Rhodes University: All Your Questions Answered

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If you're considering studying at Rhodes University, but are still unsure. Here are some answers to commonly asked question to help you make your decision easier.


Rhodes University, the university has a well-established reputation for academic excellence. Rhodes is a small University, which enjoys the distinction of having among the best undergraduate pass and graduation rates in South Africa, outstanding postgraduate success rates, and the best research output per academic staff member.

Are you wanting to study at Rhodes University but have many unanswered questions? Below we have compiled a list of the 5 questions you need to have answers to before you apply. These can also be found directly on Rhodes website. For more information visit www.ru.ac.za

What do you need during first-year orientation week at Rhodes University?

Please ensure that during orientation week you carry with you at all times:

  • This orientation programme booklet;
  • your student card (as soon as you get one)

Who do you contact for academic support at Rhodes University?

Our academics, administrators and support staff work hard to create an environment that will help you to realise your potential. If you find that you are struggling with your academic studies in the first few weeks, seek help:

  • First, approach your tutor or lecturer, and speak to them about your difficulties. Most departments offer some guidance for the first assignment, etc.
  • Speak to your sub-warden or warden, and to your fellow students. They can offer support and advice.
  • Speak to the dean of your faculty he or she may advise that you drop one of your subjects and adjust your programme.
  • Extended Studies Programmes have been specially devised to help students who have been admitted to Rhodes without meeting the usual entrance requirements.
  • Do not keep your problems to yourself. Seek help.

How do I make curriculum choices?

Rhodes University offers two kinds of degrees at undergraduate level: professional qualifications and general formative degrees. Professional qualifications including the LLB and BPharm degrees lead directly to a career in a particular area. The general formative degree, such as the BA, BSocSci, BSc and BCom, exposes students to a wide range of subjects in the early years of study. Two subjects are then chosen as ‘majors’ to study at third-year level.

Many students come to the University thinking they are going to do a ‘BA Psychology’ or a ‘BSc, Computer Science’, but what may, in fact, happen is that you will do a Bachelor of Arts degree in which Psychology may be one of your majors, or a Bachelor of Science degree in which Computer Science may be a major. There are many benefits to doing a general formative degree rather than a narrowly focused program, which leads you to careers in only one subject area.

Can I make a course change?

Students sometimes find that after attending a few lectures in one of their courses, they wish to change to a different course. While it is not advisable to switch a course after teaching has begun (because you will miss lectures, and be under pressure to catch up on reading and other work), there is a two-week grace period at the start of the academic year during which such changes can be made. After which no further changes will be permitted.

Where can I find bursary options for Rhodes University?

Should a student wish to apply for external bursaries, please collect a booklet called The Bursary Register which contains information about external bursaries and scholarships. This booklet is available at the Student Funding Office (Student Bureau, Eden Grove Building) and the Main Library.


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