The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public South African higher institution rated among Africa’s top universities and for a good reason. It boasts of hosting over 29000 students from different nationalities worldwide, with an average of 7200 of those students graduating annually. Its research centre is among the finest on the continent, with the team working endlessly on various projects such as using palladium to fight cancer.
UCT is famous for supporting innovative ideas and bringing forth students with an excellent approach to effectively improving themselves and society through critical thinking and analysis. UCT supports sports, volunteering, and building sustainable networks, and student leadership.
Students can apply to acquire a degree in any of the 6 faculties, including Law and Science, Commerce, Humanities, Health Sciences, Engineering & the Built Environment. The student-staff ratio is 11.7, which is considerably lower than other tertiary institutions. This article will discuss how to apply to UCT, the requirements, application dates, and registration.
How to Apply (online and offline)
Undergraduate students can apply both online and offline, while postgraduate students can only apply online.
- Create a valid email address using either yahoo, Gmail, or any other suitable email hosting platform. It’s better to use your first and last name to make your email address look more professional. Use a password that you can easily remember but difficult to guess. Let it have symbols, numbers, and letters. Your password is personal. Please do not share it with anybody.
- Visit the official website of the University of Cape Town at http://www.uct.ac.za/ to apply online.
- Click the select option underneath” I AM A” and choose” prospective student”.
- Click the select option again underneath” AND I WANT” and choose” to apply to UCT”.
- Click” submit” to upload your responses. It’ll take you to the next tab.
- If you are a South African student from a low-income family in need of assistance, you can apply to UCT through the Nsfas platform. Create a Nsfas account, apply, and regularly check the result of your application. Please note that international students cannot apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme that the South African government offers annually.
- International prospective students applying to study at the master’s or doctorate level can apply for the International Academic Scholarship Award. It helps reduce the cost of the international fee.
Here are the steps to apply offline| Hard-copy
- Contact the admissions office of the University of Cape Town to get an application form. Fill it in following the instructions the authorities give you.
- Attach all required documents to the application form and cross-check them.
- Pay the required non-refundable application fee through the banking service of UCT. Attach proof of payment to your other documents.
- You can submit the application form through the postal service to The admissions office, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701 South Africa. You can also submit it personally at the admissions office.
- All students are required to pay an application fee. Students from any of the 16 countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) must pay a non-refundable fee of R100 while International students pay R300, which can be refunded depending on the situation.
- Provide proof of payment of the required admission fees.
- Submit certified true copies of your Grade 11 and Grade 12 results. If you apply before your Grade 12 results are released, do well to submit them whenever they are released.
- If you are a student from another school (transfer student), submit true copies of your academic records and transcripts.
- You need some form of student identification. Use your ID number to apply if you are a South African national and use your passport number if you are an international student.
- You also need a certified copy of the green barcoded ID.
- Check the requirements that are specific to the faculty you want to apply to. Remember that you can only have two options. Carefully choose your best two.
- If you are a late applicant, you may be asked to pay a non-refundable confirmation deposit to keep your space in the program you chose. This should only happen after UCT accepts you.
- South African undergraduate applicants with a Senior Certificate are expected to have had at least a 40% pass on the Higher Grade in English at the level of Senior Certificate.
- Or you can use your NSC results if you had at least 30% at First Additional Language or Home language level.
Here are extra requirements for international students.
- You need to be at least 18 years old.
- Have a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale to stand a better chance. However, you may apply if your cumulative GPA is less than this, but you must submit additional documents. Submit a personal academic that addresses your specific academic challenges, why you have such a GPA, why you chose the program you want to study and how it aligns with your academic path.
- You also need a recommendation letter from a professor in your former school outlining why you should be accepted at UCT.
- Have a good relationship with your former school as a transfer student or even as a student that’s fresh from high school.
- International students require a study visa. It advisable that you apply for a passport and visa early enough so that it does not serve as a barrier when you want to apply as a prospective student. Also, it’s advisable to have a passport that expires 6 months after the completion of your studies at UCT. It gives you time to round up and make corrections if any.
International students who do not have English as a first language or did not pass it at the final secondary school leaving exam or did not go to a school where English is the medium of communication have to write an English proficiency test. They may provide one of the following English proficiency test results;
- Valid IELTS Academic Test Report Form of no more than 2 years with at least 6.0 in each component having an overall score band of at least 6.5.
- A valid National Benchmark Test Literary Plus score report of not more than 3 years of age with an intermediate, upper range overall score.
- A valid TOEFL iBT scores report of not more than 2 years with a minimum overall score of 88, at least 19 in Writing and Listening, 22 and 20 in Speaking and Reading, respectively.
- Successful completion of the University of Capetown (UCT) International English Pathway Programme is also accepted as proof of English language proficiency.
- A valid Pearson PTE Academic score report of not more than 2 years with a minimum of 59 in each communicative skills department and an overall score of at least 67.
- Application to the University of Cape Town for the 2021/2023 academic year starts on the 1st of May 2021 for all undergraduate programs. It will close on the 31st of August. You are encouraged to apply as soon as your documents, application fee, and mind are ready to study at UCT. Remember, UCT has a limited number of spaces, and you stand a greater chance of getting accepted if you apply early.
- Apply for student housing before the 31st of August using the UCT application portal if you wish to stay on campus. Again, UCT accepts only a handful of applications due to limited space. Ensure you apply early and with good reason. It is not a separate application, but it is found within the application to study at UCT.
- If you are a low-income South African student in need of financial assistance, apply to the Nsfas. The application starts on the 1st of August 2021 and must be done online. The application portal closes on the 30th of November, 2021.
The University of Capetown has a total of 6 faculties. 3 of those faculties host both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Kindly contact the specific facility you want to be a part of. The faculties include;
- Faculty of Science (undergraduate)
- Faculty of Commerce (undergraduate)
- Faculty of Health Sciences (undergraduate)
- Faculty of Humanities (undergraduate)
- Faculty of Health Sciences for (postgraduate)
- Faculty of Commerce (postgraduate)
- Faculty of Health Sciences (postgraduate)
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.
Summarily, the University of Cape Town is an open arena for study, research, and networking. UCT values every student and has top-notch professors to provide their students with the highest quality of education. Being the top-ranking university in all of Africa, little wonder they receive thousands of applications year in, year out.
While South African students may have a hard time getting their documents ready to apply to UCT, international students may face a bigger challenge. It isn’t just about getting admitted into the institution; it is about staying there and improving on your academics, way of thinking, and even socializing. We hope this guide will help you through the process.