Standardised programmes consist of a range of predetermined course topics, programme site visits and lectures.

These two to six-week programmes have been developed by UCT and generally take place at set times during the academic year.

Where these dates are not suitable, we may be able to accommodate different dates for institutions that wish to send groups of 10 or more students. This would require an advanced arrangement, at least five months prior to the intended start date.

1. Sustainable Water Management

Designed to equip the next generation to solve Africa’s increasingly complex water challenges, this programme stretches students to think critically about Africa’s increasingly complex water challenges.

The course will challenge participants to consider water in new ways, develop the tools to do so and equip them with the skills to apply their learnings in different contexts. To do this, it adopts an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary (IDTD) approach to examine the complexity of current water crises, trends and conditions, with specific examples from the African continent.

At the same time as focusing on water demand, supply and treatment, it addresses the need to derive maximum benefit from water resources while incurring minimum burden and the need to secure alternative water sources in a water-sensitive context.

Topics Covered:

  • Integrated urban water management and Water Sensitive Urban Design
  • Social impacts and health concerns
  • Wastewater treatment and remediation practices
  • Anthropological impacts on water quality
  • The role of water in the social fabric and the under-pinning of sustainable livelihoods considering culture, privilege and inequality
  • The IDTD research paradigm in integrated water management
  • Water-food-energy nexus
  • Resource recovery and the circular economy
  • Water and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Field Trips and Experiences:

  • The Water Hub
  • Langrug Communiy
  • Cape Peninsula Tour

Course Entry Requirements:

Student should have completed at least 3rd year of their undergraduate studies with some courses in sciences/engineering/maths or similar.

Course Dates
15 - 26 July 2024

Application Deadline
10 May 2024

Total cost*
US$3 300
*This includes tuition, accommodation and field trips.

Watch video of the Water Hub work




2. Global Academy:  Afropolitanism, Social Justice and Social Entrepreneurship

This four-week programme is designed to inspire participants to become global citizens.

It connects the past to the present by discussing opportunities and challenges of transformation facing the country, the African continent and the world today.

Through exploring topics such as colonialism, apartheid, heritage and citizenship, students will interrogate the ways in which individuals and the collective may be complicit in maintaining the status quo that creates inequalities within our society and how this affects life in post-apartheid South Africa.

Students will be encouraged to reflect on values of social justice and gain insights into the interconnectivity between their own societies and the rest of the world. They will also look at ways in which they could contribute to building cultures of equality.

Visits to historical, heritage and entrepreneurial community sites will allow students to experience the vibrant and diverse cultures that influence and shape the character of Cape Town and South Africa. These activities will also allow students to see innovative initiatives that communities are undertaking to seek solutions to social issues.

Field trips and Experiences

  • Robben Island 
  • Zeitz MOCAA
  • Iziko Slave Lodge
  • District Six Museum
  • Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
  • Khayelitsha township
  • Community social entrepreneurship sites
  • Cape culture cooking class

Course Dates
10 June to 5 July 2024

Application Deadline
12 April 2024

Total cost*
US$5 000
*This includes tuition, accommodation and field trips.




    3. Society, Language an the Arts: Exploring the Diversity of South African Culture in Cape Town

     This programme takes a critical look at some of the vibrant communities that make up Cape Town and how they have grown to call this beautiful landscape home.

    It offers an immersive experience where students have the opportunity to participate in various activities such as South African music, creating San & Khoi rock art, learning African dance, testing their tongues with isiXhosa clicks and more.

    Both interesting and interactive, students will experience various modern societies first-hand while simultaneously taking a deep dive into South Africa’s past during this course.

    Topics Include:

    • Understanding of Cape Town communities, using the framework of South African history and migration patterns
    • Cape Town’s first people – the San & Khoi – and their traditions, including rock art and healing dance
    • Xhosa communities in Cape Town and some of the cultural traditions they hold
    • The language, food and history of the unique Afrikaaps culture

    Field trips and Experiences

    • V&A Waterfront
    • Robben Island
    • Iziko South African National Gallery
    • San & Khoi Centre
    • 8 Gangster Museum
    • District Six Museum
    • A community in Cape Town
    • Cape culture cooking class

    Course Dates
    3 - 14 June 2024

    Application Deadline
    5 April 2024

    Total cost*
    US$3 300 per student
    *This includes tuition, accommodation and field trips.