The purpose of a research degree is to train students in the skills of independent research. This includes the ability to formulate a research question, design a research project, collect and analyze data, and write a research thesis.


Research degrees can be a challenging but rewarding experience. They require a great deal of hard work and dedication, but they can also be incredibly stimulating and rewarding. If you are interested in pursuing a research degree, it is important you make sure the topic you select is the right fit for you. The School offers the opportunity to conduct novel and innovative research on a wide variety of topics.

If you are considering a research degree, you are encouraged to contact an appropriate member of staff who can potentially supervise your study.

Entry Requirements

An appropriate MSc degree or equivalent qualification

An applicant should identify and be accepted by a supervisor prior to application.

University Application Process

  • 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

University Fees and Funding

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.