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Postgraduate Services

students at Great Hall


Contact the office for all postgraduate related queries including those related to:

  • Registrations queries
  • Amendments
  • Proposal submissions
  • Research report submissions
  • Extensions
  • Special concessions
  • Fees reversals, as well as all other postgraduate related queries


Monday to Friday 8:00 -16:30  


Room 7 South West Engineering Building

Faculty Registrar's Office

The Faculty Registrar's Office offers friendly and efficient service with all Faculty queries. Read more on Application Process.


All students should register formally with the Faculty at the commencement of their studies and then on an annual basis.

All registrations must be done online or at the Faculty Office according to the allocated Registration period.

The Faculty Registry Office offers friendly and efficient service with all Faculty queries. You can be rest assured that staff will stop at nothing to sort your query out.

Upon Registration
  1. Register for biometrics
  2. Receive a student card
  3. Be able to use the library
  4. Be liable for fees
Cancellation of Registration
  • Students who wish to cancel their registration may do so until the 30th of September of the year of study.
  • Complete the Cancellation of Enrolment Form and ask the Head of School and the Library to sign the relevant sections.
  • The form can also be obtained from the Faculty office. However, please note that there are financial implications in this regard, Please refer to the Fees Office booklet.

N.B. All of the above changes must be submitted to the Faculty Postgraduate Studies office (Room 7 South West Engineering Building).

Amendments to Registration

Change of Title of Research 
Complete the Amendment Form and submit it to the Faculty Registry Office for your changed research title to be approved by the Chairperson of the Graduate Studies Committee.

Changed Line of Proposed Research 
If major changes in your line of research warrant a new proposal, you will need to repeat the process of submitting a proposal to the Faculty Registry Office. A letter of explanation and support from your supervisor must accompany the proposal. If the changed line of research is approved, your candidature will normally start afresh from the point when the new proposal is accepted.

Change of Supervisor 
Complete the form indicating who your supervisor was and who the replacement will be, and submit it to the Faculty Registrar's Office. The Amendment Form can also be obtained from the Post-Graduate Faculty office.


For information relating to the Wits School of Education please click here.

Progress Reports
  • The Faculty Registrar's Office sends out progress reports to students and supervisors each year.
  • These need to be completed to determine if students’ academic progress is satisfactory. 
  • All completed progress reports must be emailed to the Faculty representative via email by no later than 31 July of each year. 
  • Students completing coursework degrees may also request a progress report from the Faculty Registrar's Office, detailing the marks achieved up to that point.
  • Progress reports may not be requested after 30 October each year owing to the commencement of the exam period and ratification of results by the end-of-year board of examiners.

Application to Amend Units

Complete the Amendment Form  and indicate which unit(s) you are dropping and which one(s) you wish to take. All changes must be endorsed by the relevant unit leaders, and by your programme co-ordinator. You will be liable for fees for any units not officially dropped by the end of the 2nd week of the semester.


(Please check the fees booklet for fee implications)
Change from Part-time to Full-time/Full-time to Part-time 
Complete the Amendment Form  indicating which change you wish. Support your application with a letter from your employer, if you are changing to part-time candidature.


Application for an Extension of Time to Submit your Proposal 
Complete the Amendment Form  providing a motivation for the extension, and indicate the proposed new date for the proposal submission. Attach a letter of support from your supervisor.

Application for an Extension of Time to Submit your Thesis 
Complete the Amendment Form  providing a motivation for the extension and indicate the date for the proposed extension. Attach a letter of support from your supervisor. An extension is only valid for a period of three months.


Application to put your Enrolment into Abeyance 
Fill in the Amendment Form  and provide a motivation for the abeyance. Indicate the period of abeyance for which you are applying. Note that Masters programes by Coursework and an Honours Research Report cannot be put into abeyance.

Special Concessions

Attention is drawn to the fact that unless the special permission of the Senate is obtained, no person may be registered as a student of this University while he/she is registered as a student of another university.

The special permission of the Senate is also required to register in the same academic year for more than one degree or diploma in the same faculty. In addition, no person may register as a student in the same academic year in more than one Faculty unless the written authority of the Deans concerned is obtained. Download Special Concession Form

Change of Details

If for any reason you have lost your student card then please fill out the Loss of Student Card form and submit it to the Faculty office as soon as possible. 

Academic Transcript

An academic transcript is an official document stating your full academic history at the University. A code of conduct is a statement on the transcript explaining your behaviour, (how you have conducted yourself while studying at the University). You can either visit your Faculty Office at South West Engineering Building, Ground Floor, Room 7 and fill out a request form or click on Transcript Request  for the form.

Request for Academic Transcript / Record

Please click on Transcript Form 2020 to download the request for academic transcript/record form.  Please send the completed form back to us with your Proof of Payment* as indicated on page 1 of the form to the fax or email indicated on page 2 of the form.

*1 FREE Transcript is given after Qualification (upon request) and after Graduation (automatically sent to the last address we have on record for you. It is therefore important to make sure we have your correct contact details).

Proposal Submission

Administrative procedures for research proposals

  1. When submitting your proposal, please complete the Proposal Submission Form 2021
  2. Two copies of your proposal are to be attached to the form for the Masters Degree and three copies of your proposal for the PhD degree and then handed in to the Faculty Registrar's Office.

If changes or a response to queries raised in your proposal are required, please submit your revised proposal/response to the Faculty Registrar's Office.

Supervision Guidelines on Supervision of Research Reports, Dissertations and Theses

These guidelines are intended to assist students and their supervisors in defining their respective roles, but some disciplines or schools have their own supervisory contracts or memoranda of agreement with students, which students and supervisors are expected to discuss and sign.

Submission of Research Work

The submission of research reports, dissertations and theses

Research reports, dissertations and theses are usually submitted for examination with the approval of the supervisor or the supervisory committee. This entails the signing of a Faculty  Student Submission Form 2021  and Supervisor Consent Form 2021, on which the supervisor also records any pertinent information relating to the student s research publications and the supervision history itself.

A student may submit his or her work without permission; in this situation, a supervisor who may (in the case of a Masters research report only) act as the internal examiner stands down. However, to submit without permission is a serious step and should be avoided if at all possible.

If there is a disagreement between the student and the supervisor, it is preferable to consult either the Head of Discipline or Head of the School concerned. If this yields no result, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies should be asked to assist. In general terms, though, it is very much in a students interest to rely on the judgement of the supervisor and not to aim to submit prematurely.

If the project is not quite ready for assessment, the candidate may run the risk of forfeiting a distinction or even failing outright. Many referrals for revision can, unfortunately, be linked to over-hasty submission. An intention to submit form should be completed and signed by both the supervisor and the student three months prior to submission. This will eliminate delays in getting the supervisor to nominate examiners. 

Research ethics approval

Where appropriate in ALL cases that concern human or animal subjects, students will need to apply for University Ethics clearance for their proposed research. Research must comply with the requirements for ethics and biosafety clearance, which are available on the University Research Website and constantly updated:

The Examination process

Masters Research Reports 

Research reports are assessed by an internal and an external examiner, each of whom awards a mark. In the case of Masters Research Reports, the supervisor may act as an internal examiner. If the marks are relatively close (within the same class), correspond closely to the students coursework record, and only minor corrections are required, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies will determine the final mark to be awarded.

If there are significant differences between the examiner's marks, or if other discrepancies arise (e.g. a question of revision), the final mark is awarded on the advice of a nominated panel of members from the Graduate Studies Committee, after a process of careful consultation. Fifty per cent constitutes a pass, and marks of 75% or above constitute a distinction. MA (by coursework and research report) students may thus achieve a distinction for the coursework alone, for the research report alone, or for the entire programme. The marks for the coursework and the research component are not integrated to give a single final figure. 

Masters Dissertations 

Masters dissertations are not given precise marks; a dissertation may fail, pass, or be awarded a distinction. These dissertations are marked by both an internal examiner, who may be, but is not always, a Wits academic staff member, and an external examiner who is from outside the University. If both examiners recommend the same result (e.g. a pass or a distinction), and only minor corrections are required, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies will sanction the award of the programme. In all other cases, a nominated sub-committee of the Graduate Studies Committee will read the examiners reports before reaching a decision as to whether the programme should be awarded and the extent of any revision required. 

PhD Theses 

A PhD thesis may either fail or pass; no distinctions are given. PhDs are marked by one internal examiner, who may be, but is not always, a Wits academic staff member, and two external examiners from outside the University. If all the examiners recommend the same result, and only minor corrections are required, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies will sanction the award of the programme. If there is a difference of opinion among the three examiners, or if any complicating factors present themselves (e.g. a call for revision), the decision is referred to a nominated sub-committee of the Graduate Studies Committee. Its members will read the examiners reports and make a final recommendation. In rare cases of substantive disagreement among the examiners, an external assessor is appointed to adjudicate the contending evaluations and to give the final decision, which is binding on all concerned. 

Administrative requirements for submission of research 

Wits uses the following terminology: the written submission for a PhD is a "thesis"; the written submission for a Masters programme by research is a "dissertation"; the written submission for the research component of a Masters programme by coursework and research is a "research report".

Deadlines for research submission

  • A full-time PhD candidate: thesis to be submitted two to five years after registration
  • A part-time PhD candidate: thesis to be submitted four to six years after registration
  • A full-time Masters by research candidate: dissertation to be submitted within one year of study
  • A part-time Masters by research candidate: dissertation to be submitted within two years of study
  • A full-time Masters by coursework and research candidate: research report to be submitted by the end of the first year of study
  • A part-time Masters by coursework and research candidate: research report to be submitted by the end of the second year of study

NB: Consult your Faculty for dates, since these vary from programme to programme.


The two/three unbound copies of theses/dissertations/ research reports, which are handed in on submission, are kept in the Faculty Office. These can be retrieved by candidates who need to carry out any corrections or revisions required by their examiners. Candidates insert the corrected pages or chapters into the unbound copies, which are then returned to the Faculty Office with a note from the supervisor to confirm that the corrections have been satisfactorily completed.


Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) final submission of corrected research

  • Once your work has been examined, and you are ready for graduation, you will need to submit two corrected unbound copies of your work and an ETD submission form.
  • Include the associated fee for administration costs and a copy on CD of your work in PDF format (Check List final submission 2021 ; Criteria Submitting Research 2021)
  • The abstract must be in a separate attachment on the same CD.
  • Please note that you will not be permitted to graduate unless all this information has been submitted to the Faculty Postgraduate Office at least 6 weeks prior to graduation.
  • More information about this procedure can be found on the University's Library website under ETD submissions.
  • The examination of a thesis, dissertation or research report can take up to eight months.
  • If the submission is problematic (e.g. extensive revision is required), the period of examination may take substantially longer. There is no 'final' date for submission of theses, dissertations or research reports for graduating at any particular ceremony.
  • The examination of a doctoral thesis may include an oral examination. Although candidates are expected to register in January, they will not be charged fees for the year if they submit their work before 15 February.


A list of all candidates who have submitted their work for examination is sent to the Graduation Office. The Graduation Office then advises each candidate of the next graduation date and encloses tickets for that ceremony. It should be noted, however, that a candidate may not graduate until all examiners reports have been received by the Faculty Registrar's Office, corrections have been completed, the Graduate Studies Committee has agreed to the award of the programme and all ETD requirements have been met. The candidate must also have paid all the fees due to the University.