What are the Requirements to Study Medicine at Uct

Eligibility for admission

The admission requirements differ depending on what you want to study. The criteria for certificate courses, diplomas and degrees is listed below:

Undergraduate Certificate Study

To confirm eligibility for admission to undergraduate certificate study, applicants must consult the Admissions Office or the faculty concerned.

Undergraduate Diploma Study

The minimum requirement for admission to undergraduate diploma study is a National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by Umalusi with an achievement rating of 3 (Moderate Achievement, 40-49%) or better in 4 recognised NSC 20-credit subjects.

Bachelor’s Degree Study

To be eligible for admission to degree study, applicants need to meet minimum requirements for eligibility:

  • Applicants holding a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) need to pass a minimum of 4 subjects at a rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50-59%) or better from a designated list of subjects. The designated list is as follows:
    • Accounting
    • Agricultural Sciences
    • Business Studies
    • Dramatic Arts
    • Economics
    • Engineering Graphics and Design
    • Geography
    • History
    • Consumer Studies
    • Information Technology
    • Languages (one language of learning and teaching at a higher education institution and 2 other recognised language subjects)
    • Life Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematical Literacy
    • Music
    • Physical Sciences
    • Religious Studies
    • Visual Arts
  • Applicants holding a South African Senior Certificate need matriculation endorsement.
  • Applicants holding non-South African school-leaving certificates must qualify for a matriculation exemption certificate. For more information please visit the website of the Matriculation Board.

Minimum language proficiency

All applicants must have attained a certain level of proficiency in English and are required to submit evidence of this, as outlined below, as part of their application to study.

South African Senior Certificate undergraduate applicants

  • South African Senior Certificate undergraduate applicants to UCT must have achieved a pass of 40% or more on the Higher Grade in English (First or Second Language) at Senior Certificate level.

South African NSC undergraduate applicants

  • South African NSC undergraduate applicants to UCT, must have achieved a rating of 2 (Elementary Achievement, 30-40%) or better at Home Language or First Additional Language level.

Applicants holding non-South African school-leaving certificates

For further information on the IELTS and TOEFL exams, please contact the UCT English Language Centre.

Calculating Admissions Points Score (APS)

The percentages achieved in National Senior Certificate examinations (preliminary and final examinations) will be allocated an admission score equal to that percentage.

The sum of 6 subjects, excluding Life Orientation, but including English and any required subject(s) for the relevant programme, is considered when deciding on admission. For example, for a given programme where Maths and Physical Sciences are required, we will take scores for English, Maths, Physical Sciences and the next best 3 subjects other than Life Orientation to compute the NSC score towards the APS.

Results below 40% for any subject do not attract a score.


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.