Welcome to the Learning Support Unit!

We are a central unit based in the Humanities Faculty, and we provide academic and psycho-social support for students across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. One of our core functions is managing the 4-year or extended programme in the Humanities, the Plus Tuts, Introductory Courses, and various other initiatives to support student success in the faculty. On this website you will find a host of information about and what we do.

The Humanities 4-year degree, also called the extended degree or ED, results in exactly the same qualifications as a 3-year Humanities degree. That is, you graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Social Science (BSoc Sci), but the minimum time to finish your degree is 4 years. This takes the pressure off by allowing you to take fewer courses in each semester, giving you time to develop yourself, discover what you really want to do and also take 3 majors if you are doing well. A 4-year degree gives you more time to complete the qualification, and also provides more teaching support throughout that qualification than the 3-year degree. This is to ensure that you have a rich undergraduate experience and get the best results you can. 

It is worth knowing that a high percentage of students who choose to do their degree in three years actually take four or more years to complete the degree anyway, due to failing some courses. The Humanities Faculty has specially designed the shape and pace of the four-year degree so that you have enough time and support. It becomes less likely that you will fail courses, and you finish with a stronger transcript and Grade Point Average (GPA) than a student who attempted to complete their degree in 3 years but in fact needed more time.

The Humanities 4-year degree is a placement programme, meaning that you will apply to the university for a general Humanities degree, and if you are eligible, you will be offered a place on the extended programme. However, if you’re accepted onto the 3-year Humanities degree and you’d like to move into the 4-year programme, this is possible - you can apply to the Director of the HUM LSU to transfer to the 4-year programme.

Advantages of the 4-year programme:

  • You take 3 courses per semester, which means you have more time to focus on each course and to complete assignments and get good marks
  • You take 2 or 3 Introductory courses in  your first year, which give you writing, numeracy and disciplinary-specific support to make the transition between high school and university as smooth as possible. There are a number of courses to choose from, tailored to your majors. Some of these courses also allow you to submit work in the language of your choice.
  • You have extra tutorials (Plus Tuts) available in Humanities first and second year courses, which are specially designed by well-trained Teaching Assistants to give you cutting-edge pedagogical support in your courses.
  • There is more potential to take a triple major as you have more time.
  • You have access to curriculum advice, mentoring & counselling support year-round should you need it.
  • In the 4-year degree you have your own representative body – the EDSC.

Want to find out more about the Faculty of Humanities at UCT?

Important contacts

Covid-19 24-hr Hotline:
021 650 1271

South African Depression
& Anxiety Group(SADAG):

*UCT Student Careline: 

0800 24 25 26
(Toll free 8am-8pm from Telkom line)/
SMS 31393 for a call-me-back.

*Suicide Crisis Help Line:
0800 567 567
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LifeLine South Africa:
0861 322 322
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072 393 7824
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Student Wellness Services:
021 6501020/1017
(during office hours)

Substance Abuse Helpline:
0800 121 314
(Toll free 24 hours)

Campus Protection Services(CPS):

*UCT CPS 24-hr Toll free:

0806 502 222 (Students to contact
this number even without airtime)

*UCT CPS 24-hr:
021 650 2222/3