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M Phil (Research) | PLAAS


The MPhil (Research) programme is designed to deepen student debate and critical thinking around the fundamental developmental issues of the day, and the most important theories and concepts underpinning them. An important aspect is the teaching of research methodology in preparation for field research.

The programme focuses on taking students through the research process to produce a full dissertation on an approved topic. It will benefit aspiring young researchers and working professionals who seek a deeper understanding and engagement with poverty, land and agrarian issues through undertaking an empirical research project.

Who Can Apply?

For admission to the MPhil Research in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, applicants must have obtained an Honours degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. sociology, history, economics, political science, agriculture, public administration, development studies, geographical and environmental studies).

Students must demonstrate a good understanding of their chosen research topic and have research experience in one or more of the following themes – poverty, land and agrarian reform, rural development, and natural resources.

Applying to PLAAS

To apply to one of the PLAAS research programmes, applicants are to:

  • Apply online to UWC at
  • Submit an updated CV outlining your relevant qualifications, working experience, community work, and publications (if applicable).
  • Submit certified copies of your academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  • Submit a draft concept note

Please read the complete PLAAS MPhil & PhD Information Sheet before making your application.


Enquires may be directed to Ms Carla Henry, the Postgraduate Programme Administrator.

  • Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)
  • Email: 
  • Tel: +27 21 959 3727/3733
  • Fax: +27 21 959 3732
  • University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7353, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA