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Why Humanities at UCT?

Jameson Hall steps


Study in the Humanities offers much more than skills related to the workplace. It is one of the best ways of preparing students for critical citizenship in a rapidly changing world, a world that demands versatility and creativity rather than mere training.

Diversity is our key strength:
As the largest faculty on campus, the Faculty of Humanities is home to the majority of Undergraduate and Postgraduate students annually. We attract students and academics from across the globe which means exposure to a rich diversity of knowledge, experience and best practice. The Faculty consists of 3 academic clusters:

  1. The Arts;
  2. Social Sciences and
  3. The Performing Arts.

There are 15 dynamic departments each offering a wide array of courses and facilities. This diversity gives our students freedom of choice in tailoring their academic experience. We are part of an Afropolitan institution, a centre of excellence on the continent and an intellectual meeting point between Africa and the world.


Research and Teaching:
UCT Faculty of Humanities has a reputation for demanding excellence from our staff and students. We are home to some of South Africa's most celebrated intellectuals, including: award-winning composers and singers; renowned artistic directors and literary critics; world famous novelists and poets; national policy makers and advisors to government; sought-after economists; and highly respected social science researchers.

We enjoy a strong tradition in research and teaching, producing graduates who actively contribute to advancing new horizons of knowledge. The Faculty has four NRF Research Chairs who actively promote interdisciplinary research across the Faculty through these research groupings:

  • Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA)
  • Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR)
  • Gordon Institute for Performing & Creative Arts (GIPCA)
  • And many more...

Humanities have 79 NRF-rated researchers: including 5 A-rated researchers. Since 1988, 27 Humanities staff members have received the UCT Distinguished Teacher Award.


Humanities graduates are sought after in the workplace:

  • We produce exceptional young people who possess imagination, insight, mental agility and analytical skills. As a result of these attributes, our graduates are highly sought after both locally and abroad. 
  • Most of our students advance to postgraduate study which further enhances their skills and employment opportunities. A Humanities qualification prepares you for a multitude of career paths in the public sector, corporate workplace and in academia.

Analysis, argumentation, decision making and strong communication skills are valued and developed across all departments. These abilities provide an essential foundation for engaged citizenship and for entry into the world of work.