Postgraduate Funding and Support

Postgraduate Funding and Support

The Postgraduate Funding and Support (PGFS) section of the PGO provides information, administers financial support and also engages with broader institutional support structures for postgraduate students, typically as these relate to psycho-social support.

The PGFS section advertises ad hoc funding opportunities on the University’s website as these become available. Advertisements are circulated to faculties (normally via Heads of Departments) and are also posted on the University’s website as well as on noticeboards on campus. Beyond these, the section advertises and administers two main types of funding for postgraduate students:

Bursaries and scholarships that cover the cost of registration/tuition and in some cases accommodation and books;

Travel grants for contributing to the costs for attending and presenting your findings at conferences.

Bursaries based on academic performance

SU acts as an agent for the National Research Foundation (NRF)’s freestanding scholarships and its grant holder-linked bursaries. The NRF bursaries are available for full-time studies in all fields. The grant holder-linked bursaries are made available to academic staff who hold NRF research grants and who may then nominate bursary candidates, some of whom they are supervising, to receive such bursaries. These are administered by the Research Integrity and National Grants section in DRD whilst the PGSF section disburses the grant-holder linked bursaries.

Postgraduate students can also apply for a limited number of Private Bursaries. These bursaries are limited to certain fields of study and offer varying amounts to a few selected students only.  When allocating these private bursaries, preference is given to applicants at the most advanced level of study (degree programme) and with the highest marks, unless stated otherwise.

Some departments, especially those in the fields of science and technology, offer financial assistance from departmental funds to selected students in the form of Departmental Bursaries. If you are not currently receiving any financial assistance, it is something which you may enquire about with your academic department (typically ask your supervisor). Should such funding be available, it can only be awarded to a candidate upon the formal recommendation of a department.

A limited number of Prestige Bursaries are available to candidates whose academic performance in their previous studies has been outstanding.  These are advertised from time-to-time.

Bursaries based on financial need

The PGFS section administers Postgraduate Support Bursaries for extremely financially needy students with academic potential. Please note, financial need is determined by a means test assessment based on among other things, family income. Support bursaries are seldom sufficient to cover all study costs and students must therefore seek additional sources of funding.