Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Centre for Transport Studies offers the opportunity to undertake Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studies within the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment.

Undertaking a PhD under the supervision of one or more of our staff members is an excellent way to share in their expertise and global networks and become familiar with undertaking specialised and independent research in the transport studies arena. A PhD degree can also serve as a gateway to a career in research or academia.

It is essential to secure in-principle agreement from a CfTS staff member that they are willing to take you on in advance. Before contacting any supervisor, we recommend that you prepare a to-the-point research proposal of no more than two pages in length. The proposal should, at the very least, give an indication of the topic, aims and method of your proposed research, along with some background and references to existing literature to support your proposal. 

Points to bear in mind for PhD studies with us:

  • If you are accepted as a candidate and a CfTS staff member is your main supervisor, you will be registered in the UCT Department of Civil Engineering irrespective of your chosen topic or the disciplinary background of your prior degrees.
  • PhD degrees at UCT do not have a coursework component, nor is there an oral defence that forms part of the examination process. The examination is based on the presentation of a written thesis document to external examiners.
  • The only formal oral defence in a PhD occurs six months after first registration when you present your written research proposal to a panel within the university.
  • Co-supervision in partnership with academics at other departments at UCT or other universities is possible. 

Application and useful links: Support for PhD students