Extended Degree Program in Arts and Social Sciences
Welcome to Stellenbosch University



Below we answer some of the common questions prospective EDP students might have.

Why were Extended Degree Programmes (EDPs) established in South Africa?

In 1997, the South African government released the White Paper for the Transformation of Higher Education which outlined a comprehensive set of initiatives for the transformation of higher education. The White Paper noted the central role of higher education in the social, cultural and economic development of modern societies. The specific challenge in South Africa was to redress past inequalities and to transform the higher education system to respond to new realities and opportunities. In recognition of the central role of academic development in the transformation of higher education, Extended Degree Programmes (EDPs), or Extended Curriculum Programmes (ECPs) were established as a mechanism to deal with systemic obstacles to equity and student success.

Who qualifies for the Extended Degree Programme (EDP) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University?

The basic admission requirements for selection to the EDP are (i) admission to study for a Bachelor's degree, (ii) an average NSC result in the category 60-64.9% (excluding Life Orientation) and (iii) compliance with the admission requirements specific to the programme. Admission to the EDP is considered on a discretionary basis. A student's National Benchmark  Test  (NBT)  results,  socio-economic  status  (including historical disadvantage, guardians' or parents' income and the quality of schooling) as well as  the  availability  of  places,  are considered for admission.

Students who have been provisionally admitted to the mainstream programme in 2020 (i) who have between 60% and 64,9% in their NSCs in January 2021, after the matric results have been published and (ii) who conform to the special admission requirements of the EDP may lodge a request to be admitted to the EDP to Ms Cheryl Richardson at cherylr@sun.ac.za. They must also attend the first EDP meeting on a date to be confirmed.

The EDP  is  not  an  option  for  the  following  degree  programmes:  BA (Drama  and Theatre  Studies),  BA (with  Music),  BMus,  BA  in  Visual  Arts,  BA (Political, Philosophical and Economic Studies) (PPE), BA (Law) and BA (Sport Science).

How does the EDP differ from mainstream programmes?

In the EDP, students do their first academic year over two years. They receive additional academic support and follow certain compulsory modules that prepare them better for their graduate studies. In their first year at university, EDP students take two subjects from the mainstream first-year offering of the particular degree programme for which they are registered, as well as the three compulsory EDP subjects, Texts in the Humanities 114 & 144, Information Skills 174 and Introduction to the Humanities 178. In their second year at university, students take the remaining subjects from the mainstream degree programme's first-year offering (normally three subjects), and register for the EDP support modules, Texts in the Humanities 143 & 153. Students who have an average of 65% in their first year, may apply to continue with a mainstream second-year subject. The contents of the third and fourth years of study are the same as the second- and third-year offerings of the mainstream degree programme. You can read more about the EDP in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences 2020 Calendar on pages 15 -16 and 342 - 343.

Is it compulsory for EDP students to write the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs)?

Yes, the NBTs are compulsory for all Stellenbosch University students. If you have not written your NBTs yet, we request you as a matter of urgency to write your NBTs before you register in 2021. You can register for the NBTs on this website

When is the first meeting with EDP lecturers?

First-year EDP students and their parents/guardians are invited to an information meeting on a date and venue to be confirmed. During this session, there will be a detailed discussion of the EDP programme and the specific subjects for which you must register. You can read more about the Welcoming Programme once the electronic link is activated.

When do first-year EDP students register?

EDP students do not register electronically, but in person at NARGA in the Administration Block on a date and venue to be confirmed.  EDP students who will be doing their second EDP year in 2021, will register on a date to be confirmed.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences looks forward to welcoming you to the University of Stellenbosch and wishes you the very best for your studies.​