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University of Cape Town

World Rankings

  • QS World University Ranking (2017–18) 191
  • THE World University Ranking (2017–18) 120

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for Undergraduate degree study:

  • International applicants must qualify for a matriculation exemption from the South African Matriculation Board. They must also meet UCT's language requirements, as well as certain minimum faculty entry requirements.
  • The language of instruction and examination at UCT is English. International applicants who are non-native speakers of English have to pass specific language tests.

Minimum subject requirements for each faculty:

  • Commerce – satisfactory pass in mathematics in the final year of schooling.
  • Engineering and the Built Environment – satisfactory pass in mathematics in the final year of schooling. Applicants for engineering and geomatics also require a satisfactory pass in chemistry and/or physics. Applicants for architectural studies must submit a portfolio of creative work.
  • Health Sciences – satisfactory pass in mathematics and chemistry and/or physics.
  • Humanities and Law – satisfactory pass in English. A pass in mathematics is recommended for Law.
  • Science – satisfactory passes in mathematics and a natural science subject (chemistry, physical science or biology). If students have not completed physics as part of their school-leaving examinations, they may not be eligible for certain study options in science.

Teaching Methods

  • UCT aspires to become a premier academic meeting point between South Africa, the rest of Africa and the world.

Course Flexibility

  • UCT offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes across its six faculties: Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Law, Health Sciences, Humanities and Science.
  • A range of undergraduate diplomas and certificates, and postgraduate diplomas are also available.

Student Services and Facilities

  • UCT’s libraries offer state-of-the-art technology, vast collections of reading and research material, as well as the specialised services of friendly, efficient and helpful staff.
  • In keeping with its central role in the academic life of the university, the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library lies at the heart of Upper Campus, while its eight branch libraries are set in locations convenient to the faculties they serve.
  • There is an extensive network of computer labs available to students, situated in the various UCT faculties and residences.
  • There is an Information and Communication Technology Service available to students, offering computing and internet assistance.

Support for International Students

  • The International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) is the first port of call for all international students. It provides a range of services including responding to general enquiries from prospective students about topics such as the appropriateness of working while in South Africa, and application for study permits.
  • IAPO also advises students on registration for classes, payment of university fees, health insurance matters, getting to know South African culture, and information about life in Cape Town.
  • All new UCT international students, including transfer students, need to report to IAPO during their first week on campus. During this check-in procedure students complete the immigration procedures required by the South African government.

Disability Services

  • UCT offers consultative and counselling support to students and staff with a wide range of disabilities, as well as advice on academic adjustments and accommodation.
  • A wheelchair guide map of the campuses is available, while other disability services include text conversion and assistive technology, including text conversion into Braille, electronic format and voice recording; technical assistance; parking for disabled students and staff; SASL interpreters and note takers; and the facilitation of exam accommodations for disabled students.

Students' Union

  • UCT’s Student Representative Council is the highest decision-making structure of student governance.
  • The council represents all students at UCT, and their overall interest and social well-being, on university committees. It is actively involved in policy making and co-operative decision making on campus.

Student Mix

  • UCT’s student population is in the region of 26,000, including undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • UCT hosts more than 4,500 international students from 104 different countries. The majority of these students are registered for full degree studies across UCT’s faculties.
  • Over half of UCT’s enrolment is made up of black students. Just over half of the registered students are women. 


  • The oldest teaching university in South Africa, the University of Cape Town (UCT) was founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys.
  • UCT was formally established as a university in 1918, and ten years later moved to its magnificent Groote Schuur campus on the slopes of Devil's Peak (on the former estate of Cecil Rhodes who donated the land to UCT).
  • The university earned itself the nickname 'Moscow on the Hill', for its sustained opposition to apartheid, particularly in higher education. Today, UCT is implementing an action guide on transformation as it strives to redress past injustices and promote equal opportunity for all.

Further Details

Address University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
South Africa