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Architecture or Planning The School of Architecture and Planning is equipped to supervise Masters and PhD by research with expertise in the area of architectural, urban and planning theory and sustainable development.
Architecture or Planning The School of Architecture and Planning is equipped to supervise Masters and PhD by research with expertise in the area of architectural, urban and planning theory and sustainable development.

Qualification: PhD

Faculty: Engineering and the Built Environment

Duration: 2 to 4 years

School: Architecture and Planning

Study mode: Full-time; Part-time


The School has 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 degrees depends on the availability of a supervisor from within the staff who is capable of and willing to supervise in the area of study. Interested candidates are encouraged to look at the staff list to consider who might be able to provide appropriate supervision in the candidate’s particular area of interest.

Students are then advised to consult with the School PRIOR to submitting a formal application through the Student Enrolment Centre. You can send your enquiry to the School Postgraduate Degree Coordinator or the School Postgraduate Administrator.

The enquiry, which may mention which supervisor(s) the candidate has in mind, will be circulated to relevant members of staff. By way of enquiry, potential candidates should e-mail the following information with a covering e-mail text:

  1. A 3-5 page text 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

Only if the School deems the candidate ready and if it is able to identify a potential supervisor or co-supervisors, will the candidate be encouraged to proceed to the formal application process.

Preparing for the Formal Application Process

Once instructed to do so by the School, applicants must compile a formal application.  

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.

  • 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.   


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.
  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.