This programme is designed primarily for students who wish to progress to an academic Master’s degree in Education.

Download 2024 BEd honours timetable


Please note that all teaching will be held in the new Neville Alexander Building, Lower Campus.

All classes are in-person, start at 16h00 and attendance is compulsory. 

The UCT Shuttle service is available for free to all staff and students who are in possession of a valid UCT staff or student card. The closest bus stop is Bremner.

NB: BEd honours is a one-year full-time qualification. However, it is strongly recommended that students in full-time employment do the programme over two years. Most popular option is to do coursework in year 1 and the research project in year 2. 

Please note that the BEd Honours programme is NOT offered by distance-learning nor by correspondence.

Admission requirements

a. Faculty requirements as set out under Rule FH3 (See Faculty Handbook)
b. Specialisation requirements:

  • a degree recognised for teaching purposes of this university or of another university recognised by Senate for the purpose, and a professional teaching qualification recognised by Senate with an average mark of at least 65%, or
  • a BEd degree with an average mark for the degree of at least 65%, or
  • a four-year, post-senior certificate, teacher's diploma or diplomas recognised by Senate, and a record in the final year of study of an average mark of 70%, and
  • a record of professional and academic work considered by Senate to be satisfactory for the degree, and
  • at least two years relevant teaching or work experience, which must be clearly indicated on your CV.

c. Acceptance is on the recommendation of the Head of Department


In order to complete an online registration on PeopleSoft, please do the following:

a) A detailed curriculum structure is explained below. Please ensure you understand your curriculum choice and the courses you are required to be registered for in a curriculum. The structure describes the allowed combination of courses required to complete a BEd honours qualification. Please note that you will only be able to graduate when you have satisfied the said combination - and this should explain why it is a critical that this is understood. You have been accepted in a specific stream, so you need to choose stream specific modules. You will require permission from a Module Convener (you wish to join) to enrol for another elective outside your stream. Please note that the timetable is fixed and it is therefore your responsibility to ensure you register for courses which do not clash. The 'F' and 'S'  in the course code means First and Second semester courses respectively.


See details here.


  • NRF funding If you have any further questions, please contact the postgraduate funding office (Pgfunding@uct.ac.za).
  • HCI foundation bursaries  Please direct any questions to HCI. NB: Please do not direct funding queries to the department.


The programme comprises four courses, each of which must be completed. Candidates may choose one of the curriculum options below.

Curriculum A:

EDN4506F/S South African Education in Context
EDN4507S Learning & Teaching
EDN4508W Doing Research in Education
AND one approved elective from the list below

Curriculum B:

EDN4507S Learning & Teaching
EDN4508W  Doing Research in Education
AND two approved electives from the list below

Approved elective courses in streams (specialisations):


  • EDN4512F Curriculum: theory, research & practice

Language & Literacy

  • EDN4514F Lang & Lit in Schooling: Theory, Research & Practice

Science Education

  • EDN4516F Knowledge for Practice in Science Education

Mathematics Education

  • EDN4515F Knowledge for Practice in Mathematics Education

History Education

  • EDN4513F History Education: theory, research & practice

Psychology of Education

  • EDN4520F Educational psych in changing context of SA schooling

Educational Management & Leadership

  • EDN4517F Educational Management & Leadership

Adult and Vocational Education

  • EDN4518S Knowledge & Experience in Adult & Vocational Education  [NB: completion of a concession form required]

With the approval of the Convener students may register for one equivalent Honours-level course in another Department or Faculty, provided that the course relates to their teaching, or to some clearly defined aspect of education.

Course outlines


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener: Dr Rose-Anne Reynolds)

The purpose of the course is to develop students' capacity to design research in their field/specialism with a view to preparing them to conduct and report on independent research. In the first part of the course, students are introduced to the logic of research design and associated methods, with a particular focus on the relation between a research problem, a research question, a literature review, theory, data and analysis within a coherent design in their field/specialism. In the second part of the course, students will conduct and write up a small independent research study under supervision in their field/specialism.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener:Professor Azeem Badroodien)

This course addresses the foundations of education and professional studies in the South African context. It provides an overview of the education system and enables students to locate themselves within it, drawing on perspectives from history, sociology and policy studies. Within this broad framework, students will be able to deepen their interests in different strands of education theory and practice, covering Adult Education, Higher Education and different aspects of schooling, including classroom practice and educational leadership and management.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener: Dr Warren Lilley)

This course investigates the interrelated issues of learning, teaching and cognitive change. It enables a deeper exploration of learning theories in relation to specific educational problems/challenges generated in the South African context, and in relation to broader questions of psychological change. It generates a view of learning and learners that negates the conventional isolation of educational issues from other psychological domains.
The course is structured around three core issues:

  1. Cognition: theories of learning
  2. Learning and identity: constructions of self
  3. Learning and development: possibilities for mediation


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener:Professor Ursula Hoadley)

The study of curriculum is the study of how dominant groups in society select and codify the knowledge they consider to be important for children to learn, the decisions that are made about how this knowledge is taught, and how it is assessed. The course focuses on issues of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment directly, as well as more broadly on the issue of social inequality and how this is reproduced or challenged through education. The course engages with a range of texts from sociological and educational literature, introducing students to major debates in curriculum studies. It moves from a macro focus on education and society to micro studies of curriculum, classroom pedagogy and assessment. The course also addresses the relationship between theory and practice, assisting students in moving between academic study and a consideration of professional practice. The intention of the course is to enable students to engage critically with curriculum reform in South Africa.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener:  Dr Kate Angier)

This course aims to engage students critically with current theory, research and practice in the field of history education, and to develop their understanding of appropriate classroom practices for teaching and learning history in schools. It explores key challenges and opportunities for the history curriculum in schools. It explores different philosophical and methodological approaches to the history curriculum; different curriculum models and their implications for history teaching; assessment; and materials development for history classrooms.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener: Dr Xolisa Guzula)

The course aims to develop students’ understanding of the language and literacy challenges in South African schooling; to develop students’ knowledge of conceptual resources for analysing and intervening in these challenges. This course explores key challenges in the field of language and literacy in schooling in South Africa. We focus on the complex possible relationships between language and failure in South African schooling from socio-political, socio-cultural and sociolinguistic perspectives. We examine the language of learning and teaching debate and the theoretical and empirical work underpinning this as well as the language policy and sociolinguistic context in South African education. In a second focus on literacy, we study writing and reading in education, developing the resources for understanding and intervening in key challenges around literacy in educational settings. We study literacy as sets of socially organized practices and skills and examine how aspects of social and linguistic diversity impact on the learning, teaching and assessing of the skills and practices associated with language, reading, writing and learning in education. We further explore dominant approaches to the teaching of literacy, analysing how reading and writing are conceptualised in these approaches.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener: Associate Professor Zain Davis)

The aim of the course is to expose students to a range of theoretical and methodological positions in the field of mathematics education, concerned with aspects of the reproduction of mathematics in pedagogic contexts. Key areas of focus are: (1) the structuring of curricula for the teaching and learning of mathematics; (2) the reproduction of mathematics in curriculum texts, like textbooks, workbooks and software; (3) the teaching of mathematics and the notion of mathematics for teaching; (4) the learning of school mathematics.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener: Associate Professor Rudi Laugksch)

The course aims to consolidate and deepen students’ understanding of the thinking, practice and research approaches in the specialist field of science education and thus engages with research on instructional strategies, content representations, student understandings, science practices and habits of mind associated with effective science teaching. Topics explored include the purpose of teaching science in South Africa and elsewhere; inquiry-based learning and its link to the nature of science and practical work in science education; as well as students’ conceptual change. Gess-Newsome’s model of Teacher Professional Knowledge and Skill is explored as a robust and predictive way to think about teacher knowledge and action.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener: Dr Yunus Omar)

Through an examination of key concepts in leadership styles and managerial practices the course aims to focus students/practitioners on ways to improve teaching and learning in schools. There are two main areas of focus:

  1. A consideration of different styles of leadership and how these might or might not contribute towards learner performance.
  2. A focus on possible ‘managerial’ responses to improve this within the context of school culture and leadership. In particular, the course will examine learner performance in South Africa; leadership in challenging circumstances; the role that teachers as leaders can play, and the means to enact change. The emphasis here will be on examining what it is that schools and teachers can do rather than on what it is not possible to do.

Students are required to have a minimum of two years teaching experience to take this course.


NQF Credits: 30 | NQF level 8

(Convener: Dr Warren Lilley)

Educational Psychology in Changing Context of South African Schooling examines children’s development and learning in South African schooling against the background of contemporary social and educational changes. Grounded on advances in psychological research on learning, pedagogical practices and human development, the course further explores the consequences that the changing sociocultural context of schooling in South Africa would potentially have on human development broadly, as well as on the development of specific psychological functions such as identity, personality, motivation and conceptual forms of thinking.  The course will further examine the extant of literature in psychology and education; introducing students to the foundations of contemporary debates and research agendas in psychology and education, and explore the relevance of key concepts and models in educational psychology for the contemporary, emergent debates and topics within the changing context of education in South Africa.

NB: Please note that this course does not equip you to pursue a Masters in Educational psychology. UCT does NOT offer any qualifications in educational psychology.