New, first-year students may find themselves slightly alarmed by the huge, confusing space of the institution. This is why the first academic year begins with Orientation. In a normal year, orientation would be a four-day programme run in the week or two before registration at the start of the year. Under COVID conditions, with registration and the bulk of teaching operating in the remote mode, orientation will also be a remote process. We will do our best to introduce you both to the university, and to the particular demands of remote learning, via our Vula orientation website.

The current plan for UCT study in 2022 does require attendance on campus, we are aiming to deliver the bulk of coursework online, with one in-person teaching period per week per course. For this reason we will also make available a campus tour, for which students can sign up on the orientation site once it is open.

The orientation site will opened for student access on Wednesday 26th January; all applicants with firm offers of a Humanities place were emailed with the Vula site link. If you have received a firm offer you should be able to access the site here, logging in with your UCT student number (format XXXYYY000) and the password you use for Peoplesoft. Note that we add students to the site in batches, and are making late offers continuously, so it may take a day or so before your Vula access is activated after your firm offer is made.

  • We are very aware of the different levels of bandwidth and computer access for different students; the orientation programme will be offered in both text and supplementary video formats, but you will not have to access videos if your bandwidth does not allow it, text-based versions of everything will exist, and you should be able to access the site via a phone.
  • Please note that it is very important that you go through the orientation website carefully, and as quickly as you can in the week or two between offers being made, and registration. You will need to understand your programme's rules in order to make the necessary course choices when you register.
  • If you are moving into the Faculty of Humanities from another university, you may find that some of the Orientation site material is unnecessary as you've already been through an orientation; however, you will still have access to the site, and should make use of the curriculum and programme rule material at the very least.

What happens in orientation?

Orientation is the lifeline that will introduce you as a new student to the campus and the life of the university, and will start to guide you through your first year and your course of study as a whole. On the site you can explore material which covers the various aspects of your studies and life at UCT:

  • university structures and systems;
  • computer skills, Vula and other UCT computer systems:
  • choosing courses and structuring a degree;
  • the registration process;
  • student support services;
  • other aspects of university and student life.

Orientation leaders - senior undergraduate students - will be available on the site to answer your questions, and just before registration you will have the opportunity to check your planned curriculum with an advisor, who will help you to prepare to submit your course choices for formal registration.

When does Orientation take place?

25th January: site opened; you should have received the email with access details to the orientation site as soon as you were given a firm offer of a place, and can work through the site materials in your own time to prepare yourself for your year at UCT.

31st January: curriculum advisors will be available on the site to assist you to prepare for registration.

2nd February: Registration opens on Peoplesoft, after you have had a chance to do the curriculum preparation.

We look forward to meeting you virtually and welcoming you to Humanities and to UCT!