Charles Hellaby

Applying for PhD Study

(Especially Cosmology)

Honours & Masters degrees:     National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme

How to Apply
Email a staff member to discuss the possibility, and thesis topics:

Application Form

The form can be downloaded from the web:       Click here for UCT's Application Form       (you'll need Acrobat Reader to print)
and see       "Application for Admission to Study"
and       "Code Tables".

Its the same form for undergraduate and postgraduate applications, but at PhD level school information and results are NOT required.

Unfortunately, you can't submit them electronically, so you'll have to fill them in (e.g. by hand) and post them.

What to submit:

  • Filled in application form
  • Certified copies of BSc and MSc certificates and transcripts
  • Application fee
  • [Non-South Africans]    Proof of English language competancy (various options, e.g. TOEFL result. If unsure, discuss with prospective supervisor)
  • [Non-South Africans]    Proof of Medical cover.

Notes on filling in the form:

  • Section A - Fill in name and date of birth info.
    For "Surname on senior certificate (IF different from above)", fill this in only if your surname has changed, and only if that previous surname appears on your BSc or MSc or school certificate.
  • Section B
    put "SCID01" under "Degree/diploma/certificate" - for PhD study in the Faculty of Science,
    put "Maths & Applied Maths, MAM" under "Department/Unit & Code" - for the Maths & Applied Maths department
    put nothing under "Specialisation Humanities & Science Undergraduate only"
    put "Applied Mathematics" under "Specialisation Humanities & Science Postgraduate only" - for Cosmology
  • Sections C & D - School info.
    Leave this blank.
  • Section E - List anything you've done since leaving school, except further study.
  • Section F - Provide your higher education info here. Include certified copies of BSc & MSc certificates and transcripts with your application.
  • Sections G & H - Fill in personal & next of kin details.
  • Section I - Fill in only if you want to apply for a university residence room. The ones for graduate students are Woolsack,
  • Section J - DON'T fill this in.
    Postgraduate funding applications are separate.
  • Section K - Fill in if you wish to.
  • Section L - Declaration.
    Sign it. Parent's signature ONLY needed if you're under 21.

ROUGH guide to costs in 2006 (may increase each year)

Medical cover - mandatory for non South Africans R 3 600 - R 5 000 / year
International Term Fee - non South Africans R 19 500 / year
Registration fee for PhD study R 7 080 / year
Room in a shared flat R 18 000 - R 25 000 / year
Meals R 10 000 - R 15 000 / year
Books, stationary & equipment R 7 000 / year
General living costs (daily transport, pocket money, not meals)     R 5 000 - R 6 000 / year
TOTAL - South Africans R 47 100 - R 60 100 / year
TOTAL - non South Africans R 70 200 - R 84 600 / year

If you live simply you can keep your food, general living, and even books costs down.

ROUGH guide to tutor pay in 2003 (may increase each year)

Standard tutoring load ("1T") 6 hours/week in tutorials + 6 hours/week preparation for 24 teaching weeks
+ 18 hours/year of consultation
+ 120 hours/year of marking per year
+ 21 hours/year of other duties like invigilating tests & exams, clerical work on exam marks, etc.
Pay     R 21 351 / year

To get money for tutoring here, it is really best to arrive before the start of courses - 17/2/2003, or the start of second semester - 14/7/2003.

A half load is also possible. More than "1T" is too much work for most graduate students.

Students from abroad can usually get visas that allow tutoring.


South African Students:

Non-South African Students:

ROUGH guide to South African visa requirements (2003)
My best information on applying for a study permit/visa at the South African Consulate in your country, is that you will need:

  • A letter offering you a place at UCT.
  • Proof you have enough funds for your stay in South Africa, including e.g. scholarship award letters.
  • Proof of medical cover. You can buy medical cover here after you arrive, but you must have existing medical cover for your travel and at least your first month here.
  • A refundable deposit ("repatriation guarantee") - the amount varies between countries.
  • I suspect there'll be an application fee too.

Be sure to check for yourself with your local consulate etc.

Please note:   You can't get scholarship money until you've registered at UCT, and you can't register until you've got long term medical cover (min 3 to 6 months). Arranging this can take several days. Also, UCT scholarships are first used to pay your fees, and only if anything is left over do you get a pay out. So it helps if you have enough money on arrival.