Frequently asked questions

Answers to our most asked questions

The best part was learning about Africa within Africa, I was inspired by the exchange of ideas between my professor and classmates which have broadened my horizon a lot.

Yuanyang Zheng, University of Glasgow, UK

Jump to: entry requirements, how to apply, fees and payment


Academic structure

The LSE-UCT Summer School is an exciting programme combining the strengths of LSE and the University of Cape Town in the social sciences. Each course is taught by a specialist in their field who holds a position at one of these world-class institutions.

How many hours is the programme and what are the teaching methods?

The LSE-UCT Summer School is an intensive, two week programme. Each course is full-time, and consists of a total of 48 contact hours between Monday and Friday over the two weeks. Usually this involves a total of 36 hours of lectures, attended by all class participants and held each morning, and a total of 12 hours of seminar classes in groups of up to 15, held each afternoon. However, other teaching methods appropriate to the individual courses may be used and schedules may vary.

A course pack of reading material is provided to each participant at the start of the programme. Participants are advised to purchase any required textbooks prior to the start of the LSE-UCT Summer School. 

Due to the rigorous, academic nature of the programme, participants are strongly encouraged to consult the preparatory and background reading section of the full course outlines, which are available online, and to prepare as appropriate for the demands of the course.

How many courses can I take?

Due to the intensive nature of the programme you can only take one course per year, however if you wish to do another course you might consider joining the LSE-PKU Summer School running in August.

How will I be assessed and will I receive a certificate?

All LSE-UCT Summer School courses are assessed and graded, and an LSE-UCT Summer School transcript and Certificate of Completion are provided to all participants who successfully complete their course.

Courses are generally assessed on a mid-term paper and a final examination, but other elements such as mid-term quizzes, group projects and student presentations may also contribute.

All courses feature a final examination, which is two hours in length and held on the final day of the programme. The final examination will be written by hand, however additional arrangements can be made for students with a disability or medical condition. All participants are encouraged to take the final examination, but those who opt out are entitled to a Statement of Attendance, provided they have attended at least 80 per cent of the taught sessions.

Full details of the assessment criteria, marking schemes and deadlines will be provided at the start of the programme. Please see the individual course descriptions for further information.

Can I obtain credit?

Institutions all over the world grant credit for Summer School courses. The quality of LSE-UCT Summer School courses is given the highest priority. While neither LSE nor UCT offer credit, many past students have been able to use their certificate, transcript and course syllabus to receive credit from their home universities, though it is strongly recommended that anyone considering this should speak to their home university as early as possible. Generally speaking, we have found that other institutions will recognise an LSE-UCT Summer School course as equivalent to 3 credits in the US system or 7.5 ECTS in the European system.

LSE-UCT Summer School office is very pleased to provide any further information which may be helpful to students or their institutions.

What study facilities will I have access to?

During the LSE-UCT Summer School, participants will have access to study facilities at the University of Cape Town.

UCT Gym - open 06:00 to 21:00, Mondays to Fridays, and 8:00 to 19:00, Saturdays and Sundays.

UCT Library - The UCT Chancellor Oppenheimer Library is situated on Upper Campus next to Jameson hall and will be open from Monday to Friday from 08:30 – 17:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 – 12:30. The library is closed on Sundays. Prescribed and recommended books from the programme will be made available for reference purposes (i.e. you may only use the books in the library) to LSE-UCT Summer School students and you are encouraged to use the library as a general study space.

UCT Student Wellness - UCT maintains an on-campus health centre for registered July School participants where there is no fee for visits to nurse-practitioners, although participants are charged for appointments with doctors and other specialists. All staff members are qualified and accredited practitioners with a licence to dispense medication.

Internet access - While on campus, LSE-UCT Summer School participants are able to access the internet through UCT’s Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS).

Tip: If you are already registered with Eduroam, you should find that you are able to connect to WiFi automatically when on the UCT campus.

What is the difference between 100, 200 and 300 level courses?

Generally speaking, a 100 level course is equivalent to the first (freshman/sophomore) year of a UK undergraduate degree, a 200 level course is equivalent to the second (junior) year, and a 300 level course is equivalant to the final (senior) year.

100 level courses have no specific prerequisites in their own subject, but may require some mathematics (please see individual course pages for more information). The minimum requirement for taking these courses is to have an offer of a place at university, but additional evidence of academic ability may also be required.

200 level courses are equivalent to intermediate level university courses. They have prerequisites in the form of university level introductory courses in the same or closely related subject. 

300 level courses are advanced and equivalent to either final year undergraduate or first year graduate courses. They have prerequisites of university level intermediate courses.

I have a disability, what support do you offer?

The LSE-UCT Summer School aims to create an environment which is welcoming to all participants. If you have a disability, medical condition, dyslexia, neurodiverse condition or other specific need, please contact us before the Summer School begins so that we can try to accommodate your needs and ensure that we are fully prepared for your arrival.

Can I change my course?

Any applicant or registered student who wishes to change their course should submit their request by e-mail to Requests can only be considered subject to availability.

Entry requirements


What are the academic requirements?

There is no minimum grade requirement for applications to the programme, but applicants should be prepared to actively participate in a rigorous, intensive academic programme run by two leading research and teaching universities. It is expected that all participants will engage with the extensive reading list as required by their course and contribute in class discussions. 

We welcome students and professionals on all levels of courses. Students who complete their High School studies in 2019 and hold a confirmed offer to begin university in 2019 (or in 2020 after a gap year) may also apply.

Are there any prerequisites?

Some LSE-UCT Summer School courses at 200 or 300 level have specific prerequisites listed in the individual course descriptions, whilst others suggest (but do not require) particular academic backgrounds. Applicants for a course where prerequisites are in place should ensure that the documentation they provide with their application clearly indicates how their previous study meets this requirement.

What are the English language requirements?

As the LSE-UCT Summer School is delivered in English, it is essential that all participants have a good standard of English language to enable them to fully participate in the programme and interact with colleagues.

We appreciate that applicants may show their English ability in a range of ways, such as:

  • Being of a nationality where English is the first language;
  • Having studied at university level in English (not learning English language), as shown on a transcript;
  • Having studied English at school (eg, South African Matric Certificate, GCSE, iGCSE, O-Level, A-Level, International Baccalaureate) and received a good passing grade; or
  • Having taken an approved English language test and met the standard below:

TOEFL (internet based):

107 or above (including 25 in each component)


7.0 or above in each component


Grade B or better, or 185 points overall and a minimum of 185 points in each component 


Grade C or better, or 185 points overall and a minimum of 185 points in each component

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA):

65 or above in all four components

National Benchmark Test in Academic Literacy (South Africa): 


If you have any queries about whether your proof of English Language is suitable, please contact us.

Can non-LSE/ UCT students and alumni apply?

Yes, we welcome students from across the globe. As long as you meet the entry requirments you are welcome to apply.

How to apply


Before starting your application, please ensure that you meet the entry requirements specific to your chosen course.

How can I make an application?

Once you have paid your application fee, you can start your online application and submit your supporting documents. Please see our how to apply page.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged within five working days. A decision will normally be made on fully completed applications within ten working days, but at particularly busy times this timescale may be extended.

How long will it take to receive a decision?

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged within five working days. A decision will normally be made on fully completed applications within ten working days, but at particularly busy times this timescale may be extended.

What supporting documents do I need to supply?

You will need to provide:

1) Documentation to show that you satisfy the entry requirements of your course, such as a university transcript.

2) Proof of meeting the English language requirements (if relevant).

3) A passport style photo (a photo of your face with a clear background), this will be used for your student ID card at the University of Cape Town. 

4) If you will not be 18 years old by 23 June 2019 you will also need to provide a letter from your parent/guardian to confirm that you have their permission to attend the two week programme.

Fraud prevention

We take active steps to scrutinise and verify documents received during the application process. If we are unable to verify independently the accuracy of information supplied, your application may be cancelled and any offer withdrawn.

Fees and payment 


What is the application fee?

The application fee is a non-refundable charge which covers the cost of processessing and assessing your application.

Before you can apply online you need to pay £50* by credit or debit card online. Further guidance is available on our fees and payments page.

*ZAR500 application fee for SADC aplicants. 

The application fee must be paid before an application can be processed.

Important: The application fee is not refundable in the event of an unsuccessful application or a decision to withdraw or decline an offered place.

How much does the programme cost?

Please refer to our fees and payments page for our 2019 fees.

What does the tuition fee cover?

The tuition fee covers:

1) Two weeks of tuition (48 contact hours between Monday and Friday which include 36 hours of lectures and a total of 12 hours of seminar classes).

2) The course reading pack and materials.

3) Formal welcome (orientaion and registration event on the Sunday before the course begins).

4) Extracurricular activities (see our student life at UCT page for more information).

5) Roundtable event - a highly topical and interesting interdisciplinary discussion/ debate (topic TBC).

6) Farewell dinner (held on the final Friday of the Summer School, participants must sign up in advance).

You will need to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and living expenses separately.

How do I pay?

You should pay your application fee online. Please refer to our fees and payments page for more information.

Once you have been made an offer, you will be provided with instructions about how to pay your tuition fee.


Am I a SADC applicant?

There are 15 member states of the  South African Development Community (SADC).

To qualify as a SADC participant, you must be:

  • both a national and resident of a SADC member state, or 

  • resident in a SADC member state for tax purposes, or

  • a SADC member state national who is temporarily overseas for the purposes of studying.

Are there any scholarhips or discounts?

We offer 'Early Bird' discount for all fully completed applications received by 31 March 2019. 

Professional participants who are no longer in full-time education but who are alumni of LSE or UCT (including alumni of the LSE-UCT July School or the LSE-PKU Summer School), are also able to take advantage of the student rate.