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Transferring students

Transferring from another university

Transferring from another university

We are happy to welcome an increasing number of students who transfer to UCT Faculty of Humanities from other South African universities, or from universities abroad.

 

Applying to transfer:
  • Follow the UCT online application process.You will need to submit your tertiary record as well as your school-leaving exam achievements, and we will consider both as criteria for acceptance. We suggest that you submit your application after the release of your first-semester results, but it is likely that we will not make you a firm offer until your end-of-year results have been released.
  • University rules state that you must register at UCT for a minimum of 2 years before you can be granted a UCT degree, so you cannot transfer to UCT to complete only a final year.
  • We will usually transfer credits from another university,within certain limits; we will also only recognise courses which are roughly equivalent to courses which are part of a Humanities curriculum at UCT.
  • We will not assess credit transfers before you have successfully applied; transferring students go through the credit transfer process once they have arrived at UCT for Orientation, and just before they register.
  • Please note that we have many applications for transfer, and can accept only a fraction of them. As a rough guideline, you will need both the Matric minimum score which would admit you to your Humanities programme, and a record of solid success (all passes, preferably with marks in the 60s rather than the 50s) on a full university Humanities load elsewhere.
Rules for credit transfer:
  • For a general BA or BSocSci, the maximum number of credits we will transfer from another institution is 8 semester courses out of the 20 which make up the degree. This is a standard first-year load. We do not usually transfer senior credits, and under no circumstances will we transfer third-year major credits.
  • For rules governing the transfer of credits for the BMus, BA Fine Art or BSocial Work, please consult the Humanities Faculty Undergraduate Handbook (2017). As a rough guide, we will transfer the equivalent of the first two years of study towards a four-year degree.We do not usually transfer credits higher than second-year level, and under no circumstances will we transfer final year credits required for a specialisation.
  • Credits will only usually be given in subjects which are offered through the faculty of Humanities at UCT, or offered in other faculties and recognised towards Humanities degrees. 
  • Please bear in mind the importance of the country-wide credits framework which defines South African university courses (SAQA credits). UCT first-year Humanities semester courses are usually worth 18 SAQA credits; second-year semester courses are worth 24. This is generally a higher credit count than many other SA universities, so you will not always receive a one-on-one transferral of courses.
  • Transferring South African students are required to provide SAQA credit information for their previous institution's courses (usually on the university transcript), but please see the table below for general guidelines.
  • Please also note that the NQF has considerably tightened regulations for credit transfer, and we are not permitted to grant direct equivalences on a course with fewer credits, even if the difference is only one or two points.
Institution Equivalences (semester courses)
UCT Humanities General Degree courses

First-year semester courses: 18 credits.
Second-year semester courses: 24 credits

Wits First-year courses: 18 credits.
Second- year courses: 24 credits
UKZN First-year courses: 16 credits.
Second- and third-year courses: 16 or 32 credits (varies)
Rhodes First- and second-year courses: 15 credits.
Third-year courses: 30 credits.
UNISA ALL courses (first to third year): 12 credits.
You need 1.5 UNISA courses to make one UCT course at
first-year level, and two UNISA for one UCT at second-year
level.
Process for credit transfer:
  1. Collect a Credit/Exemption form from the Humanities reception desk (Beattie Building), or download and print one out.
  2. Take your transcript and some material describing the course content of your courses (such as the course description from a university handbook) to the Head of Department of each subject you have completed.
    • The HoD will assess the course content and decide which UCT course it most resembles.
    • They will decide whether to give you a Credit (i.e. the course counts towards the 20 you need for a general degree), an Exemption (the course counts as a requirement for a major or programme, and as a pre-requisite for higher-level courses), or both.
    • They will indicate this information on the form, and sign it.
    • Remember that the HoD assessment is a recommendation; while you will always receive the exemption on the HoD's signature, it may be that subsequent assessment of credit weighting will discover that the course is too small for full credit transfer.
  3. You may now use this form as proof of credits for purposes of Registration. Make sure you bring the signed credit form to your registration to show your advisor, but do not hand it in with your form.
  4. At some stage after the first few weeks of term, bring your form, signed by as many HoDs as are necessary, to Dr.Jessica Tiffin in Room 113, Beattie Building.
    • With it you should submit either a certified copy of your transcript, or the original and a copy; we will sign the copy to say the original has been seen, and return the original to you.
    • South African students must also submit information regarding the SAQA credit rating of their courses, either on their transcript or in official documentation from their previous institution (e.g. a handbook).
    • Foreign students must submit information on the weighting of their courses: duration, number of hours per week, and number of courses taken overall in a semester or year, and as part of their previous degree.
  5. Your courses will be checked against the UCT equivalents, and relative weightings calculated. The UCT courses granted will then be transferred onto your official UCT record, reflecting as a CX/CR/EX (some combination of credit and exemption), not as the actual mark you earned at your other institution.
  6. Please note that an HoD's signature attesting to an equivalence does NOT guarantee you will be given the credit, as HoDs assess content, not weighting. As we are not permitted to give a direct one-on-one equivalence based on smaller credits, you may well find that your final credit tally is lower than the exemptions granted by the HoDs.
  7. There are a lot of transfer students in the Faculty of Humanities, and Dr Tiffin is the only person who processes the forms. Your transfer credits should appear on your Peoplesoft record sometime during the semester. If they have not appeared by the end of the first semester exam period, please query this with Dr. Tiffin.