The Commerce Faculty welcomes international full-degree and "semester study abroad" students. This page is a guide to assist you in finding a course that best meets your needs. Further information on courses is available from the Commerce Faculty Office.
You may register for any courses for which you have the appropriate time available and the requisite background skills and knowledge.
The academic pre-requisites for all courses offered are included in the Faculty of Commerce handbook.
The University of Cape Town operates on a calendar year system from February - November. The year is divided into two semesters: First Semester which runs from February to June, and Second Semester which runs from July to November. Any courses marked with a suffix H or W run over both semesters and require a full year of study. Semesterised courses have a suffix F (first semester) or S (second semester) at the end of the course code.
It is important to note that registration for a course commits a student to participating fully in all aspects of that course; this may entail group work, projects or field trips. It is important to establish the requirements of courses you are considering if you are not certain of your ability to commit. Withdrawal from courses once group work has commenced is very disruptive to other students on the course and we urge you to find out as much as you can about our courses before you register. International students are also required to follow the standard rules and procedures for examinations. Please consult the academic calendar, paying particular attention to term and exam periods before committing yourself to a course.
Notes are located in each individual disciplines to assist you in your selection
There are two levels of approval required
From past experience with international students, the most suitable courses tend to be:
The following courses offered by the Accounting department are not suitable for most semester abroad students. They are very technical and based on IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) or the S.A. Tax legislation as they are designed for students writing the professional South African Chartered Accountancy examinations. In addition the 2nd and 3rd year accounting courses are very dependent on preceding courses and the teaching philosophy used.
For further information, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, or to the Department of Accounting website.
Semester study abroad (SSA) students are eligible to enrol for any of the economics courses offered at the undergraduate level, provided they meet the minimum requirements. At the first year level, ECO1010F/S and ECO1011F/S (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, respectively) are basic entry-level economics courses. In addition, we offer ECO1006F, which is a course for “non-specialists” and is designed for students not wishing to proceed any further with economics (i.e., it is a first year terminating economics course).
The second-year courses, ECO2003F (Intermediate Microeconomics), ECO2004S (Intermediate Macroeconomics), ECO2007S (Cooperation and Competition), and ECO2008S (Development Economics), focus on developing and enriching the concepts, ideas and models introduced in the first-year courses. ECO2007S is a particularly popular course among SSA students, and it involves a combination of game theory and logic.
ECO3020F (Advanced Macroeconomics and Microeconomics), ECO3024F (International Trade and Finance), ECO3009F (Natural Resource Economics), ECO3021S (Quantitative Methods in Economics), ECO3022S (Advanced Labour Economics), ECO3023S (Public Sector Economics), ECO3016 (History of Economic Thought), and ECO3025S (Applied International Trade Bargaining) are the third year courses on offer in the School of Economics. From past experience, the ECO3025S class has been popular among SSA students, as it is an interactive, research-based simulation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) where the students represent assigned countries at a multilateral forum.
Please note that due to their quantitative nature, ECO3020F and ECO3021S require that students have successfully completed a first-year university-level mathematics course, which covers differential calculus, and a first-year university-level course in statistics.
Students who do not meet the pre-requisites for ECO3000-level courses can apply to the Concessions Committee in the School of Economics for exemption. Note, though, that if a concession is granted then the student bears the full risk of taking the course and no leniency will be shown.
For further information, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, or to the School of Economics website.
Finance and Tax
International students are eligible to enrol for any of the Finance courses offered at the undergraduate level, provided they meet the minimum requirements. This usually means that a student needs a sufficient academic background to satisfy the specific course prerequisites, which can be found in Faculty of Commerce handbook.
The following courses are available:
Entry level courses requiring no prerequisites
Higher level courses requiring some prior exposure to finance, and (in some cases) accounting, economics and statistics:
International students who have no previous knowledge of Information Systems (IS) or Computer Science would first need to complete Information Systems 1 (INF1002F/S) before attempting any other IS courses.
Students with prior IS and accounting background may register for Information Technology in Business (INF2004F).
For students with suitable IS knowledge the following semester courses are popular choices:
Other IS courses at 2nd and 3rd year level are intended for students following a 3-year IS major. Because of the close integration of course material and prerequisites consultation with a student advisor is needed prior to registration.
For further information, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, or to the Department of Information Systems website.
The School of Management Studies comprises several sections: Actuarial Science, Marketing, Organisational Psychology, General Business Science (offering Evidence-Based Management and Professional Communication) and the Postgraduate Diplomas in Management (Entrepreneurship, Sport, Marketing and Tourism and Event Management).
The senior courses offered in the School require that students have prior knowledge and understanding of that and other areas, so it is therefore essential that international students wishing to enrol for a senior course (a course offered in second, third or fourth year) contact the Head of the appropriate section in order to determine whether they meet the prerequisites for that course.
With a few exceptions, international students may register for any of the introductory courses offered in Management Studies. The courses offered Actuarial Science, for instance, require strong mathematical abilities, so it makes sense that access to these courses would be more restricted.
There are, however, many courses offered on the Postgraduate Diplomas in Management that do not require prior knowledge or understanding of that subject area, and so these are always a popular choice for senior international students wishing to broaden their knowledge and experience.
Some of the courses offered by the School that need no prerequisites and have been popular with international students are:
In addition to these courses, there are a few courses at 4th-year level that are available to senior students in their equivalent year at their home university. These courses (subject to availability of spaces and assessment of suitability) are:
In addition, there are several 4th-year level Marketing courses offered in 2nd semester that are available to students who have previously completed an introductory course in Marketing and who would like to deepen their knowledge and understanding in the more specialised aspects of Marketing.
If in doubt as to whether you meet the prerequisites for any of the Management Studies courses, contact the Head of the School.
Phone: +27 21 650 2822 / 3740
Fax: +27 21 650 5667
International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO)
University of Cape Town
South Africa Physical Address:
International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO)
3 - 4 Lovers Walk