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Doctoral candidates

The thesis

The thesis proposal

The guidelines are not rigid rules, nor are they a requirement that the thesis be fully researched before registration. However, candidates must demonstrate an understanding of how to set about a research proposal.

For more information, please see the downloads section.

Approval of research proposal and candidature approval starts in the Faculty Office where students register.

Presentation and submission of a thesis

At the conclusion of research, the candidate shall submit a thesis for examination. This will occur after receiving an indication from the supervisor that the thesis is acceptable for submission.

However, a candidate is barred from submission without the supervisor's approval. The candidate must inform the Doctoral Degrees Board Officer in writing of his/her intention.

Please complete the Notice of Intention to Submit a PhD Thesis form.

The final dates for submission of such notification for the purpose of graduation are:

The dates for submission of theses are:

Format of the thesis

The University of Cape Town (UCT) now requires PhD candidates to submit electronic versions of dissertations/theses online via the PeopleSoft Student Administration Self-service functionality.

This will mean that hard copies of intention to submit forms and dissertations/theses are no longer physically deposited. You, as the candidate, submit your work for examination from any digitally-connected destination.

At the conclusion of your research, you will be able to complete and upload your intention to submit form on PeopleSoft, followed by the upload of your dissertation/ thesis. All communication from UCT regarding the examination process will occur via e-mail. Please make sure that you have your username and password and are able to access the PeopleSoft Student Administration Self Service.

For more information, please see the downloads section


The thesis is examined by three external examiners, at least two of whom are commonly international. The selection of examiners is an important part of the examination process. Appointment of examiners of PhD theses are subject to the approval of the Doctoral Degrees Board.

It is imperative that candidates have no knowledge of the identity of examiners until the examiners give permission for their identities to be known after the examination process.

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Contact us

For information on submission of theses only: Doctoral Degrees Board Office
Room 5.04, Masingene Building
Middle Campus
Tel: 021 650 2126
Fax: 021 650 4913


Please click here for forms and relevant documents.