Situated in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university that stands as the oldest institution of higher learning in not just South Africa but Africa as a whole. Founded in 1829, the university has over the years remained at the forefront of education thanks to its proud tradition of academic excellence and effecting social change and development through its pioneering scholarship, faculty, and students.
A testament to this is the fact that the institution has on multiple occasions been ranked as the best university in Africa by multiple university ranking bodies, including the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The university’s Medicine, Law, and Commerce Faculties have further consistently ranked among the hundred best internationally.
How to Apply Online to the University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who are looking to enroll in either a part-time or full-time program.
The application cycle lasts from the 1st of April to the 31st of July every year, however, some faculties have exceptions in regards to postgraduate applicants. Applications are advised to be sent in early in order to have room to sort out any issues that might come up during the process. The university does not accept late applications.
To apply, visit the university’s online application portal – https://applyonline.uct.ac.za to submit all the application requirements. After an application is sent in along with the application form fee, the prospective student is expected to monitor their UCT Application Status on the university’s website.
An application fee must be paid for every application except in the case of most graduates of UCT. Other requirements for online applications include an active email address, a valid ID for South African applicants or a valid passport for international applicants.
Applicants must have registered for the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs). They must also have a certified copy of their grade 11 results and any latest grade 12 results. They are further advised to know and calculate their Admissions Points Score (APS). Failure to do all or any of these may result in delays in the application.
Transferring students should also submit all transcripts and academic records as early as possible.
The admission requirements for the University of Cape Town differ depending on what an applicant wants to study as criteria for certificate courses, diplomas, and degrees are not the same.
1. Undergraduate Certificate Study: Applicants are to confirm eligibility for admission from the Admissions Office or the faculty concerned.
2. Undergraduate Diploma Study: The minimum requirement for admission to undergraduate diploma study is a National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by Umalusi with an achievement rating of 3 (Moderate Achievement, 40-49%) or better in 4 recognized NSC 20-credit subjects.
3. Bachelor’s Degree Study: To be eligible for admission to study for a bachelors degree, applicants need to meet minimum requirements for eligibility that include holding a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a pass on a minimum of 4 subjects at a rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50-59%) or better from a designated list of subjects that includes Accounting, Agricultural Sciences, Business Studies, Dramatic Arts, Economics, Engineering Graphics and Design, Geography, History, Consumer Studies, Information Technology, Languages (one language of learning and teaching at a higher education institution and 2 other recognized language subjects), Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Music, Physical Sciences, Religious Studies, Visual Arts.
Applicants holding a South African Senior Certificate need matriculation endorsement while those holding non-South African school-leaving certificates must qualify for a matriculation exemption certificate. More information can be found on the website of the Matriculation Board.
Minimum Language Proficiency
All applicants to the University of Cape Town are required to have attained a certain level of proficiency in English. They are further required to submit evidence of this, as outlined below, as part of their application to the university.
1. South African Senior Certificate Undergraduate Applicants: South African Senior Certificate undergraduate applicants must have achieved a pass of 40% or more on the Higher Grade in English (First or Second Language) at Senior Certificate level.
2. South African NSC Undergraduate Applicants: South African NSC undergraduate applicants must have achieved a rating of 2 (Elementary Achievement, 30-40%) or better at Home Language or First Additional Language level.
3. Applicants with Non-South African School-leaving Certificates: Applicants holding non-South African school-leaving certificates are required to meet UCT’s language requirements by taking either the IELTS and/or TOEFL exams. Applicants can contact the UCT English Language Centre for more details.
NB: Application fees into the university are different for South African applicants and those from the Southern African continental region and to others that come from outside those areas. Southern African applicants will get to pay R100 while those applicants from elsewhere will pay R300.
For Masters of business administration, those residing in Africa will pay R1100 while those from elsewhere will pay 200 US dollars for the application form. The fee is, however, subject to change by the institution.
The University of Cape Town offers more than 70 career-focused courses categorized under various departments in the faculties of the university that include the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED), Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment (EBE), Graduate School of Business (GSB), Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science.
Applicants are required to have a prior check for the requirements necessary for each course they wish to take before applying. Students also enjoy the privilege of taking a series of Lunch-time seminars and programs offered by the Center for African Studies at UCT and those offered by visiting scholars in various faculties.
Contact Details and Address
Postal Address: University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
Contact Numbers and E-mail Addresses:
– Commerce – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 650 4375, +27 (0)21 650 4369
– Engineering & the Built Environment – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 650 2699, +27 (0)21 650 3782
– Graduate School of Business – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 406 1922, +27 (0)21 421 5510
– Health Sciences (Undergraduate) – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 406 6328, +27 (0)21 650 3002 (HSF Reception)
– Health Sciences (Postgraduate) – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 406 6340, +27 (0)21 650 3002 (HSF Reception)
– Humanities (Undergraduate) – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 650 2717, +27 (0)21 686 7469
– Humanities (Postgraduate) – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 650 2691, +27 (0)21 650 5751
– Law – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 650 3086, +27 (0)21 650 5662
– Science – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 650 2712, +27 (0)21 650 2710
– Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) – [email protected] – +27 (0)21 650 2645, +27 (0)21 650 5045
Further information on the contacts of any of the departments and faculties of UCT can be found on the school’s website contacts list – http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/contacts