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Exams 2016/2017

Exam update

Exam results

To view your academic results through student self-service on PeopleSoft, follow the normal procedure as per the Student Systems Support guidelines...

Exam venues

Exams will be written in four main venues and not in the venues originally listed. The new venues are Jameson Hall, the Sports Centre, the New Lecture Theatre and the Kramer Law Building. Please confirm the venue details for your particular courses on your personal timetable.

For access to the Sports Centre, please follow the signposts to the specific entrance points for Sports Centre halls 1, 2 and 3.

Safety procedures

In the interest of safety for all UCT staff and students, the following procedures will apply:

These procedures may cause some inconvenience, but they are considered necessary for everyone’s safety. Please be patient.

Feeling unprepared?

Students had the option to defer either individual exams or their whole exam block to January. Aside from the extra time this allows to prepare, given that the online material remains available throughout the period, faculties will also offer a consolidation period in January for one to three weeks ahead of the deferred and supplementary exams. During the consolidation period, students can access tutors and some lecturers – in person or online – for assistance in understanding any material that they are supposed to have covered. They will also have access to the libraries, computer labs and other facilities. Consolidation is not compulsory, but it is available for those who wish to take advantage of additional support. Our aim is to ensure the best chance of success for everyone whether they write in November or January.

This faculty-specific information is available to all students via Vula. Each dean's office and faculty advisor is also available to address specific problems that individual students may have. Please take the initiative to read the information in your Vula account and to raise any questions that you feel have not been addressed.

DP requirements

In almost all courses, students will be granted a duly performed (DP) certificate for the second semester. There are a few individual courses where the matter is still under consideration at the department level. There are also a few cases where some requirements for DP had to be met prior to the disruption of the semester. If those requirements were not met, DP may be refused. In other cases, where meeting professional registration requirements is linked to DP requirements, individual departments will make the necessary arrangements to ensure that students fulfill the professional requirements in a way that is delinked from the DP. Where coursework submissions were part of DP requirements, the submissions will usually still be required but will be delinked from the DP so that DP can be granted and exams can be written (See also 2016 Coursework due dates below.)

Supplementary exams

Not all faculties offer supplementary exams. For those that do, supplementary exams, if granted, will be written in January. The supplementary exam will normally be the same paper as the deferred exam. If a student is unable to take the supplementary exam on the date set, no deferment is given regardless of the cause of the student's absence.

No supplementary exam will be granted on the deferred exams written in January. This is to prevent the loss of the first semester of 2017. (This is the case in normal years too). However, students writing deferred exams in January will have the opportunity for re-evaluation.


Departments may offer re-evaluations where appropriate (for example, where students have narrowly missed passing the final exam, but have passed their class work). A re-evaluation occurs within the exam period – that is, after the script has been marked, but before the marks are uploaded. (A supplementary exam is held later – not within the same exam period – and is granted by the Faculty Examinations Committee [FEC] where the student has failed a course.)

In cases where a student has deferred writing an exam until January, and then fails that exam at a level that would normally have allowed them to write a supplementary exam, the department will normally offer a re-evaluation, which may take the same form as the exam or a different form.

The turnaround time for re-evaluation is very tight, and students need to be advised that if they leave Cape Town before checking whether they have a re-evaluation, they may miss the opportunity. If a student is given due notice of a re-evaluation and does not take it on the appointed day, there is no further recourse for that student and the (failed) mark stands.

Planning for 2017

Accommodation arrangements for deferred exams

Students writing deferred exams or returning for the mini-semester may stay in residence providing it does not exceed maximum allowable capacity. Others will have to make off-campus arrangements. Students deferring their whole exam block will be given preference. Students deferring individual exams may not be able to be accommodated in the residences. If they can be, it will only be for 24 hours before their first exam until 24 hours after their last exam.

Students deferring their whole exam block must vacate residences within 36 hours of their last exam. The residences will be closed from 10 February to 3 March 2017. (Exceptions will be made in some cases, eg postgraduate students and health sciences students.)

Students will not be accommodated in their 2016 residences or in the residence they may be occupying from March 2017.

Costs of accommodation

Students staying in residences for deferred exams will be not be charged for that period. They will, however, be charged for meals, which will reflect on their fee account. This charge will not apply to students on financial aid or students on bursaries who would have been eligible for NSFAS*.

NSFAS students and NSFAS-eligible bursary students in self-catering residences or off-campus accommodation will be allowed to eat in the catering residences at no charge. They will, however, need to apply for access. Apply for access to catering...

There will be no NSFAS stipends in January or February, until the start of the next academic year. External bursary funders might not provide additional funds for this period, but we will assist in appealing to those donors for additional support. Students writing deferred exams who depend on those funds to pay for off-campus accommodation will, as far as possible, be accommodated in residence without charge. Exceptional cases will be dealt with by an appeals committee.

Students living in off-campus accommodation may apply for on-campus accommodation. The application is not a guarantee and is subject to available bed space.

* Any student who is financially stressed, even if they are not on financial aid, or whose bursary will not cover their additional costs for January, or who is on gap funding and cannot afford the additional costs resulting from deferred exams, may apply for financial assistance with transport, meals and residence accommodation. Apply to the appeals committee at FinancialAid@uct.ac.za.


NSFAS students and NSFAS-eligible bursary students attending the mini-semester or deferred exams will be assisted with a return bus ticket to UCT. (Exceptions include health sciences students, who start their 2017 academic programme immediately after finishing deferred exams.) Students must apply via travelassist@uct.ac.za.

Student conduct

UCT continues to uphold the right to peaceful protest. The university cannot condone actions that are unlawful, and, as a precautionary step, the High Court of the Western Cape has granted an interim interdict that restrains all persons from participating in, or inciting others to participate in, unlawful conduct on UCT’s properties. In terms of this order, any interference with, or disruption of, an exam would be unlawful. In such instances the South African Police Service are directed to assist the university with enforcing the order of the court. We all hope that there will be no need to invoke the enforcement of this order.

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Examinations Policy Manual 2017