University of Cape Town UCT Prospectus 2021

UCT Prospectus

This UCT prospectus 2021 is a guide for school-leavers and others who are interested in studying for a first qualification at the University of Cape Town.

The University of Cape Town is number one on the top universities in Africa 2020 list. Thus making it the topmost destination for foreign students.

This 2020 prospectus introduces you to life at UCT, describing the campus and detailing the services and facilities provided for students. Details of all undergraduate programs offered are provided.

It contains all undergraduate courses, contact info, and other key information. Here is a link to download UCT prospectus 2021 pdf.

Download prospectus

We recommend that you also visit the websites of faculties and departments in which you may be interested. To help you understand the contents of this prospectus, we list below some of the terms that are used in this prospectus and what meant by these terms.

Before you continue reading, watch this short video about the University of Cape Town (UCT). The University is number one in Africa when it comes to graduate employability.

Admission Points Score (APS)

This is the measure of your academic achievement based on your school-leaving results (or an acceptable equivalent).

The APS either on its own or (as in some faculties) combined with your NBT scores produces a Faculty Points Score (FPS) which we use to rank applicants.

Admissions selection criteria

These are used to select who will be accepted to study at UCT. First, the school decides who has met the (minimum) admission requirements. Then, the admissions selection criteria for the program concerned is applied.


You (A person who applies to study for a degree, diploma, or certificate). Once you register at UCT, you become a student.

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Application fee

This is the fee required as part of your application. It is non-refundable, even if your application is unsuccessful.

Applicant number

An alpha-numeric number will be allocated to you to identify and track your application.

It normally consists of the first three consonants of your surname, and the first three characters of your first name, followed by a unique three-digit number.

It is important that you quote this number in any subsequent correspondence that you have with us.

Applicant status

Once you have submitted your application, you can check the progress of your application on the UCT website. You will need to use your application number or personal details to access information.

Disadvantage factor

This is a percentage, between 0 and 10%, by which we adjust the FPS of South African NSC candidates to arrive at the WPS.

The disadvantage factor is in turn derived from factors related to the disadvantage experienced by applicants in their school and at home.

Early conditional offer

This is an offer of admission, made during the course of the year preceding admission, which is conditional on performance in your final school examinations. Early conditional offers are not made to all applicants.

An early conditional offer will be withdrawn if the conditions for admission are not met.

Faculty Points Score (FPS)

This is the score we use to rank applicants. In two faculties it combines the APS and NBT scores. In other faculties, it is the APS.


A faculty is a grouping of departments that offers specific degree and diploma programs. There are six faculties at UCT.

Matriculation / Matriculation Endorsement

If you obtain an NSC endorsed for bachelor’s degree study you do not need a matriculation certificate or a certificate of exemption.

If your school-leaving certificate is from another examining authority you will need to obtain a matriculation exemption certificate.

Minimum Admission requirements

What you must have: for example, Mathematics is required for admission to some programs. These are necessary requirements you must meet but are not necessarily sufficient for entry.

National Benchmark Tests (NBT)

All applicants to undergraduate programs living in, or at school in, South Africa, and all Health Sciences applicants, must write the NBTs. The NBTs comprises of three tests.

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National Senior Certificate (NSC)

Since 2008, South African school-leavers write the NSC examinations. This may be under the auspices of one of three examining authorities:

  • The Department of Basic Education (DBE),
  • The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) or
  • The South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI).

Scores in this prospectus are calculated for NSC applicants.


Students enter a degree, diploma or certificate program, which is a combination of subjects that have been constructed to provide you with a particular knowledge and skills base and leads to a qualification.

Redress Category

The redress category is derived, for South African applicants only, from the racial classification of their parents during Apartheid.


If you are offered a study place, you must sign up before the start of the first term. This is called registration. Registration gives you student status, commits you to a certain program, and to pay fees for it.

School subject requirements

The subjects and ratings that you must obtain to be considered for admission for a particular degree or diploma program.

Obtaining the NSC with a bachelor’s endorsement and meeting the minimum admission requirement does not guarantee admission to the University.


A university student registered for a first degree or an undergraduate diploma. This Prospectus is intended for you if you wish to be admitted to an undergraduate program at UCT.

Weighted Points Score (WPS)

For South African NSC applicants only, this is the faculty points score weighted by the disadvantage factor applicable to each applicant.

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