University of Cape Town


If you haven't decided where you would like to further your education, best do so quickly. University spots are becoming as rare as gold dust and by postponing your decision you could end up eliminating it completely, and set your career back indefinitely.

In the months to follow we will review the registration procedures and entrance requirements for some of the more popular universities in South Africa. We provide some insider-info on how to crack the code and cement your position in SA's leading tertiary institutions.


UCT has a proud tradition of academic excellence and effecting social change and development through its pioneering scholarship, faculty and students. It is also renowned for its striking beauty, with its campus located at the foot of Table Mountain's Devil's Peak, with panoramic views of much of Cape Town.


30 September 2011


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 four recognised NSC 20-credit subjects. (as listed below)
Bachelor's Degree Study -To be eligible for admission to degree study, applicants need to meet minimum requirements for eligibility. Applicants holding a South African National Senior Certificate need to pass a minimum of four subjects at a rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50-59%) or better from a designated list of subjects, as seen below.

NSC 20-credit subjects:
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 two other recognised language subjects) Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Music, Physical Sciences, Religion Studies and Visual Arts


How do I apply?

Collect application forms at the Admissions office
Apply online (In order to apply online you will need a working email address and your South African identity number, or, if you are an international applicant, your passport number. ) this is also the most efficient means of application
Download the application forms from the website (there are a number of forms so be sure to complete all the relevant documentation.)

Which documents do I need to include in my application?

You will need to submit all relevant UCT application forms
Current learners at school should ensure that all examination results from Grade 11 until September of grade 12 are submitted. Failure to submit these results may result in delays.
Transferring students should ensure that all transcripts and academic records are submitted as early as possible, and that a final transcript of current studies being undertaken reaches the Admissions Office as soon as possible after receipt.

What happens after I submit my application?

Once an application is received with all the required information, a prospective student may be offered an early invitation to apply, conditional on the applicant's final results.
All prospective students are also required to take the National Benchmark Tests.
An application fee is payable with every application, except in the case of most graduates of UCT. The application fee in South Africa and the SADC region is R100. The fee is R300 for applicants from outside the SADC region.

What is the national benchmark test (NBT)?

The National Benchmark Tests consist of three multiple-choice tests written as a combined Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy test and a separate Mathematics test, under standardized and timed conditions. The Academic and Quantitative Literacy Test (AQL) is a three-hour test which consists of an Academic Literacy (AL) section and a Quantitative Literacy (QL) section. The results of the two sections of the test will be reported separately. Registration for all National Benchmark Tests for the 2012 intake opened on 4 April 2011. It is necessary to register for the NBT.

*Testing dates and venues are available on the NBT website: Alternatively students can email: or call 021 650-3523 to make enquiries.


How do I apply for accommodation in the residence?

Applicants who wish to reside on campus must fill in the student housing section on the main UCT application form.(
The completed application form must be delivered to the Student Admissions and Advocacy Services by 30 September.
UCT practices a strict "no late applications? policy so apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

What criterion is used to determine who will receive a place in the residence?

The policy and criteria for admission to UCT student housing assume that a new student will initially enter a first-tier (catering) residence and subsequently move to a second-tier (senior catering or self-catering) residence or into third-tier (semi-autonomous self-catering) accommodation.

First-Tier Accommodation: First-tier residences provide accommodation for undergraduate men and women students, who are usually under the age of 21. These residences provide students with up to three meals a day in a dining hall.

Second-Tier Accommodation: Second-tier accommodation is available to students who are in their third or subsequent year of study.
Third-Tier Accommodation: Third-tier residences provide accommodation for senior and postgraduate students. They also provide limited family accommodation for postgraduate students.

What alternative student accommodation is available?

UCT has an Off-Campus Accommodation Bureau that advertises vacancies in private accommodation. Details of vacancies can be obtained at: or at the Campus Accommodation and Letting Office - Tel (021) 650-1052.


UCT applicants are graded on their best marks out of seven standard subjects. Extra subjects do not count towards an offer to register, nor are extra-curricular activities part of the assessment
Before applying it would be a good idea to familiarise yourself with the programme on offer and ensure that you meet all the relevant minimum entry requirements, for both the faculty and degree programme in which you are interested.
The undergraduate prospectus available online and on request by post is a great source of information for prospective students.
Make sure you know which documents must be included in the application, as failure to submit these documents could cause delays.
Monitor the status of your application, this can be done online. This will alert you when there documents missing our outstanding test which must be written.
The university has a resource centre for scholars, prospective students, guidance teachers and parents, to help young people decide on their study options. The centre is open Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 16h30 and is located within the Admissions Office, Level 4, Student Administration Building, Middle Campus.
Prospective students are encouraged to make appointments to be taken on a tour of the campus (if they are able to do so). Staff from the Student Recruitment section of the Admissions Office will show them various parts of our beautiful campus as well as help familiarise them with their prospective new home. Student Recruitment Assistants can also, by appointment, offer an interview to help familiarise prospective applicants with programmes offered at UCT.

*The UCT admissions office staff are equipped to handle all queries related to applications. They can be contacted via phone on 021 650 2128, via fax to 021 650 5189 / 3736, or by email:

This article is based on the information aquired from the UCT website and UCT representatives.