Registering in your second and subsequent years

Once registered, you do not have to fill in another Application Form or pay an Application Fee (if applicable) unless you suspend your studies for a year. You must, however, complete your online registration for each year you study and pay the Registration Fee.

If you are a Postgraduate Diploma student who has applied for and been accepted into the MPH, you should make an online application again. All applications will be processed through a SOPH Selection Committee.

How Long Can You Take to Complete Your Qualification? The Rules under which you register will apply throughout your studies, unless Rules change during the course of your studies. In this case, you will be asked whether you wish to change to the revised rules or remain on those under which you first registered.

These Rules indicate how long you may take on the qualification; they are contained in this Handbook.
If you do not fulfill the Progress Rules The academic rules also specify Rules of Progress which indicate the minimum number of modules you must pass per year. If you do not comply with the Progress Rules, which you will find under the relevant qualification, you will be academically excluded; you must then submit a Letter of Motivation to SOPH: it will be considered and recommended or declined; applications from those that are recommended to continue will be submitted to the Higher Degrees Committee who may or may not give approval. Fee penalties will be applicable.

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health: expected completion time = 2 years. Progress Rules: You must have 40 credits at the end of Year 1 to proceed to year 2; see Progress Rules for this qualification.

Master of Public Health: expected completion time = 3 years. You must have 45 credits (3 modules) by the end of Year 1; 75 credits (5 modules) by the end of year 2; see Progress Rules for this qualification. From your 4th year, and any additional year taken for your MPH – you will be obliged to pay for Registration as well as for the Mini-thesis penalty fee annually. Please note that it is usually the Mini-thesis which delays students’ completion of the MPH.

Doctoral thesis: If you take an additional year for the PhD – which is a 5 year qualification – there will be financial penalties. This means that from the 6th and subsequent enrolment for Doctoral students, you will be liable for the prescribed annual registration fee and annual penalty fee.


  • You have been academically excluded because you do not have enough credits to progress: Submit a motivation to SOPH immediately after receiving your results; if accepted, it will be submitted to the Higher Degrees Committee, whose decision is final.
  • You are not finished your MPH in 3 years: Write a motivation to SOPH by October; if supported, it will be submitted to Higher Degrees Committee; if they accept it, you must pay a mini-thesis penalty fee for the 4th and any additional year. After a 4th year, you are unlikely to be accepted back.
  • You wish to suspend your studies for a year: Motivate to SOPH in writing by November why you need a leave of absence; a year later, apply for permission to resume (to SOPH) before the end of August; after acceptance by Higher Degrees Committee, fill in a new online Application Form and pay the fee to re-activate your student number by.
  • You have taken a year’s break (or more) between qualifications, and want to apply for a higher qualification: Follow the usual Application procedures. Fill in a new Application Form and pay an Application Fee (if applicable) to re-activate your student number (which stays the same). Your application will be considered by a SOPH Selection Committee alongside other applicants.

Approval to resume studies is at the discretion of the SOPH and Higher Degrees Committee. Please contact the Student Administrators if you have any questions about re-registration.

School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809 | Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872 | Email: