General Elective Programme (June/July)

Students following the General programme have the option to enrol for 1 – 3 courses during their period of study in Stellenbosch. The courses cover a variety of fields of study, which includes: Philosophy, Engineering, Botany, Political Science, Economics, Literature, Art and Media, History, HIV/AIDS, International Relations, Chinese Studies, Multilingualism, Linguistics, and Marketing. Students can choose one course from each of the Elective groups.

Individual Courses (Provisional Course Outlines):

Elective 1 (19 June – 29 June 2020):

  • Course 1: Introduction to South Africa’s Political History
    • Field of Study: Political Science and History
    • This course serves as an introduction to South Africa’s political history, aimed at familiarising students with the historical context that shaped, and continues to shape, the country and its people.  Understanding the interplay between the country’s political, social and economic issues and how the colonial and apartheid past impacts on the present allows us to better comprehend the challenges currently facing South African society.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits

Elective 2 (27 June – 7 July 2020):

  • Course 2: Bio-Diversity: Plants for the People in the Western Cape
    • Field of Study: Botany
    • The extraordinary botanical diversity of the Cape Flora and the ecological processes that helped shape it are explored. Once a basic understanding is gained through lectures and two field excursion, the course adopts a more applied focus. We explore the horticultural potential of local plants in the international cut flower industry, and visit local flower farms. Finally we explore traditional plant use by local people, especially traditional healers, through lectures and visits to healers and/or traditional medicinal markets.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 3: Visual Controversies in South Africa, Past and Present
    • Field of Study: Art and Media
    • In this course, we will track major developments and changes in South African art and media from the Apartheid era (1948-1994) through the early years of democracy (1994-2000), to the present. The point of this broad historical perspective is not so much to provide a condensed history of South African art and media, as it is to explore the relationship between South Africa’s turbulent socio-political landscape and its visual culture. In particular, we aim to explore the notion of cultural identity as it manifested and still manifests in art, mass-media and visual culture in general.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 4: Ethics, Science and Culture in Philosophical Perspective
    • Field of Study: Philosophy
    • This course examines a number of key problems and discussions in contemporary science, ethics and culture. We will study the most basic of the everyday philosophical presuppositions concerning these subjects. The goal is to allow the students to develop and defend their own views concerning these corner stones of our conceptual world.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 5: Introduction to Muslim History, Society and Culture in Cape Town (Course Framework tbc)
    • Field of Study: Sociology and Religious Studies
    • The course provides an introduction and overview of Muslim history, society and culture in the greater Cape Town region of South Africa. It offers critical insights into the inner workings of the Muslim society with reference to its founding community dynamics; rites of passage, religious rituals and cultural practices; and the socio-political, economic and educational dimensions of their lives at the southern-most tip Africa.
  • Course 6: Growth, Unemployment and Inequality in South Africa
    • Field of Study: Economics and Economic History
    • This course takes the student on a broad but intense overview of the South African economic dilemma, using the past to better understand the future. It attempts to offer the student a more nuanced understanding of the nature and roots of the major socioeconomic problems of poverty, unemployment and inequality facing South Africa. The course thus challenges students to engage these issues critically, to understand the ways in which they intersect, and to think creatively about what they might mean for the future of South Africa and other countries like it.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 7: Multilingualism and Intercultural Communication
    • Field of Study: Multilingualism and Linguistics
    • This course will cover Intercultural Communication as a field of academic reflection, Intercultural Communication in social interaction and theoretical approaches to the study of Intercultural Communication phenomena and methods of research in Intercultural Communication
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 8: Equity & Leadership in the Global Classroom
    • Field of study: Political Science
    • This interactive experiential learning module will equip participants to critically reflect and evaluate their contextual worldview around contemporary global social justice issues. We will journey to deepen our understanding of how to achieve equality in an unequal society by exploring modern racism, privilege, discrimination, oppression and structural injustice.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits

Elective 3 (5 July – 17 July 2020):

  • Course 9: Transitional Justice
    • Field of Study: Political Science
    • Among the pressing challenges facing societies emerging out of war or authoritarianism is how to respond to human rights violations perpetrated in the mayhem of conflict. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission represents one model that has been both celebrated and heavily critiqued. Offered by a practitioner who has worked with the UN in the African Great Lakes region, Nepal, and north Africa, this course sets the commission in historic and comparative context, critically highlighting questions about truth recovery, justice, reparations, and enabling non-recurrence.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 10: Global Migration: Origins, Crisis, Solutions
    • Field of Study: Political Science
    • This course would provide students an in-depth understanding of global migration; one of the most important issues of our time.  By way of lectures, readings, discussion and film, students will be exposed to population flows –  where and why, through the ages, as well as participate in a targeted investigation of the current era: where each year this phenomenon increases, straining receiving countries’ resources, and acting as a national cultural change agent (as it always has across the ages).  Finally, this course will end with small group research projects and peer presentations with the aim of producing solutions that attend to both migrant humanitarian concerns as well as host-country challenges.
  • Course 11: Marketing
    • Field of Study: Business and Marketing
    • This module aims to introduce students to the dynamic discipline of Marketing Management. A number of important variables such as market segmentation, positioning, product and brand development as well as advertising and promotion will be investigated in a practical way. The module is a must for everyone that is interested in following a career in the modern day business environment.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 12: Present Imperfect: Negotiating Identities in Film and Literature
    • Field of Study: Film and Literature Studies
    • This course explores the ways in which South African film and literature register and reflect socio-political conflicts and tensions. Students will engage with classic and contemporary South African poems and short stories, as well as a novel and three films, in order to explore how these fields of cultural production serve as a means of questioning and negotiating identity in South Africa.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 13: Understanding HIV in South Africa: A Health & Social Justice Perspective
    • Field of Study: HIV/AIDS Management
    • This interactive course aims to develop a global understanding of HIV and AIDS, gender and sexuality through a health and social justice perspective. We will have a specific focus on the South African experience,  evaluating how far have we have come regarding HIV and Aids, gender, sexuality and health social justice in post-apartheid South Africa.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 14: China in Africa
    • Field of Study: International Relations and Chinese Studies
    • This course offers a comprehensive introduction to China’s engagement on the African continent. The course includes an overview of Chinese investments on the continent, including infrastructure, extractive industries and trade relationships; it also examines China-Africa relations within the context of global groupings such as BRICS and FOCAC, the role of historical and political relations and the growing role of Chinese security within Africa. The course familiarizes students with the controversy surrounding the relationship, including issues of labour and environmental degradation as well as mechanisms which African countries draw on to command more co-operative interaction.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits
  • Course 15: Biomedical Engineering – Designing solutions for African health (Course framework tbc)
    • Field of Study: Engineering
    • Biomedical engineering involves applying the concepts, knowledge and approaches of virtually all engineering disciplines to solve or improve healthcare related problems. The challenges created by the diversity and complexity of living systems and the unique context of South Africa, require creative, knowledgeable, and imaginative people working in multidisciplinary teams to monitor, restore and enhance normal body function. In this course students will be exposed to healthcare challenges faced in South Africa and will work together in teams to help address these issues using novel engineering approaches.
    • Can be Topped up with 1 US/2 ECTS Credits

Date of Programme: 19 June – 17 July 2020 (All 3 Electives) (Or only attend selected Elective)

Academic Weight: 2 US Credits / 4 ECTS Credits (Per Elective)

(Students who choose to do the full 4 week Programme with all 3 Electives will receive 6 US Credits/ 12 ECTS Credits.)

Top up Credits: All Electives have an optional 1 US Credit/2 ECTS Credits Top Up option.

(This means that each Elective becomes 3 US/ 6 ECTS Credits)

Language: English


  • Minimum GPA Requirement of 2.8