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New, first-year students may find themselves slightly alarmed by the huge, confusing space of the institution. This is why the first academic year begins with Orientation.


What is Orientation about?

Orientation is compulsory for all first-year students coming into the Faculty, and it's the lifeline that will introduce students to the campus and the life of the university, and will start to guide then through course choices and the registration process.

The Faculty of Humanities runs two three-day Orientation programmes in the weeks before Registration. Every new first-year student must attend one of the programmes in full. The programme includes sessions on:

  • choosing courses and structuring a degree,
  • the registration process,
  • computer lab orientation,
  • the many services and societies available to students.

Each student is assigned to a small group of fellow students led by an Orientation Leader, a senior student who will provide a campus and library tour, and act as a guide through the Humanities Orientation process.

When does Orientation take place?

The main part of Orientation takes place in the week before registration, a couple of weeks before the start of lectures. Students are required to sign up for a specific Orientation programme; their choice of programme will usually depend on whether they are a local student or live outside Cape Town.


Orientation dates 2020

For whom

Programme 1

Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th January 2020

Students who live in Cape Town

Programme 2

Wednesday 29th to Friday 31st January 2020

Students who live out of Cape Town, and some overflow of local students.

Students should arrive on the Plaza in front of  Memorial Hall (the big central building with the white pillars) by 8.45am on the day of orientation; they will be guided to the venues by orientation leaders. Look for the OLs in blue T-shirts, usually making a lot of enthusiastic noise!

Who attends Orientation?

Orientation is compulsory for all first-year students who are entering UCT for the first time:

  • You do NOT need to attend Orientation if you are moving into the Faculty of Humanities from another faculty at UCT.
  • If you are transferring to UCT after a year or more at another university, you will probably have attended Orientation at your previous institution. You will find some aspects of Orientation in Humanities at UCT useful, especially the campus tours and course design sessions, but you may find that other sessions are unnecessary as you are already an experienced student.
  • If for some reason you have a disaster (with travel, illness, etc) and miss the Orientation sessions, email the Student Engagement office to receive orientation material, including information on the ongoing Orientation sessions throughout the semester. There is also a final day of orientation on the Friday before term starts, 7th February, where you may be able to access some of the orientation activities.

Download the Humanities Student Guide 2019 for first-year students containing information about your academics, how to construct your curriculum, Faculty resources and support and so much more!