South African cities in general and Cape Town in particular, are undergoing fundamental and exciting change. Cape Town is a place characterised by sharp social, cultural and spatial contrasts and offers a rich research environment in a place of great natural beauty.

We are committed to contributing to international knowledge through addressing the development, planning and design problems raised by the Southern African context. Areas of current research expertise amongst staff include: the making and restructuring of urban settlements in developing contexts; informal settlements; low income housing policy; heritage and its conservation; sustainable development and ecologically sustainable cities; history and theory of architecture and urbanism; small business promotion; urban transport planning and policy; urban management and governance.

We offer a number of research based degrees, where students work on self-defined areas of interest in close co-operation with a staff supervisor. These are:

  • Master of Architecture (MArch), by research, which has as a pre-requisite for entry a Master of Architecture (MProf) degree. Procedure for applying.
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil), which is designed to encourage interdisciplinary research in the field of the built environment, into which students from a wide variety of Honours degrees can enrol.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is again available to students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds. Procedure for applying

The minimum period of registration for a masters degree is one year and a PhD two years. Admission is dependent on area supervisory capacity within the department. All research students are offered a taught course in research methods. The contact person for further information on research degrees is the Department Manager: Janine Meyer.

The African Centre for Cities (ACC) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching programme focussed on quality scholarship regarding the dynamics of unsustainable urbanization processes in Africa, with an eye on identifying systemic responses.