SU: General Information

Campuses and Faculties

Stellenbosch University has five campuses and ten faculties:

The main campus is in the picturesque university town of Stellenbosch in the heart of the Western Cape Winelands. The university is situated about 50 km from Cape Town and 30 km from Cape Town International Airport.

Eight faculties are on the main campus, with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences situated on Tygerberg campus adjacent to the Tygerberg academic hospital, and the Faculty of Military Sciences – the only one of its kind in South Africa and one of only two in Africa – based at the South African Defence Force Military Academy in Saldanha. The University of Stellenbosch Business School is located on the Bellville Park campus. The fifth campus, in Worcester, was officially opened in 2012 with the launch of the Ukwanda Rural Clinical School of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Here, medical and related health sciences students have the opportunity to complete their clinical training on a rural platform. 

Academic information

South African academic life is very similar to the European tradition. Courses are a mixture of lectures and seminars with individual laboratory time and library work. Students specialise early and study one or two disciplines for three or four years. In most subjects, assessment relies on continuous evaluation with assignments, orals, presentations, one mid-semester test and a concluding examination. Honours programmes are generally a combination of taught modules (with seminars and laboratory time) and a research thesis component. Masters programmes are either a combination of taught modules (with seminars and laboratory time) and a substantial research thesis component or programmes based on research only.

The academic year consists of two semesters; the first runs from February to June and the second from July to November. Doctoral programmes have a minimum registration period of two years before the degree may be conferred. Students however typically study for around three years and are expected to work independently under the guidance of a supervisor. Doctoral candidates in all faculties must submit a substantial dissertation and will generally be required to complete an oral examination.

Under certain circumstances, you may transfer your credits earned at a foreign university to Stellenbosch University, but as a general rule it should be borne in mind that at least 50% of your credits must be earned at this institution in order to obtain your degree from Stellenbosch University.

Matie Community Service

Stellenbosch University is committed to enabling the community to benefit from the knowledge and skills of its staff and students. Matie Community Service, or MGD as they are known on campus, provides the infrastructure for active student participation in community development projects. All students are welcome to offer their services on a voluntary basis or through practical exercises and/or projects of the different university departments. Matie Community Service is active both on the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses and students are trained annually within a well-organised structure. Activities coordinated by Matie Community Service include:

  • Khanyisa learning project (Saturday school for children with an educational backlog)
  • The literacy project
  • Entrepreneurship development project – for adults and high school learners
  • Feeding scheme
  • The life skills programme (primary schools)
  • Assistance to the handicapped
  • The Stellenbosch Work Centre
  • Clinic service, prevention programmes and rural outreach projects