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Course Components

About Courses


Course list - all postgraduate courses on offer


Timetabling/scheduling and distance learning

No evening classes

Seminars are set during normal day-time hours (i.e. no evening classes).

Distance learning

The department does not offer distance learning/courses via correspondence.


Duration of courses

Courses take place over one semester and comprise typically a series of 2- to 3-hour seminars once a week over the course of 10 to 12 weeks (total duration per course is 24 hours).  Some are taught in "block" format over a shorter period - although this is the exception, not the norm.


Who may attend

Courses are available to all students who are accepted and registered for the Politics postgraduate programmes.  Your selection of courses would need to be approved by your programme convenor at registration time.

Courses are also available to Honours and Masters students registered for other postgraduate programmes within UCT.

Qualified occasional students may also apply for entry into courses, subject to the entry requirements of particular courses. These may be local applicants who wish to register for single, "once-off" courses, or Semester Study Abroad students who want to do one or more courses with us during their semester at UCT.  Provision is made for this in the application form.  The term used is "Occasional Postgraduate", and the application code is SSHZ02.  Semester Study Abroad students apply under the codes SSHZ91 or 2, depending on whether they are studying in the first or second semesters. 

Study-abroad students who are in their 4th year of undergraduate study may be permitted to enrol for our postgraduate courses at the discretion of the course convenor, provided the class is not over-subscribed.

Please note that in instances where classes are heavily subscribed, it is departmental policy to give Politics degree programme students preference.


Minimum enrolment numbers

Except for the designated and compulsory programme core courses all core electives and elective options are offered conditional on a minimum number of students registering for the course.


2-Year Cycle

While most courses (usually core courses) repeat every year, there are some that will only be held every alternate year.  Other courses may only be held occasionally, depending on lecturer availability.

For an idea of our course cycle, see here.


Assessment

Marks assessment is through the submission of a major assignment and/or examination, and may also include marks for participation, presentations, reports, tests or minor assignments.


4000- and 5000-level courses:

FAQ: Must Honours students take only 4000-level courses and Masters only 5000-level courses?

Honours students may take either 4000- or 5000-level courses.  Masters students may take a maximum of two 4000-level courses (the remainder should be at 5000-level).  All course choices are subject to the entry requirements of individual courses and the requirements of the programme for which students are enrolled,


Core Courses, Core Electives, Approved Electives - explanation

This information is applicable for students who are registered for a specific degree programme.

In order to provide for a general grounding in particular areas of concentration some courses are designated as programme core courses or core electives. These typically function as courses which provide a general orientation or survey of core disciplinary areas at a relatively advanced level. Other courses are available as elective options, and may include more specialised or interdisciplinary courses.

Typically, the coursework component of a programme (at both Honours and Masters level) comprises 4 courses - of which there must be at least one core course and the remainder from the approved electives/cores.

For specific information pertaining to your programme's core course, core elective and elective option requirements, see the individual programme listings.


External Courses - other departments; other universities

Students who are registered for a Politics degree programme may also elect to take approved courses offered by other cognate departments [Historical Studies, Sociology etc]. Details of these courses may be found on other departments’ websites.

Programme students may have the option, upon motivation with the programme convenor and after faculty approval, to take up to two courses in the Politics departments of the University of Stellenbosch and the University of the Western Cape. Details of their courses may be found on these departments’ websites.