The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa. The language of instruction is English.

The university houses several programmes supporting the provision of mental health services. These programmes include:

Health Sciences


UCT aims to be a world-class African institution, and in line with that vision the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health aims to excel in teaching, research, and services in the field of Psychiatry and Mental Health. If you are a doctor thinking about postgraduate training in Psychiatry, if you are interested in collaborating in our research programs, or if you would like to contribute to improving our mental health services, do please get in touch!

The Department aims to integrate teaching, research, and clinical services. This integrated approach takes place across the different divisions of the Department, which comprise: Addiction Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry , Forensic Psychiatry, Inpatient Psychiatry , Intellectual Disability Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychotherapy & Neuroclinics and Public Mental Health.

Teaching in the Department includes extensive participation in the education of undergraduates studying medicine and allied professions (including occupational therapy, physiotherapy), postgraduate training in psychiatry, and sub-specialty training including an M Phil in addiction psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, consultation liaison psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, intellectual disabilities and neuropsychiatry. We also offer a M Med (Psychiatry) (by coursework and dissertation), an M Med (Neuroscience) (by dissertation, with coursework as needed), and a PhD in Psychiatry (by dissertation). In addition to these, we offer a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and a postgraduate diploma in addictions care.

Research in the various divisions of the department covers a range of areas including mental health services and policy, adolescent risk behaviours, HIV/AIDS, anxiety disorders (including posttraumatic stress disorder), and substance abuse. The Department has active research collaborations with a range of other Departments including Genetics, Medical Imaging, Public Health, Psychology and Human Biology.

Clinical services are provided by the Department, in collaboration with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, at Groote Schuur Hospital, Valkenberg Hospital, Lentegeur Hospital, William Slater and Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, and Alexandra Hospital. Primary Health Care remains an important focus, and members of the Department provide services at Community Psychiatric Clinics in the urban area.

The Department has multiple local and international collaborations. It includes the WHO Collaborative Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health collaborating Centre for Mental Health in Africa. The Department is actively involved in the Brain-Behaviour Initiative, which focuses on applying the methods of modern cognitive-affective neuroscience to understanding psychopathology and resilience after exposure to trauma in the South African setting. Through the Division of Public Mental Health, the Department is also involved in the Programme for Improving Mental health CarE (PRIME), which is an international collaboration of mental health researchers and policy-makers, including the WHO, who are developing evidence on the scaling-up of mental health care in maternal and primary health care settings, in low and middle-income countries.