Undergraduate applications:FAQs

FAQ

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Faculty programmes | Application | Your studies | International students

Faculty programmes:

What does the Faculty of Humanities offer?

A: The Faculty of Humanities is the largest faculty at UCT with over 6000 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year. The faculty consists of 15 dynamic academic departments and three academic clusters: the Arts, Social Sciences and the Performing Arts. This diversity gives you the freedom of choice in tailoring your academic experience.

Humanities degrees are divided into two kinds:

  1. the Structured programmes (Performing and Creative Arts, Social Work, etc) which offer a focused, vocational programme of study, and
  2. the General Degrees, which are more flexible and which allow students to adapt their course choices to their interests and aptitudes.

In addition to the content offered by specific majors, any Humanities degree will equip you with skills in academic writing, reading, research and critical thinking and will encourage you to develop cultural and social awareness. In addition, we are part of a world-renowned research and training institution and a centre of excellence on the African Continent.

What can I do with a Humanities degree?

A: Humanities graduates are sought after in the domestic and foreign job market because of their research skills, critical thinking, adaptability, Insight, social awareness and imagination. We produce people who actively contribute to advancing knowledge horizons in the world. A Humanities degree can lead to professional careers such as: Policy Advisors, Educators, Psychologists, Film-makers, Historians, Curators, Editors and Publishers, Human Resources practitioners, Marketing and Brand specialists to name a few. You need only look at past and present captains of industry, leaders in the Private and Public sectors to see what our graduates achieve in the world.

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Application:

How do I apply / How do I obtain UCT application forms?

A: You can either apply online, or you can download the UCT application forms from the Faculty of Humanities website. Alternatively, you can collect application forms from the UCT Admissions Office which is located on Middle Campus. The closing date for Undergraduate applications is: 30 September, in the year preceding admisson.

What is the UCT Prospectus and where can I obtain one?

A: A Prospectus is a brochure that provides prospective students with all of the information on the institution that they are applying to. You can download a copy of the current UCT Undergraduate Prospectus from the UCT website or, click on the image on this page.

How will I know that my application has been successful?

A: Should your application be successful, you will receive an offer (in the form of a letter) from UCT. You should also monitor the UCT self-service site.

How do I pay UCT's application fee?

A: Payment can be made by cheque, postal order, credit card or bank draft made to the University of Cape Town. Proof of payment of the application fee should be attached to your application to the University. Please visit the UCT fees pages.

What happens if my NSC results are not good enough? (two scenarios):
  1. If you are currently in your NSC year: if you fail to meet the admission requirements based on results received to date, you will be informed that your application has been deferred pending the submission of improved marks or your final results.
  2. If you have already completed your NSC: if you fail to meet the admission requirements you will receive a letter indicating that your application has been declined.
What is a conditional offer and for how long is it valid?

A: A conditional offer is made to a candidate who has partly fulfilled the admission criteria for a selected degree programme. A conditional offer is not final and is in no way binding. It is subject to meeting the requirements for admission into the faculty. If you receive a conditional offer from us, it is important that you maintain the same level of academic performance. A conditional offer becomes a firm offer when the final school exam results are released. Monitor the UCT self-service site for updates on your application status.

Am I able to cancel my application?

A: You are able to cancel your application at any stage by contacting the UCT Admissions Office.

Can I defer my acceptance and for how long?

A: You cannot defer your acceptance. You may only defer your application and you will be reconsidered for the following year. Contact the UCT Admissions Office if you wish to defer your application.

How do I accept / decline my ofer to study at UCT?

A:This is an important step in the process. To either accept or decline our offer to study the academic programme you have selected, please sign and return a hard copy of the declaration form to the UCT Admissions Office. This declaration form accompanied your acceptance letter. Do NOT send the declaration form to the Faculty of Humanities Undergraduate Office.

What if I receive two offers from UCT for different programmes?

A: In mid-January, you will receive an SMS notification asking you to make a choice on the UCT website. Your choice will be noted and the second offer will be cancelled automatically. This choice will be final. You will need to attend the registration of the programme you have selected.

Does the offer letter apply to acceptance into residence?

A: No, the application to study at UCT and the application for housing are two separate applications. The application for studies would be processed by the Faculty Office and housing applications are processed by the Housing Office. Once an applicant has been made an offer, the Housing Office will process the application for residence but a place of study does not necessarily mean you would be granted housing as well.

When is UCT's application deadline?

A: UCT's application date for undergraduate applicants is 30 September of the year preceding intended registration.

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Your studies:

When can I meet with a Faculty Curriculum Advisor?

A: You will have a chance to see a Curriculum Advisor at the end of the Orientation Programme and again during Registration. The Orientation Programme will provide you with detailed information about degree rules and structure which will enable you to select your courses. The Orientation website is a comprehensive resource in this respect and contains PDF files of handbooks and material which will give you a head start on academic course selection. We regret that due to the large numbers of students registering at the beginning of each year, it is not possible to arrange individual consultations in the months preceding Orientation.

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International students:

How do I know if I qualify for an exemption?

A: You may contact the matriculation board to enquire about the requirements for an exemption, but the formal application to the matriculation board only needs to be submitted within the first year of studies through the Faculty Office if the application to study at UCT is successful. The contact details for the matriculation board are +27 12 481-2847 or visit the HESA website

How do I know whether I meet the requirements for the degree?

A: The faculty calculates international student's results according to the type of schooling they have completed by using a table to calculate the various scores. You may refer to this table in the Undergraduate Prospectus.

Am I required to obtain medical cover before applying for a study permit?

A: The South African Immigration regulations make it a requirement that international students studying in South Africa must have health insurance.

Are international students permitted to work in South Africa while studying?

A: The Immigration Act of 2002 allows international students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic term and full time during academic vacations. In order for international students to work in South Africa they need to obtain a "permission to work" letter from IAPO. For IAPO to issue you with the letter you will need to present (i) a copy of your offer of employment from your prospective employer stipulating that you will not work more than 20 hours per week during term time, (ii) a copy of your study visa valid for studies at UCT and (iii) proof of registration.

Does IAPO run an orientation programme?

A: During the first week of February, IAPO runs an Orientation programme for new international full degree students. The Faculty of Humanities runs its own full Orientation programme for new students. You are strongly advised to attend both Orientation programmes as they will assist in your transition to UCT.

What tuition fees am I liable for as an international student?

A: You can request a proforma invoice on your estimated fees from the IAPO. In order to obtain the invoice please provide the relevant course codes. Please also refer to the latest UCT Fees Handbook for more information on fees.

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