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Masters in Computer Science by Coursework and Dissertation


Applications for 2020 will open around April 2019.

The Masters in Computers Science by Coursework and Dissertation involves two years of full-time study undertaken after completion of an Honours degree in Computer Science. It is a full-time degree with no part-time options offered. Admission is competitive, not guaranteed, and is primarily on the basis of academic results. It is designed to provide students with the professional basis for a career path in the computer industry, and/or to enable them to embark upon a research programme at Doctoral level.

In the first year of study, a student completes coursework totalling 90 credits, comprising a compulsory course in Research Methods (18 credits) and six elective courses (12 credits each). The coursework year is a year of full-time intensive work and it is impossible to combine it with outside work. At the beginning of the second year of study, once they have passed the required coursework, a student enrols for the minor dissertation component. The degree has been completed once a student has passed both the coursework and the minor dissertation component.

The Computer Science postgraduate handbook for 2019, to be made available later in 2018, will contain detailed information about the programme. Until the 2019 version is available, please have a look at the 2018 version, which can be found here.

The starting date is 11 February 2019.

If you need information in addition to the information contained on this page, please contact the Postgraduate Coordinator (pgcoordinator at cs dot uct dot ac dot za).


There are TWO applications to be completed:

  1. Apply on the University of Cape Town's central applications system for the Master of Science (by coursework & dissertation) (90 Crsework/90 diss) with Computer Science as specialisation.

  2. Apply separately to the Computer Science Department with a document containing the following information:
    • The Masters by Coursework and Dissertation 2019 Application Form (docx version can be found here; PDF version can be found here;
    • An abbreviated curriculum vitae (at most one page);
    • A short statement of your research interests (at most one page);
    • Full academic record, including all tertiary results (in English).

    Collate this information in a single PDF document, and send the document to the Postgraduate Coordinator (pgcoordinator at cs dot uct dot ac dot za).


The closing date for departmental applications in 2019 is 31 October 2018. The closing date for applications to the Science Faculty in 2019 is 31 October 2018. Late applications, incomplete applications, and applications not conforming to the requirements set out above, will not be considered. 


Applicants will be notified of the result of their application by early December 2018.

Students have to be present at the University on the first day of lectures for 2019: 11 February 2019. Registration and courses start immediately. It is not possible to delay the start of the course.

The South African academic year coincides with the calendar year and the course will end by the last week of November.


UCT has information on funding for postgraduate students. Please download the latest funding booklet. UCT may have internal funding for honours students, but it is only available to those who have applied to the NRF first.


Students who need a study visa for South Africa should get all the documents and requirements ready before the end of November. You must get this visa before leaving your home country at the nearest South African embassy, consulate or high commission. Please apply immediately upon hearing of your acceptance.

While a visa can be obtained in about two weeks from South African embassies that is only the case if all clearances, documents and health checks are in order, so this must all be done well in advance. It should also be borne in mind that the latter half of December is the start of the holiday period in South Africa; while in the new year, due to the pressure of late applicants, the process may take longer.

last modified 2018-11-13 21:04