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Information for Prospective Students

Undergraduate Students

What is Computer Science?

Computer Science forms part of 4 undergraduate degrees at UCT:

1. Computer Science is taught as a major subject in the BSc degree within the Science Faculty. If you wish, you may also take one of the following co-majors in your BSc: Computer Games Development, Business Computing or Computer Engineering. A co-major is optional, and if selected enables you to include some games, business or engineering courses within your Science degree.

2. Computing may be combined with Business Science; this double major course provides you with an understanding of scientific management as well as the skills of a computer scientist, which equips you for the consultancy profession.

3. Computing can be combined with Information Systems as part of a BComm degree within the Commerce Faculty. While Business Science is a 4-year degree offering breadth and depth of business knowledge along with Computer Science, the BComm in Information Systems and Computer Science is a 3-year degree offering fewer business courses and more computing courses.

4. You may also specialise in the field of Computer Engineering within the Electrical Engineering degree. This comprises mainly electrical engineering courses along with some Computer Science courses. It is popular with those who are practically minded, but does not include the full Computer Science major.

More details on Computer Science courses can be found under Teaching.

Entrance Requirements

What is expected of you? In the first place, you should be a very precise person and able to work out, step-by-step, the solution to a problem in a logical manner. You also need to be creative, resourceful, responsible and adaptable.

General academic entrance requirements can be found on UCT's website, while specific qualification requirements can be found in the Science Faculty Handbook (for BSc) or Commerce Faculty Handbook (for B Business Science or B Comm).

Career opportunities

A wide variety of well-remunerated careers are open to graduates in Computer Science who are in high demand.  Some examples include:

  • Systems Analyst/Designer: These people are in the link between the programmer and the user, converting the user's requirements into system designs.
  • Programmer (This is an entry level position): These are the people who convert systems designs into a form understood by the computer. Application programmers are concerned more with business requirements, whereas technical programmers are concerned primarily with more complex tasks.
  • Technical specialists: These are experts in areas such as Data Communication Networks, Databases and Operating Systems.
  • Research and development: in both University and commercial worlds is a very rewarding experience for those that are academically minded.

Postgraduate Students

The Department of Computer Science at UCT is a leading research institution in South Africa. Our academic staff are nationally and internationally active and recognized. Our research addresses the issues confronting our country: we actively pursue international excellence while addressing local needs.

We are looking for creative and enterprising students to join us. Postgraduate study in our Department means taking part in our research programmes, because all postgraduate degrees in Computer Science at UCT are research degrees. All degrees are evaluated externally by international experts, who have consistently praised their quality. Students publish internationally and frequently present their work at international conferences. Our graduates are actively recruited by national and international industry.

We can offer a unique learning and research experience. Our postgraduate programme promotes the professional growth of all participants. Exposure to local industry and the pressing issues confronting our profession in this country is part of the training. The study provides access to the network of commercial and industrial high-technology firms in this country and abroad which will position you for furthering your career. Our regular international exchange visits ensure that staff are kept up to date with the rapidly changing field. Foreign visitors allow students to benefit directly from their expertise and many students are given the opportunity to broaden their study and experience at international industrial and research centres.

Further information on Postgraduate Studies in the Computer Science department can be found in the Postgraduate Handbook.

Application Procedure

To apply for our Honours programme, go to the Honours application page. For any of our other postgraduate programmes:
  1. Please ensure that you first contact the department so that we know that you are applying and can expedite the application procedure.  For masters and doctoral applications please contact the appropriate course convenor.
  2. Then, follow the instructions on the UCT website. Applications for programmes by dissertation only are open throughout the year.
For programmes that include coursework (and this includes Honours) the closing date for applications for study in 2020 is at the end of September 2019 Foreign students are advised to apply a month earlier in view of delays that have been experienced in getting study visas. More information can also be obtained from the Science Faculty.

The Computer Science postgraduate course convenors are as follows:

Degrees Offered

The postgraduate Computer Science degrees are as follows:


UCT has information on funding for postgraduate students. UCT has internal funding for postgraduate students which is made available only if you have applied to the NRF first. Funding may also be available within research programmes for masters and doctoral studies: this should be discussed with prospective supervisors.

last modified 2019-06-16 15:54
Contributors: Edwin Blake