School of Architecture and Planning

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How to apply

Please note that a compulsory assignment has to be submitted by all applicants. The assignment brief is tailored to the MUS degree. You might like to look at this before reading through the full detail of the application process and requirements.

Apply online

Please apply online at

Currently enrolled Wits Students must apply via the Student Self Service Portal

If you are not a currently enrolled student at Wits University, you must apply @ and select ‘Step 1’ to create a Temporary Number, this will enable you to create a profile and apply online.

Whether currently enrolled or not, all applicants must follow the following steps:

  • Gather/prepare the following documentation which must accompany your application:

    • Certified hard copies of all your academic records or transcripts (these are the official pages issued by your university showing marks for each course you enrolled for, for the duration of your studies at that institution), and certified hard copies of your degree/diploma certificates. You may scan and upload the electronic copies with your application. However, upon receiving an admission letter (should your application be successful) you must submit hard copies (see detailed instructions below)

    • If any of your degrees are from universities outside of South Africa, you must submit a certified copy of a SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) certificate of your degrees. To obtain this certificate, you have to apply through the SAQA website (click ‘services’) to have your non-South African qualification certified. The purpose is to ensure the qualifications of the applicant are assessed at the correct level, and SAQA also prevents qualifications fraud. Please note that SAQA can take several weeks to evaluate and issue a certificate. Therefore you need to start this process without delay. SAQA charges a fee, and this is detailed on its website. Once you have received your certificate from SAQA, you may upload a scanned copy as part of your online application. However, you will have to submit a hard copy once you receive an admission letter, should your application be successful (see details for the hard copy submission below).

    • A CV if you have previously worked. Please ensure that this provides a chronology of your work experience and includes your duties and levels of responsibility.

    • Typed compulsory assignment – see assignment briefing in the button below. No application will be assessed without this assignment carried out as per the instructions. Please pay attention to this.

    • Proof of payment of R200 application fee (see payment instructions below). Note that currently enrolled Wits students are exempt from paying the application fee.

    • Copy of ID document (if the applicant is South African) or passport (if the applicant is from another country).

    • If your degrees are from a university that is not English medium, then you need to secure a proof of English proficiency certificate. You may upload a scanned certified copy of this in your electronic application, but you must submit a certified hard copy (paper) once/if you receive an admission letter.

  • Please ensure that after you have completed the required information in the online application and attached ALL the supporting documentation listed above, that you submit the application. Only once you see the screen saying ‘thank you for submission your application to the University’ is your application process complete.

  • You will receive a letter by e-mail the following day to confirm your application to the University, listing the programme(s) you have applied for. If you do not receive an e-mail with this letter the day after your submission please check with the Wits Student Call Centre as your application may not have been submitted successfully. The Student Call Centre can be reached @ +27 11 717 1888.

  • Applicants who upload all the required supporting documentation (including the compulsory assignment) will have their applications registered as ‘complete’ and labelled as such on your self-service portal (i.e. please check your portal regularly to make sure it is complete). Only complete applications will be sent to the selection committee in the School of Architecture and Planning for evaluation/selection for your chosen degree(s). If you are admitted/selected to study in your chosen degree(s) you will receive an offer letter through the self-service portal. Therefore please continue checking your portal regularly after having submitted a complete application.

  • The Student Enrolment Centre will then still require you to submit the duly certified hard copies (on paper) of all your academic records and graduation certificates, as well as a certified had copy of the SAQA Evaluation Certificate if you studied outside of South Africa, and your English proficiency certificate if you studied in a non-English medium institution. Note that you will not be able to accept your Firm Offer nor Register to start your studies if you have not submitted your certified hard copies. Please bring them to the Enrolment Centre in person. If you applied from another country or city, then rather than couriering these valuable documents, we advise that you may bring them with you in person to registration, which is arranged early in the year, usually a week before your studies commence.

The Student Enrolment Centre is on East Campus on the ground floor of Solomon Mahlangu House (formerly Senate House), opposite the café.

Compulsory assignment

To assist us in the selection of candidates for the MUS, we require you to prepare an essay of 1 200 to 1 500 words (one a half to two pages if typed in a 10 point font, single spaced) on the topic below. The essay must be clearly structured with sub-headings, and must include an introduction and a conclusion. 

It is not our intention to test your competence in the field in which you intend studying. However, we do need to judge your interest and motivation in studying in this field and your ability to understand an assignment brief, structure thoughts, develop an argument and communicate this in writing. If you make use of books, articles or any other sources, please reference these fully. If quoting directly from any source, please use inverted commas for the quoted sections and reference these fully. You may not be assisted any by another person.

Please see this as a useful opportunity for you to reflect on your interest in the field you intend studying, as well as your aims and objectives. It is an important preparation for your enrolment.

Please provide as a title the field of study you have chosen (Sustainable Energy Efficient Cities, Housing and Human Settlements, Politics and Urban Governance, Urban Management, or Urban Research). Should you be applying for more than one of these options, then make this clear in your heading and address both fields in your assignment.

Essay question:

In your introduction, set out what draws you to the field of study that you have chosen. Provide a brief motivation for wanting to study towards an MUS in this field, and explain how the remainder of your essay is structured. Then, in the main text of the essay, briefly discuss the city in which you live, identifying three key challenges that relate to the field of study you are choosing. How you understand the causes of this situation, and in which way this situation be addressed through your chosen field of study? End with a brief conclusion.

Should you be applying for more than one of the MUS fields, then use the introduction of the essay to communicate your first choice, respond to the essay brief for the field of study of your first choice, and add an additional 400-500 words to do the same for your second choice.

Closing dates for applications for MUS
  • South African citizens and permanent residents:

    Closing date MUS (Sustainable Energy Efficient Cities, Urban Management, Urban Politics and Governance, Urban Research) - 30 November 2023

    Extended closing date for MUS (Housing and Human Settlements) - 19 January 2024

  • Non-South African citizens: 31 July
  • Should you only visit this site after the applicable closing date, please contact the postgraduate administrator to enquire whether a late application can be considered.
  • All candidates with a previous degree from a university outside of South Africa must have their qualifications certified by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) before applying for admission. Please apply to SAQA at least 6 weeks before the above closing dates to ensure you have your SAQA certificate in time. When applying for admission to Wits University, please only submit original electronic certificates issued by SAQA and not scanned certified copies.
Notification of Admission into the MUS degree

If you haven’t received a response 6 weeks after handing in or sending through your full application, please make a follow-up enquiry with the Student Call Centre at 011 717 1888 or e-mail your Admissions Consultant  using person number as reference. Note that your letter of acknowledgement will contain the contact details of your admissions consultant.

The outcome of your application will be e-mailed and sms-ed to you stating whether you have been admitted. Successful international students, once having received a letter of admission, must then apply for a study visa from the South African consulate in their country. Processing of the visa may take up to eight weeks.

Registration for the MUS degree

The registration date for successful applicants will be announced in the admission letter. It is late January or early February.