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Research Degrees

The School offers three research degrees at Master and PhD level:

  • MSc Town and Regional Planning (by research)
  • Master of Architecture by (research) 
  • PhD

These can be taken on a full time or part time basis.

Masters by research                        

  • MSc Town and Regional Planning (by research)
  • Master of Architecture by (research) 

Full-time registration for a minimum of one year, part time registration for a minimum of 2 years.

Admission requirements: an honours level degree in Architecture or Planning respectively, with a minimum of 60%  (preferably at least 65%) aggregate in the honours year of study, and a proven ability to write academically. The School only accepts candidates for whom it is able to provide supervision.

PhD

Full time registration for a minimum of 2 years, part time 4 years. However, it is realistic to assume a full time PhD will take at least 3 years.

Admission requirements: The School has limited supervisory capacity and therefore has to select its candidates carefully. Excellent academic transcripts at masters level (generally at least 70%) are a requirement. Research and writing experience, as well as a clear articulation of the area of research interest are an advantage. Students with a coursework masters may be required to register first for a masters by research.

Fees

For information on fees, please click here

Scholarships and Bursaries

Please click here to access bursary calls currently open

  • For more funding details, please click here 
  • Students applying from abroad are also encouraged to apply for bursaries from their home countries and governments. 

Facilities and Student Organisation

The School provides shared office space for PhD students in John Moffat Building. All research students have access to computer labs in the School if needed.

The School has an active student body, including a forum by research students, which is represented in the School Post-Graduate Committee. 

Application Process for Research Degrees

  1. Initial informal process 
  2. Formal Application Process

The School has only a limited pool of academic members of staff who can supervise research towards our research-based postgraduate degrees. Admission to the School for any of the above degrees therefore depends on the availability of a supervisor from within the staff who is capable of and willing to supervise in the area of study. Students are therefore advised to consult with the School PRIOR to submitting a formal application through the Student Enrolment Centre.

Interested candidates are encouraged to look at the staff profiles on the School website and to consider who might be able to provide appropriate supervision in the candidate’s particular area of interest. Candidates are encouraged to contact potential supervisors and discuss possibilities of supervision, before preparing a formal application. Potential candidates may also contact the School Postgraduate Co-ordinator through the Postgraduate Administrator, Ms Siphokazi Makhaye (Siphokazi.Makhaye@wits.ac.za), who will circulate the query to relevant members of staff. Potential candidates should submit the following information with their informal query:

          1) A 3-5 page presentation of the intended area of research and topic, research question and methods

          2) A cv

          3) A copy of degrees and an academic transcript indicating marks

          4) An electronic copy of any previous research undertaken (if available)

          5) names of academic referees

Once the informal process is complete, applicants must submit application requirements online to the Wits Student Enrolment Centre (https://my.wits.ac.za/). The following documents must be submitted:

South African applicants:

  • Certified copy of identity document
  • Certified copy of degree certificate/s
  • Official academic transcript/s – Statement of credits are not acceptable.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • 3-5 page research proposal covering the following:
    • a preliminary title of the research,
    • a context/background section,
    • a motivation section,
    • an outline of the research problem (question and aims/objectives),
    • a method overview section,
    • an appraisal of sample readings and a list of sample references/bibliography.   

Applicants who previously studied at Wits are not required to submit their Wits academic transcript and degree certificate

International applicants

  • Certified copy of passport
  • Certified copy of degree certificate/s (certified translation in English also required if studied at a non-English institution)
  • Certified copy of academic transcript/s (certified translation in English also required if studied at a non-English institution)
  • Copy of syllabus for each year of study (certified translation in English also required if studied at a non-English institution)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • SAQA evaluation
  • 3-5 page research proposal covering the following:
    • a preliminary title of the research,
    • a context/background section,
    • a motivation section,
    • an outline of the research problem (question and aims/objectives),
    • a method overview section,
    • an appraisal of sample readings and a list of sample references/bibliography.   

Applicants who previously studied at Wits are not required to submit their Wits academic transcript and degree certificate

  1. When to Apply

Research students are encouraged to apply at least 6 months in advance (foreign students should apply a year in advance to allow for visa application etc.), and if admitted, to register at the beginning of the year. This allows new research students to attend a research methods course that is offered February/March of each year. It is however possible to register mid-year.

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