone hits a rough spot now and then. Being wise enough to ask for help can make all the difference. It is a sign of strength and commitment to your future.

Funding your postgrad studies in 2023

Start applying now if you plan to register for the first time in 2023. Funding application deadlines are earlier than admission application deadlines. You do not need to have received a study offer to apply for funding. In fact, it is best to apply for both at the same time, after checking the funding application deadlines of the Postgraduate Funding Office.

  • Current funding opportunities are listed on our online noticeboard and on @UCTpostgrads.
  • If you need help with your funding applications, book a free consultation with the Postgraduate Funding Office team.
  • If you received National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding for your undergraduate degree, please ensure that you apply for the UCT Postgraduate Financial Aid scholarship (formerly known as 10A funding) through the Postgrad Funding Office by the cut-off date of 31 October 2022. Unlike undergraduate funding through NSFAS, all postgraduate scholarships and fellowships are competitive. They are not automatically awarded simply by applying for them.
  • You can apply for more than one scholarship simultaneously and there are no penalties for doing so. Many of our students cover the cost of their studies and living expenses through more than one scholarship and bursary. It’s a good idea to apply to all the scholarships for which you’re eligible. The intro to funding brochure contains all this information and more to help you get started.

I also suggest that you request a mid-year review meeting with your supervisor to take stock of your progress and plan for the coming semester. Taking time to plan now is a wise investment in your future.

Congratulations to each of you on completing the first semester and on your progress over this time. I wish you strength to overcome the challenges you face and much success in the semester ahead.


Professor Sue Harrison
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation

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