The Centre of Criminology offers a PhD programme and dissertation-only Master’s for selected students. Under the supervision of a staff member, students may conduct research on a topic approved by their supervisor (as relating to the current ongoing research portfolios or the broader field of criminology, justice, and governance). Selection is dependent on academic record, supervision availability, and topic relevance.  

Applications can be made at any time during the year. Please note, however, that the University of Cape Town has its own stipulations regarding due dates and deadlines for acceptance as a student, and that the Centre of Criminology has no power to influence this process. Contact should be made with to secure a supervisor for your research, as written confirmation of interest in your research is a requirement for acceptance to the Faculty of Law.

How to apply

Email the following to     

  • A 2-page summary of the research you intend to undertake with the Centre;
  • A 1-2 page cover letter that motivates your topic and stating why you chose UCT/the Centre;   
  • A recent example of writing (e.g. previous dissertations, thesis, publications);   
  • Your CV with a list of any relevant publications;
  • Certified copies of your academic transcripts; and
  • Your full contact details and address.

Should a member of staff agree to supervise your research, you will be contacted with information on what steps are necessary in order to apply to the University of Cape Town. After feedback from the Centre, you may apply to study online as per the instructions or guidelines for postgraduate degree applicants on the Law Faculty website.


UCT's Postgraduate Funding Office (PGFO) offers a limited number of scholarships. While UCT undertakes to assist as many students as possible, the scholarships are not guaranteed.

To apply for a UCT PGFO scholarship, you must first be accepted for study. You should then attach your acceptance letter, together with other relevant documents as prescribed by the PGFO, to your application. The closing date for submission of applications is 31 July each year for funding in the subsequent year.

Please note that the international postgraduate scholarships are not full-cost scholarships, therefore you would still have to ensure that you come to South Africa with enough money to cover your tuition, accommodation and general living costs.

For any further information on funding, refer to the PGFO.