University Of Cape Town Computer Science

University Of Cape Town Computer Science

University Of Cape Town Computer Science is a research-led department with a strong tradition of relevant teaching and community service.
For more information about the department, follow the links in the menu.
The Department of Computer Science is amongst the strongest in the country and home to academic staff who are well regarded both nationally and internationally. The Department plays an important role in local industry and provides services to industries through technology transfer and applied research.
Staff research interests are broadly focussed in the following domains: Digital Libraries, Network and Information Security, Visual Computing, High-Performance computing and Big Data, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development. The department maintains links with many IT-based industries within the country, including those in telecommunications, scientific and high-performance computing and visual effects and animation. ICT for Development constitutes an important unifying theme amongst several staff members and this synergy led to the establishment of the Centre for ICT4D, a multi-disciplinary centre supported by several international corporations.
The department produces high quality graduates with knowledge and skills relevant to the international and South African technology communities. A capstone Honours degree in Computer Science, accredited by the British Computer Society, provides graduates with opportunities in stimulating and well-paid careers both locally and abroad.
Computer Science forms part of 4 undergraduate degrees at UCT:
1. Computer Science is taught as a major subject in the BSc degree within the Science Faculty. If you wish, you may also take one of the following co-majors in your BSc: Computer Games Development, Business Computing or Computer Engineering. A co-major is optional, and if selected enables you to include some games, business or engineering courses within your Science degree.
2. Computing may be combined with Business Science; this double major course provides you with an understanding of scientific management as well as the skills of a computer scientist, which equips you for the consultancy profession.
3. Computing can be combined with Information Systems as part of a BComm degree within the Commerce Faculty. While Business Science is a 4-year degree offering breadth and depth of business knowledge along with Computer Science, the BComm in Information Systems and Computer Science is a 3-year degree offering fewer business courses and more computing courses.
4. You may also specialise in the field of Computer Engineering within the Electrical Engineering degree. This comprises mainly electrical engineering courses along with some Computer Science courses. It is popular with those who are practically minded, but does not include the full Computer Science major.
More details on Computer Science courses can be found under Teaching.

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University Of Cape Town Computer Science Entrance Requirements

What is expected of you? In the first place, you should be a very precise person and able to work out, step-by-step, the solution to a problem in a logical manner. You also need to be creative, resourceful, responsible and adaptable.
Academic entrance requirements can be found in the Science Faculty Undergraduate Brochure (for BSc) or Commerce Faculty Handbook (for B Business Science or B Comm).

University Of Cape Town Computer Science Career opportunities

A wide variety of well-remunerated careers are open to graduates in Computer Science who are in high demand.  Some examples include:

  • Systems Analyst/Designer: These people are in the link between the programmer and the user, converting the user’s requirements into system designs.
  • Programmer (This is an entry level position): These are the people who convert systems designs into a form understood by the computer. Application programmers are concerned more with business requirements, whereas technical programmers are concerned primarily with more complex tasks.
  • Technical specialists: These are experts in areas such as Data Communication Networks, Databases and Operating Systems.
  • Research and development: in both University and commercial worlds is a very rewarding experience for those that are academically minded.

University Of Cape Town Computer Science Postgraduate Students

The Department of Computer Science at UCT is a leading research institution in South Africa. Our academic staff are nationally and internationally active and recognized. Our research addresses the issues confronting our country: we actively pursue international excellence while addressing local needs.
We are looking for creative and enterprising students to join us. Postgraduate study in our Department means taking part in our research programmes, because all postgraduate degrees in Computer Science at UCT are research degrees. All degrees are evaluated externally by international experts, who have consistently praised their quality. Students publish internationally and frequently present their work at international conferences. Our graduates are actively recruited by national and international industry.
We can offer a unique learning and research experience. Our postgraduate programme promotes the professional growth of all participants. Exposure to local industry and the pressing issues confronting our profession in this country is part of the training. The study provides access to the network of commercial and industrial high-technology firms in this country and abroad which will position you for furthering your career. Our regular international exchange visits ensure that staff are kept up to date with the rapidly changing field. Foreign visitors allow students to benefit directly from their expertise and many students are given the opportunity to broaden their study and experience at international industrial and research centres.

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University Of Cape Town Computer Science  Application Procedure

To apply for our Honours programme, go to the Honours application page. For any of our other postgraduate programmes:

  1. Please ensure that you first contact the department so that we know that you are applying and can expedite the application procedure.  For masters and doctoral applications please contact the appropriate course convenor.
  2. Then, follow the instructions on the UCT website. Applications for programmes by dissertation only are open throughout the year.

For programmes that include coursework (and this includes Honours) the closing date for applications for 2024 is 31 October.  Foreign students are advised to apply a month earlier in view of delays that have been experienced in getting study visas. More information can also be obtained from the Science Faculty.
The Computer Science postgraduate course convenors are as follows:

  • BSc (Hons) – Assoc. Prof. Michelle Kuttel – mkuttel at
  • MSc – Assoc Prof Sonia Berman – sonia at cs uct ac za (Conversion degree in Information Technology)
  • MSc and PhD – Dr Brian DeRenzi – pgcoordinator at cs uct ac za

University Of Cape Town Computer Science  Degrees Offered

The postgraduate Computer Science degrees are as follows:

  • BSc(Hons): for applicants who hold an undergraduate degree in Computer Science.
  • MSc (conversion degree in Information Technology by Coursework and Dissertation): for applicants who hold an Honours degree in a subject other than Computer Science.
  • MSc (by Coursework and Dissertation): for applicants who hold anHhonours degree (or four-year Bachelor) which has a large component of Computer Science
  • MSc (by Dissertation): for applicants who hold an Honours degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science
  • Doctorate: for applicants who already hold an Honours/Masters degree
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University Of Cape Town Computer Science Funding

UCT has information on funding for postgraduate students. Please download the latest funding booklet (2013). UCT has internal funding for postgraduate students which is made available only if you have applied to the NRF first. Funding may also be available within research programmes for masters and doctoral studies: this should be discussed with prospective supervisors.

Masters in Computer Science by Coursework and Dissertation (CSC5001/2W)

The degree of Master of Science may be conferred after the satisfactory completion of an advanced course of study (CSC5001W) as well as a dissertation (CSC5002W) embodying research under the guidance of an approved supervisor.
The guidelines for the dissertation are that it must indicate that:

  • the student has sufficient knowledge of the relevant literature;
  • is familiar with research methods in science; and
  • the dissertation must be satisfactory presented

A student is not normally be admitted to either Masters program unless (s)he has completed an Honours degree in computer science and achieved at least an upper second or has demonstrated academic maturity in some other way.
Admission is moreover subject to the student providing:

  1. a suitable research topic acceptable to an approved supervisor, who
  2. has to ensure that adequate computing equipment is available to the student to carry out the proposed research.

Applications from students who have not completed their previous studies at UCT should include the following information in addition to the normal requirements for admission to a Masters degree:
1.       an indication of the research area of interest and potential supervisors, as well as
2.       a motivation from the student in his or her own words as to his or her reasons for wishing to study towards a masters degree at UCT.

Undergraduate Courses


University Of Cape Town Computer Science Contact

Postal Address

Department of Computer Science
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
South Africa


+27 21 650 2663


+27 21 650 3551