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Studying for a PhD at UCT

The Department of English supervises research degrees in a broad range of areas, from Early Modern to contemporary literature and theory. We specialise particularly in writings of and from South Africa and Africa and work closely with prospective students to develop a thesis topic that reflects their interests and allows them to make a substantive and innovative contribution to their research area.

Once accepted, students are assigned one (sometimes two) supervisor(s) who will offer them consistent intellectual support and guidance. In addition students are encouraged to take part in the intellectual life of the department and are given opportunities to attend workshops and seminars as well as teach and present on their own research. On occasion (in keeping with our increasingly inter-disciplinary approach) we offer co-supervision with another department.

We appreciate that a PhD is an extremely serious undertaking and as such we read all applications closely and consult with colleagues to ensure that we have adequate supervisory capacity for your project. We encourage all applicants to read our staff’s research profiles in order to gauge the interface between their research interests and the specialisations of our teaching staff.

Many of our graduates have gone on to be leading researchers in their fields, teaching and holding senior management positions at major universities both locally and globally.

Please read the guidelines for application carefully: we will not consider applications where the applicant does not hold the requisite degree.