University Courses

Many of the subjects that can be studied at university can be studied at college as well. However, there are some subject fields, such as medicine, that can only be studied at university. In South Africa, only universities offer degree programmes. University courses usually have a strong theoretical focus, and aim to give students a thorough academic background. For this reason, students may sometimes be required to take additional subjects that are not directly relevant to their field of study as a part of their course. Fields of Study at University: Universities are usually divided into faculties according to broad fields of study. Each faculty has numerous departments for the different subjects that fall under that field of study. Below is a list of the faculties that you are likely to find at a South African University, as well as examples of the types of things that you can study under each faculty:


Examples of what you can study:

AgriSciences Animal Science, Food Science, Soil Science, Plant Pathology, Conservation Ecology, Forestry, Agricultural Economics, Viticulture, Horticulture
Arts and Social Sciences Languages, Social Work, Arts and Culture, History, Linguistics, Anthropology, Psychology, Philosophy, Political Science, Music, Fine Art, Drama, Journalism, Literature
Economic and Management Sciences Accounting, Economics, Industrial Psychology, Business Management, Logistics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, Mathematical Sciences, Marketing, Project Management, Dispute Settlement, Human Resource Management, Computer Science
Education Educational Psychology, Curriculum Studies, Education Policy Studies, Sport Science
Engineering Civil Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Process Engineering, Architecture (only certain universities and universities of technology in SA offer courses in architecture)
Law Private Law, Commercial Law, International Law, Public Law, Intellectual Property Law, Internet Law
Medicine and Health Sciences Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pathology, Psychiatry, Physiotherapy, Nutrition, Emergency Medicine, Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy
Military Sciences Geospatial Studies and Information Systems, Defence Organisation and Resource Management, Security and Africa Studies
Science Biochemistry, Botany and Zoology, Chemistry and Polymer Science, Earth Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Microbiology, Physics, Physiological Studies
Theology Practical Theology and Missiology, Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology, Old and New Testament
  University of Pretoria is the only university in South Africa that has a faculty for Veterinary Science. Course Format and Duration:
  • University courses can be offered on a full-time or part-time attendance basis, via distance learning, or through online learning.
  • Universities offer both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.
  • The types of qualifications that can be earned at universities include:
    • Higher Certificates
    • Advanced Certificates
    • Diplomas
    • Advanced Diplomas
    • Postgraduate Diplomas
    • BTech (Baccalaureus Technologiae) Degrees
    • Bachelors Degrees
    • Honours Degrees
    • Masters Degrees
    • Doctorates
    • Short Learning Programme certificates
  • The minimum duration for an undergraduate degree is usually 3 years.
  • BTech degrees usually take a minimum of 2 years to complete, but can only be undertaken by students who have already obtained the appropriate certificate or diploma.
  • University courses can include both compulsory and elective subjects.
Entry Requirements for University Courses: The entry requirements for university courses are usually fairly strict and rigid. Due to the high number of applicants, there is often a selection process involved. For more information about university entry requirements, click here. College Courses | University Courses Requirements