Occasional Studies is the UCT programme for students wanting to take one or two courses for non-degree purposes. This could be for general interest, to supplement a degree you already hold, or for credit towards your programme of study at another university.

Visiting occasional students are not awarded a UCT qualification.

Students must typically have completed a degree or be registered for a degree at a non-South African university to be eligible. A South African matriculation exemption is required for acceptance into this programme at undergraduate level.

Occasional studies for course enrolment

Occasional studies students enrol in courses and are taught alongside full-degree UCT students.  You will be required to attend classes and write exams.  On completion, you will receive a transcript of learning.

Our most popular occasional studies programme is the Semester Study Abroad programme.  Students taking a semester’s worth of courses will be automatically enrolled in the SSA programme.

Exchange students from UCT’s international partner universities should apply for admission to the Semester Study Abroad programme.

Occasional studies for research

Visiting international students who are not taking UCT taught courses but wish to pursue research towards studies at their own university by using UCT’s libraries and other facilities, can apply to spend between 2 and 12 months at UCT as an occasional studies student.

An international occasional research student does not attend lectures, work at UCT, or write examinations, but may participate in research seminars and activities. International occasional students pursuing research register as a student at UCT, enrol in a research course, and receive a transcript of attendance.

International occasional students who hope to have research supervision must make arrangements with the host department noting that access to a co-supervisor is subject to availability.

Before applying, make contact with a UCT department to ensure you will be welcome, and that the department has the necessary resources (with mutual understanding of expectations) to accommodate you and provide supervision.

To apply, you will need:

  • Transcripts of all your higher education qualifications
  • A personal statement outlining why you wish to visit
  • Your research proposal
  • A letter of invitation from the hosting department
  • Confirmation that you are registered at another university for a research qualification (Masters or PhD)
  • Confirmation from your home university and supervisor that they support your request to pursue research abroad

Occasional research student fees are levied for periods of attendance (or part thereof).

Exchange students from UCT’s international partner universities who wish to attend for co-supervision or research only, should apply via this route .