University Of Cape Town Music Department

University Of Cape Town Music Department

University Of Cape Town Music Department, The University of Cape Town’s, music department is known internationally as the South African College of Music (SACM) and is considered to be the leading music school in South Africa. It offers a diverse range of degrees and diplomas in disciplines including African Music, Composition, Jazz, Opera, Western Classical Music and World Music.

The SA College of Music staff includes some of our foremost internationally acclaimed performing artists, academics and composers. Our graduates continue to dominate the arenas of performance and academia. Some of our alumni include: Maria Jooste (who was a finalist at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera auditions in New York City in 2002): Pumeza Matshikiza (Opera singer in London),Salaelo Selota (jazz guitar), Jimmy Dludlu (jazz guitar), Melanie Scholtz (jazz vocalist); and François du Toit (concert pianist), to name a few.

Our diverse offerings are in the following areas:

Western Classical Music: The SA College of Music boasts one of the best student orchestras in South Africa with regular performances in the Baxter Concert Hall and at other venues throughout the Western Cape. The practical staff rank among the best performers nationally, and many enjoy prominent international careers. The quality of students and the teaching at the SACM is reflected in the dominance of our students as prize-winners at national and international competitions. In addition to performance studies, the SACM also has resident two of South Africa’s best-known composers as well as prominent research staff in theoretical and historical musicology.

Opera: The opera studies programme is world-renowned and offers full operatic training in conjunction with Cape Town Opera which enables students to receive practical training while at the same time taking part in professional operatic performances, as well as in the Opera School’s own productions at the Baxter and Artscape Theatres.

Jazz: The jazz studies programmes were introduced in 1989 and are now among the College of Music’s most exciting offerings. The SACM’s Big Band has performed to critical acclaim throughout South Africa, and most prominently at the annual National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The jazz staff, all of whom are among the top jazz artists and composers in our country, teach academic and practical courses. They also present public concerts featuring their students, members of the local jazz community and themselves.

African Music: The programmes in African Music include teaching, performance and research. The SA College of Music is host to one of the largest existing collections of indigenous African Music instruments, namely the Kirby Collection. In 2003, the SACM was awarded a generous grant from the SA Lotteries Board to preserve and re-house this collection in a museum and research setting

Postgraduate students from the college fill numerous positions ranging from teaching, playing in bands, ensembles and/or orchestras, or acting as arts managers or managers of musicological archives. Some return as lecturers, sharing their knowledge with the next generation of students.

Visit the South African College of Music website.


The Faculty of Science is home to approximately 2 600 students, of which some 36% are postgraduate research students registered in the 12 academic departments – Archaeology, Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental & Geographical Science, Geological Sciences, Mathematics & Applied Mathematics, Molecular & Cell Biology, Oceanography, Physics and Statistical Sciences. All departments are located on Upper Campus. There are about 185 academic staff and some 160 support staff who provide for our undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Undergraduate teaching is a cornerstone of our activities and the Faculty offers 20 different majors, with possibilities to co-major in subjects located in other Faculties. Our majors are loosely organised into three clusters – those in the biology, earth and environmental sciences, those in the chemical and molecular sciences, and those in the numerical and physical sciences. Details of the majors we offer and their home departments can be found here. Our Bachelor of Science degree leads naturally on to a number of different Honours degrees that relate to the undergraduate major(s) offered by the various departments. Details of Honours degrees offered can be found here.

The Faculty of Science prides itself on the high regard in which it is held by the international academic community, reflected in part by international world university and subject rankings. According to the latest QS rankings, the Science Faculty at UCT places in the band 51-100 top universities in the Earth and Marine Sciences and in the band 101-150 in the Biological and Environmental Sciences. In part, the national and international prominence of our staff is captured in the high number of researchers rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) system as having leading or prominent international standing (18 A-rated, 64 B-rated, 60 C-rated and 7 P-rated). Much of this international recognition comes from the strong research programmes run by our Faculty staff, in collaboration with international colleagues, the rigorous doctoral programmes offered by the Faculty, and through the resultant research output. Research emanating from the Faculty is published by a mixture of 185 permanent academic staff, over 80 Honorary Research Associates, ~400 doctoral students, ~140 postdoctoral fellows, 14 South African Research Chairs, 14 Senior Scholars, and international collaborators from across the world. An important component of our research takes place through 16 formal university accredited intra- and inter-disciplinary research groupings, and an NRF Centre of Excellence, details of which can be found here.

University Research Fellows in the Faculty

A Fellowship of the University of Cape Town is the highest honour the university accords a member of the academic staff in recognition of research achievement. The following are current members of the staff of the Science Faculty who are Fellows of the University of Cape Town.

Name Department
Professor IV Barashenkov Mathematics & Applied Mathematics
Professor S Bourne Chemistry
Professor K Chibale Chemistry
Professor A Chinsamy-Turan Biological Sciences
Professor TJ Egan Chemistry
Professor J Farrant Molecular & Cell Biology
Professor G Janelidze Mathematics & Applied Mathematics
Professor R Kraan-Korteweg Astronomy
Professor HP Kunzi Mathematics & Applied Mathematics
Professor AP le Roex Geological Sciences
Professor BD Reddy Mathematics & Applied Mathematics
Professor S Richardson Geological Sciences
Professor E Rybicki Molecular & Cell Biology
Professor JC Sealy Archaeology

Distinguished Teacher Award

The Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) is the highest accolade given to teaching staff at all levels within the university and recognises excellence in teaching. The following are current members of staff of the Science Faculty who have received the award:

Name Department Year
Dr MD Picker Zoology 1996
Associate Professor IV Barashenkov Mathematics 1998
Dr T Egan Chemistry 1999
Dr S Oldfield Environmental & Geographical Science 2002
Dr A Buffler Physics/ CHED 2002
Dr DW Gammon Chemistry 2003
Dr B Davidowitz Chemistry/ CHED 2004
Dr R Ackermann Archaeology 2006
Dr MJ O’Riain Zoology 2008
Dr G Smith Chemistry 2011
Dr Z Woodman Molecular & Cell Biology 2012
Associate Professor J Gain Computer Science 2014
Dr S Wheaton Physics 2014
Dr A West Biological Sciences 2015