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Message From The Director

Welcome to the web-page of the Humanities Education Development Unit.

If you are a student, we hope that you will find this page useful and that you will engage with it interactively. If you are a visitor to UCT, we hope that you will find it informative.

Aims of the HUM EDU

The Humanities Education Development Unit (HUM EDU) was established in 2012 by the Faculty to manage its 4-year BA and BSocSci Degrees. The central function of the HUM EDU is to run the Humanities 4-year Degrees. This includes running the four Humanities Introductory Courses (in collaboration with CHED), managing the Plus Tutorials and promoting the education development and well-being of undergraduate Humanities students more generally.

More broadly we aim to: 

  1. Work with Humanities departments and the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) to design and provide curricula and pedagogic interventions that facilitate access to the disciplines for undergraduate students;
  2. Build a learning community for students, especially those on 4-year degrees, that affirms student agency, provides a ‘home base’ on campus and ‘social access’ to the academy;
  3. Work through Faculty structures as well as informally with HoDs, academics, teaching assistants and tutors to improve the educational quality and appropriate contextualization of undergraduate curricula and pedagogies in the Humanities.
  4. Conduct and publish research on our practice and around related educational, social and linguistic questions.

The 4-year Degrees cater for those students who choose to take longer than the minimum 3-year period to complete their undergraduate degree and/or for those students admitted to the Faculty’s via redress admissions criteria. About 250 students p.a. are admitted to the Faculty on condition that they register for the 4-year degree programme that includes education interventions and a lighter course-load per semester (usually 3 courses per semester). In addition, students initially admitted onto the 3-year degree who fail 3 or more courses in their first semester are advised by the Faculty to join the ED 4-year degree in July. 

If you register for the 4-year degree you will be asked to choose 2 out of 4 Introductory Courses on offer in your first year as well as attending at least 3 Plus Tuts (ideally linked to your majors) during the course of your degree.You wil need to complete 22 courses in all to graduate with  BA or BSocSci. The course load for a 4-year Degree is 6 + 6 + 6 + 4 (22 courses in total over 4 years), compared with 8 + 6 + 6 (20 courses in all over 3-years) for a 3-year degree. Less than 50% of students nationally complete their degrees in the minimum time of 3 years, so the extra year should be understood as a way of easing the pressure of studying at university and getting extra resources and support for your learning process. Apart from taking 2 Introductory Courses and attending at least 3 Plus Tutorials there is no difference between the 3-year and 4-year degree programmes.  You will attend the same lectures, write the same assignments and exams as all other students. 

Kathy Luckett

Director, Humanities EDU