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UCT Astrophysics Requirements

The requirements for undertaking the University of Cape Town (UCT) Astrophysics.

Admission to our undergraduate degree programme depends on a number of criteria and whether or not an applicant has previously studied at a tertiary institution.

The links below provide an overview of admission criteria for those writing the South African National Senior Certificate (NSC), for those writing International Board Examinations, and those who are wishing to transfer from another tertiary institution to UCT.

Admission criteria for those writing the NSC examinations
Admission criteria for those writing other International Board Examinations
Admission criteria for those wishing to transfer from another institution

Overview undergraduate studies

Are you interested in studying astrophysics?

Hear about studying astrophysics from our astronomy students:
Dancing under the African Skies, UCT PhD students on studying astronomy (January 2015).
Itumeleng Monageng and Mokhine Motsoaledi on SABC Morning live (29 April 2016).


The undergraduate major in Astrophysics at UCT

The undergraduate major in Astrophysics at UCT has been offered since 2006. In 2013, we have introduced a second 2nd-year course (AST2003H: Astronomical Techniques). This course combines a large practical component (radio and optical astronomy practicals) with theoretical background in astronomical techniques, instrumentation and data analysis. In 2013, AST2002S (offered prior to 2013) has changed to become AST2002H. Both second year courses will spread out of the entire academic year.

The undergraduate major in Astrophysics provides an excellent qualification for postgraduate studies in Astrophysics and related disciplines. For more information about the postgraduate studies in Astrophysics at UCT we refer to the additional information on our web site (see the tabs on the left).


Astronomy and Astrophysics undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Astronomy

AST1000F Introduction to Astronomy

AST2002H Astrophysics

AST2003H Astronomical Techniques

AST3002F Stellar Astrophysics

AST3003S Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics

Details of the Astrophysics major

The core components of the undergraduate major in Astrophysics are indicated below.

First year level:
Compulsory: PHY1004W, MAM1000W
Strongly recommended: AST1000F, MAM1043H, MAM1044H

Second year level:
Compulsory: AST2002HAST2003HPHY2004W, MAM2000W
Alternative for MAM2000W: MAM2004H (Advance Calculus + Linear Algebra modules) and MAM2047H (Ordinary Differential Equations + Boundary-Value Problems modules).

Third year level:
Compulsory: AST3002FAST3003S
The compulsory courses listed above are the back-bone of the Astrophysics major. With the addition of selected courses in either physics, or applied mathematics you can tailor your astrophysics major towards two different streams.

Steam 1. Astrophysics and Physics
With the addition of PHY3004W, you will automatically qualify for a major in astrophysics and physics. See also page 18/19 and page 25 of the UCT Science Faculty student handbook (2017).

Stream 2. Astrophysics and Applied Mathematics
With the addition of MAM1043H, MAM1044H, MAM2046W and MAM3040W you will qualify for a major in astrophysics and applied mathematics. See also page 17 of the UCT Science Faculty student handbook (2017).

For more information about the undergraduate major in Astrophysics, please contact the Physics/Astrophysics student advisor Dr. Spencer Wheaton.

Undergraduate applications
To apply to study Astronomy/Astrophysics at undergraduate level, candidates must apply directly to UCT.
For information on how to do this, please see:

For further information on the entrance requirements to be accepted into the UCT Faculty of Science (to study Astronomy/Astrophysics), please see the Science Faculty undergraduate admission web page, and download the up-to-date undergraduate brochure for details of admission criteria for a BSc majoring in Astrophysics.

The Department of Astronomy cannot answer queries about entrance requirements as these are determined at the Faculty level.

Your next move

UCT offers many programmes. If you do not meet up to the requirements of this programme you can consider another programme on the list. Go to >> University of Cape Town Faculties/Programmes.

However, if you meet the requirements and wish to apply to study this course. You can simply check the application processes.

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