University of Cape Town(UCT) Courses

The faculties

Click on the faculty image below to download the relevant handbook and explore your course options

Faculty of Commerce

The commerce faculty is the largest of all the faculties at UCT and continues to expand the programmes it offers its students. Commerce degree programmes prepare students for the personnel needs of the fast-growing world of financial service industries and prepare them for participation in the global economy. The Commerce Faculty receives strong support from international agencies, and remains committed to engagement with the African continent. Commerce degrees and diplomas prepare you for the employment needs of the expanding world of business and professional financial services and equip you to participate in the global economy.

Download theundergraduate handbook here
Download the postgraduate handbook here.

Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

In the industrial revolution – the age of the foundation of engineering – there was an assumption that the planet would always have sufficient resources to provide. However, we are now required to develop skills to take into account an understanding of the world – one that recognises that resources are limited; one that appreciates the complexity and inter-relatedness of systems. Instead of a straight line leading from ‘here’ to ‘progress’, there is a need to think about multiple pathways and plurality, diversity and difference. It is the connections and reconnections between people and ideas, networks and flows and the richness of diversity and multiplicity that are key. Against this backdrop of a changing world, the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment (EBE) is determined to build on the strengths of the past and to embrace the challenges of the future facing Africa and the global community. 

Download the undergraduate handbook here.
Download the postgraduate handbook here.

Faculty of Humanities

With close to 6 000 students, the Faculty of Humanities is the second largest faculty at UCT. Three-quarters of our student population is at undergraduate level. The faculty comprises 16 vibrant academic departments located in three main clusters: the arts, the social sciences, and the performing and creative arts. Common to all is a focus on the human condition, in all its dimensions. With four DST/NRF SARChI Research Chairs, two Mellon Research Chairs as well as 86 new and renewed NRF-rated researchers, the faculty enjoys a strong tradition in interdisciplinary research and teaching. Our academics equip students with skills that are crucial for engaging with the material and non-material aspects of being human. We produce exceptional graduates who possess imagination, insight, mental agility and analytical skills. We prepare young people for a variety of career paths in the public and private sectors, in the media space, in the NGO sector and in research and academia.

Download the undergraduate handbook here.
Download the postgraduate handbook here.

Faculty of Law

The law faculty attracts excellent students from diverse backgrounds, and this makes for a rich learning environment. Our graduates are highly sought after. Student initiatives such as the Social Justice Seminars and LAWCO are recognised as excellent, and the student leadership (both the Law Students’ Council and the Black Law Students’ Forum) are very strong. Unique to our LLB is the incorporation of 60 hours of community service so our students graduate with a sense of their role in society. In line with our view that teaching should be research-led, the faculty has excellent staff, both as teachers and as researchers, and as leading authors on their subjects. The first DST/NRF SARChI Research Chair in Humanities was given to the faculty; two professors are A-rated researchers and fourteen are NRF-rated researchers. Two of our staff members have been awarded Distinguished Teachers’ Awards and in 2009 the faculty won two international teaching awards. Last but not least, the excellent law library is linked to major electronic databases and houses 284 top-class journals and more than 85 000 books.

Download the faculty handbook (undergraduate and postgraduate) here.

Faculty of Science

The science faculty is, by various measures, the best in the country: it has the largest number of scientists who have been rated through a rigorous process of international evaluation, and within this group it has the largest number who are acknowledged to be world leaders in their fields, and who hold an “A” rating. Thus undergraduate and postgraduate programmes benefit by being developed and taught side-by-side with cutting-edge research.

Download the faculty handbook (undergraduate and postgraduate) here.

Some of our most popular courses include: 


Gender, Sexuality and Politics -AXL2100F 

This course explores debates around gender and sexualities as a way both of deepening knowledge about the politics of gender continentally, and of exploring the complexity of different African contexts’ engagement with broad discussions on sexual rights.

African Dance – TDP1800F 

This is a beginner-level course covering the fundamental principles of African dance and music. It is located in an open-ended Pan African dance technique. The technique draws from key movements from all over the African continent as well as the diaspora.


Race, Class, and Gender – SOC2004S

This course introduces and critically examines various understandings of the social categories ‘race’, ‘class’, and gender, among others. We use theories of social constructionism to analyse these categories in the historical, political, cultural, economic, and national contexts.

Culture, Identity & Globalisation in Africa – AXL2200S 

The course highlights Africa’s experience of globalization, focusing on the challenges and opportunities which globalisation presents, particularly on cultures and identities in the continent.


International Trade and Finance – ECO3024F 

The course covers many topics including the determinants of international trade flows, trade policy, exchange rates and open-economy macroeconomics, and international macroeconomic policy. The course draws upon empirical evidence to verify whether the theories 152 DEPARTMENTS IN THE FACULTY OF COMMERCE taught in the course are relevant in explaining South Africa’s performance in the international economy.

Development Economics – ECO2008S 


The course provides an introduction to development economics.   These include the meaning of development, economic growth, inequality, and poverty. In addition, the course deals with resource mobilisation, agricultural and industrial development, globalization, and sustainable development.  Considerable attention is devoted to key debates.


Global Change and Ecology – BIO3013F 

This course explores the drivers of global change, both natural (e.g. Milankovitch cycles, tectonic drift) and anthropogenic (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, land-use change), and then examine  


how these drivers influence (and are influenced by) terrestrial and marine biological systems.

Contemporary Urban Challenges in the South African City -EGS2014S 

The course focuses on urban change in South Africa, drawing together historical and contemporary analysis of the South African city. Divided into three parts, the course includes a section on the historical geography of the South African city to contextualise contemporary challenges, and explores two sets of issues: race and gender politics in South African cities; and challenges of services delivery and natural systems in South African cities. 


Crime and Deviance in South African Cities – PBL2800F 

 This course examines the nature of deviance, crime, and criminality in South Africa, from both historical and current viewpoints. This discussion will draw freely from the international, criminological debate and locate those debates within a developing context.

Also, explore responses to crime in the South African context and focus on crime policies that have been developed as well as community and private sector initiatives to
address issues of crime and violence. 


African Instruments – TDP1800F 

African Music provides large-group practical training in African performance skills in order to prepare students for the professional stage. Sessions will be aimed at further developing the interpretative and performance skills built-in African Instrument courses, enhancing the micro-work done in one-to-one practical study classes through participation in large scale performances for the stage under the guidance and tutorship of professional performers. 

Afrikaans – SLL1042F 

The course enables students with no prior knowledge of Afrikaans to develop a basic competency in the language, which is required


for basic daily interactions. Afrikaans grammar is taught within context, appropriate vocabulary is systematically expanded and a variety of relevant written and oral activities are provided to facilitate comprehension. 

Xhosa Communication – 


This course takes students from zero knowledge of Xhosa to a good, basic competency in the language. The course actively engages students in acquiring the language through a series of well-developed modules with an integrated approach to acquiring speaking, writing, and comprehension skills in Xhosa. Students are taught about different varieties of Xhosa and how to use these appropriately in social contexts.