Honours Frequently Asked Questions
This page brings together answers to a number of questions that prospective students ask often. Of course the web page and booklet should be read as well as this.
- What are the various streams in honours?
CSC4016W: stream is for students who have not completed a BSc majoring Computer Science from UCT.
CSC4000W and CSC4003W, have BCS (British Computer Society) accreditation.
CSC4000W: is for Computer Science students who have a BSc in Computer Science from UCT
CSC4003W: is for Business Science students at UCT.
MAM4007W: Mathematics of Computer Science Honours Programme run jointly by the Mathematics Department and the Computer Science Department. The course is administered by the Mathematics Department.
- What are my chances of getting in?
Space is limited to about 45 students so it really depends on the level of other applicants in a particular year. If you have an overage of 65% or better in final year CS and similarly good marks for undergraduate courses in Mathematics and Computer Science then you are very likely to get in. If your marks are less than that then getting in will also depend on the motivation you can give for being allowed into honours.
- I am new to CS at UCT, anything I should get acquainted with before honours?
Based on comments by other students coming from outside UCT it might be worth your making an acquaintance with a flavour of the UNIX (Linux, Ubuntu) operating system if you do not know it already. Many UCT Computer Scientists follow an experimental approach to research: this means you will develop and test systems in an appropriate programming language of your choice. Sometimes the experimental device forces you to use a particular language (e.g., 'C' for GPU programming with CUDA) so it might be worth picking up some other language if all you currently know is java (you could also consider languages like C++ or Python). Of course at honours level you should be able to pick up any new language ...
- Does the Department offer a part-time honours programme?
This department does not offer a part-time honours (it has never done so and currently has no plans to do so in the future). We are discussing the possibility of having members of our industrial advisory board offering one year internships half-way through honours but this is not yet been accepted.
- What is the workload?
We expect students to spend between 44 and 48 hours per week on their studies. Experience shows that towards the end of the year students often put in "crunch" time to finish the project. Honours is 160 credits spread over 35 weeks. The course work component is 100 credits and the project 60 credits. For more details have a look at this year's honours handbook.
- Can I do outside work to earn some money while doing honours?
No. You are not allowed to do any outside work during the honours year since that would impact on your studies. Please ensure that you have adequate funding for the year. You may be able to get a 4hr/week tutoring job in the Department. If funding is an issue then please see the Funding section in our honours applicants page you can also contact the honours coordinator.
- I will find it difficult to make it on time for the start of honours. Can I have permission to arrive late?
The Honours course starts two weeks before the normal start of the University year. During the first fortnight you will commence some of the mandatory Computer Science Honours modules. It is therefore not possible to obtain permission to arrive late for the course and failure to arrive on time unfortunately means automatic disqualification from the course.
- What is the timetable like?
The lecture timetable is dynamically put together according to the offerings of modules in a particular year. The year is divided into three lecturing blocks (roughly the first three quarters of the year) followed by a period dedicated to doing the project only. However outside courses do not adhere to this.
- How am I going to fit in an outside course into the honours timetable?
By negotiation! Success is not guaranteed. The only outside course that we explicitly cater for is "Business Strategy" for the Business Science Students, have a look at the honours booklet for more on doing outside courses.