The UWC School of Public Health (SOPH) welcomes your interest in its PhD Programme. At present we are offering an academically oriented doctorate by thesis only, which implies a very large research project, either written up in a full thesis, or in a format of manuscripts with a beginning and ending sections forming part of the whole thesis. This work should contribute new and original knowledge to your chosen field. It usually takes between three and five years to complete your thesis, depending on the time you are able to commit to your research and writing. There is no course work or structured programme attached to the thesis but additional courses may be taken at any university of your choice as needed. Our programme is small, because we have a limited number of staff who can supervise PhD students. We assess every request on merit, based on the person's CV and research experience, and if his or her project matches our areas of expertise. 

 Our main areas of expertise are:

Admission Requirements

Apart from having completed your Master’s qualification, you should also have research experience and research publications as first or co-authored.

Due to our limited capacity in future we will only consider students for the PhD programme who have confirmed an SOPH supervisor prior to application. This means that you are strongly advised to liaise with a potential supervisor in the year of application. Please click to view our staff complement.

Cost Estimates

Course fees for the entire qualification (once-off) is approximately R 30 420 for South African citizens and International students with African Citizenship.  The fee for International students without African citizenship is approximately R 63 790 . All international students MUST pay the full tuition fee upfront at registration.   An annual registration fee of approximately R1310 must be paid each year as well.  We do not have any regular on-going bursaries, although occasionally specific research projects will have funds available. You may contact your prospective supervisor to enquire about the availability of research opportunities in a particular project.

Important dates and requirements (to be confirmed)

Application for 2018 will open in June 2017. Applications for 2018 will end on 30 September 2017. You should apply online ( after June 2017 only. Please send your CV and a 3-4 page outline of your thesis proposal to Corinne Carolissen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) our student administrator. Incomplete applications will be automatically excluded. For more information on finalising your application, please contact Corinne Carolissen timeously as hard copy documentation is needed as evidence for eligibility. 

Applications will be processed in the first half of November and you should receive notification of the outcome of your application by late November 2017.  Upon acceptance for PhD studies, registration should be completed between February-mid March 2018.

Please view Programme Handbook 2017 for more information.  


School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809 | Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872 | Email: