Eligibility for admission
The admission requirements differ depending on what you want to study. The criteria for certificate courses, diplomas and degrees is listed below:
Undergraduate Certificate StudyTo confirm eligibility for admission to undergraduate certificate study, applicants must consult the Admissions Office or the faculty concerned.
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 recognised NSC 20-credit subjects.
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 (NSC) need to pass a minimum of 4 subjects at a rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50-59%) or better from a designated list of subjects. The designated list is as follows:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Business Studies
- Dramatic Arts
- Engineering Graphics and Design
- Consumer Studies
- Information Technology
- Languages (one language of learning and teaching at a higher education institution and 2 other recognised language subjects)
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical Literacy
- Physical Sciences
- Religious Studies
- Visual Arts
- Applicants holding a South African Senior Certificate need matriculation endorsement.
- Applicants holding non-South African school-leaving certificates must qualify for a matriculation exemption certificate. For more information please visit the website of the Matriculation Board.
Minimum language proficiency
All applicants must have attained a certain level of proficiency in English and are required to submit evidence of this, as outlined below, as part of their application to study.
UCT language policy in respect of South African Senior Certificate undergraduate applicants:
- South African Senior Certificate undergraduate applicants to UCT must have achieved a pass of 40% or more on the Higher Grade in English (First or Second Language) at Senior Certificate level.
UCT language policy in respect of South African NSC undergraduate applicants:
- South African NSC undergraduate applicants to UCT, must have achieved a rating of 2 (Elementary Achievement, 30-40%) or better at Home Language or First Additional Language level.
UCT language policy in respect of applicants holding non-South African school-leaving certificates
- A pass in English language at A-level, As-level, IGCSE, GCSE or O-level, International Baccalaureate or a level equivalent to any of those listed here.
- A score of at least 570 (for the paper-based test) or at least 230 (for the computer-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The score must be obtained no more than five years prior to application.
- A recent overall band score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with no individual element of the test scoring below 6.0.
For further information on the IELTS and TOEFL exams, please
contact the UCT English Language Centre.
Calculating Admissions Points Score (APS)
The percentages achieved in National Senior Certificate examinations (preliminary and final examinations) will be allocated an admission score equal to that percentage.
The sum of 6 subjects, excluding Life Orientation, but including English and any required subject(s) for the relevant programme, is considered when deciding on admission. For example, for a given programme where Maths and Physical Sciences are required, we will take scores for English, Maths, Physical Sciences and the next best 3 subjects other than Life Orientation to compute the NSC score towards the APS.
Results below 40% for any subject do not attract a score.