What are Concessions?

Concessions are granted to students where exceptions to the curriculum/timetable/prerequisites are required. These are granted on approval from the Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Affairs and, in some cases, the relevant Head(s) of Department.

During registration, should you need a concession to enroll in your preferred/prescribed courses, you will be advised to complete the relevant concession application form(s).


Concession Link
Pre-requisite Waiver Download
General Concession Download
Time-table Clash Concession Download

Types of Concessions

  • Pre-requisite Waiver

    Signed by: Head of Department only

    This is the most common kind of concession: if you wish to register for a particular course but have not completed the courses which are pre-requisites for registration, an HoD will sometimes allow you to register anyway. The HoD's decision will take into account whether you are likely to be able to pass the course, usually based on your marks in general, your marks in any other courses in that subject, or whether you have completed related courses which will give you relevant skills.

    Good wording to use in describing the problem: "I request permission to register for POL1005S despite not having completed its prerequisite POL1004F."

    Good motivation for the request: "I only developed an interest in Politics after the first semester. If I am permitted to register for POL1005S in the second semester I can catch up POL1004F in summer term and continue with second year politics next year without adding an extra year to my degree."

  • General concessions

    Deviation from curriculum

    Signed by: Head of Department or Course Convenor, countersigned by the Deputy Dean after you have registered and submitted the concession with your registration form.

    It is sometimes possible to be given permission to complete a major or a programme with a substitution of one course for another. Please note that a major or programme has a strong academic logic, and an HoD or convenor may not be happy to see essential courses replaced. You are more likely to be granted this kind of concession if you can replace a course with a similar course, or with one of a higher level than that required.

    Please also note that we are NOT likely to grant this concession for a third-year major course, as these represent highly specific disciplinary outcomes and substitution would seriously compromise the integrity of the major.

    Good wording to use in describing the problem: "I request permission to count REL2048S in place of REL2040F for the major in Religious Studies although Psychology is not one of my majors"; "I request permission to count PHI2039S in place of PHI2012S for the second year requirements of the PPE programme".

    Good motivation for the request: a timetable clash, or a particular and well-supported interest in the subject of the replacement course.

    Permission to exceed maximum course load

    Signed by: the Co-Ordinator for Undergraduate Affairs. Countersigned by the Deputy Dean after you have registered and submitted the concession with your registration form.

    Faculty rules state that a student may not register for more than 4.5 courses in any one semester (the half is covered by an H course, which counts as half a credit per semester). There are very specific rules about the circumstances under which five courses in one semester will be permitted.

    The concession will be given ONLY to exceptional students with an extremely high-achieving academic record. This means that you must have either a straight-A Matric record if you want to do five courses in the first semester of your first year, OR you must have a 75% average on a full load in your previous semester of university study.

    It will not be granted if the five courses include third-year (3000-level) subjects.

    You will NOT, under any circumstances, be given permission to take five courses in a semester because you have failed a course and need to catch it up. It's generally a bad idea to overload yourself even if you're an excellent student, your marks WILL drop, and we'll do our best to persuade you not to do it when you apply for a concession.

    Permission to do a course a third time

    Signed by: the Head of Department. Countersigned by the Deputy Dean after you have registered and submitted the concession with your registration form.​

    The Economics department has indicated that they will never permit a third attempt of any of their ECO courses. Please see an advisor to discuss alternative arrangements.

    Faculty rules state that a student may not register for a course a third time: if you fail it twice, you'll not be permitted to register. (Please note that an AB, INC or DPR mark counts as a fail).

    In practice the Faculty will permit you a third-time registration for ONE course, ONCE during your entire academic career, and ONLY if you have the consent of the department concerned.

    You are likely to be granted this only if the course is essential for your major or programme, and if your other marks are solid.

    If the department refuses consent you will have to change your degree or major, or else register for equivalents to the course concerned through another university. (Please note that the Economics department will never grant third-time registration permission to students who fail courses in the Economics major).

  • Time-table Clash Concession

    Signed by: the Head of Department for both courses. Must be countersigned by the Deputy Dean before you are allowed to register for the clashing courses.

    Students are not permitted to register for courses which are in the same timetable slot. However, under certain extremely specific circumstances this permission may be given.

    The concession will not be granted for clashing courses if there is a curriculum readjustment which can avoid the clash. It will thus not be granted for electives, or for major subjects or programme electives if there are multiple options within that programme option/year of the major, and a non-clashing option exists.

    Generally these circumstances will require that the clash is for only one lecture period a week, or that the student has registered for one of the courses before and thus has lecture notes, OR if one or preferably both of the courses records their lectures.

    Please make sure that you research the clash carefully and can tell the HoDs exactly what days you will be missing for each course.

    Good wording to use in describing the problem: "I request permission to register for both SOC2004S and POL2037S despite the fact that they are in the same lecture period: I will miss one Sociology lecture on a Thursday."

    Good motivation for the request: you are likely to be permitted the clash only if you cannot otherwise finish a major or programme.

    You should also be aware that registering for a clash runs the risk that you will have exams timetabled for the same slot; both departments must sign to indicate that they will deal with this kind of clash if it happens, i.e. make arrangements for you to write the two exams concurrently within the department, or to be escorted from one to another.


  1. Download the fillable PDF form from the above links. Make sure you have the correct form for the concession you require.
  2. Fill in your details on the form. Include as much detail as possible on the concession you are requesting:
    • the name and code of the course concerned
    • the particular rule you are asking permission to break. See the different kinds of concessions above for useful wording. Many students submit concession forms with extremely incomplete details, so please be careful and comprehensive in this.
    • the reasons why you need to ask this. Good reasons include being unable to complete a prerequisite because of a timetable clash, or trying to prevent an extra year of study by doing, for example, first and second-year courses together. (See notes under "Types of Concessions" for further examples).
  3. Email the concession form to the head of the relevant department, or departments, or, in some cases, to your programme convenor; there is a Head of Department contact list available here: https://www.uct.ac.za/about-uct-management/heads-academic-departments.
    • It's important that you watch your email, in case they need to ask you further questions about concession details you haven't included.
    • The HoD/convenor will either support your request or refuse to do so. Remember that curriculum rules exist for good reason: the HoD/convenor is perfectly within their rights to refuse if they feel you don't have a good chance at passing, or if the rules-bend you are requesting threatens the logic or integrity of the course, programme or major. 
    • Remember that a timetable clash request needs to be supported by the HoD of both departments concerned.
  4. Submit the signed form on Peoplesoft along with your registration form, or, once term has started, your change of curriculum form. The concession will be passed on to the Deputy Dean within the Peoplesoft process; he will decide whether to grant the concession or not. If the concession is refused you will be informed of the fact by phone or email. 
  5. Granted concessions are circulated to the faculty on the Dean's Circular, and the form is filed in your file for reference when checking if you have qualified for your degree.