Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Postgraduate Studies​​​

      Why Stellenbosch?​​



General I​nformation

Campuses and Faculties

Stellenbosch University has five campuses and ten faculties:

The main campus is in the picturesque university town of Stellenbosch in the heart of the Western Cape Winelands. The university is situated about 50 km from Cape Town and 30 km from Cape Town International Airport.

Eight faculties are on the main campus, with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences situated on Tygerberg campus adjacent to the Tygerberg academic hospital, and the Faculty of Military Sciences – the only one of its kind in South Africa and one of only two in Africa – based at the South African National Defence Force Military Academy in Saldanha. The Stellenbosch Business School is located on the Bellville Park campus. The fifth campus, in Worcester, was officially opened in 2012 with the launch of the Ukwanda Rural Clinical School of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Here, medical and related health sciences students have the opportunity to complete their clinical training on a rural platform. 

Academic Information

South African academic life is very similar to the European tradition. Courses are a mixture of lectures and seminars with individual laboratory time and library work. Students specialise early and study one or two disciplines for three or four years. In most subjects, assessment relies on continuous evaluation with assignments, orals, presentations, one mid-semester test and a concluding examination. Honours programmes are generally a combination of taught modules (with seminars and laboratory time) and a research thesis component. Masters programmes are either a combination of taught modules (with seminars and laboratory time) and a substantial research thesis component or programmes based on research only.

The academic year consists of two semesters; the first runs from February to June and the second from July to November. Doctoral programmes have a minimum registration period of two years before the degree may be conferred. Students however typically study for around three years and are expected to work independently under the guidance of a supervisor. Doctoral candidates in all faculties must submit a substantial dissertation and will generally be required to complete an oral examination.

Under certain circumstances, you may transfer your credits earned at a foreign university to Stellenbosch University, but as a general rule it should be borne in mind that at least 50% of your credits must be earned at this institution in order to obtain your degree from Stellenbosch University.

Matie Community Service

Matie Community Service (MGD) has a long-standing history of student volunteerism in the communities around the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses. Students can become involved in volunteerism via:

  • ​Residence structures
  • Societies structures
  • Faculty committees
  • Sport societies
  • Walk – ins at MGD (individual students who would like to get involved)

Student volunteers are offered an accredited programme in order to capacitate students and prepare the students for volunteerism.

The course is NQF 6 accredited and has the following objectives:

  • Introduction to community development
  • Project management and innovation
  • Engaged citizenship within the international and national development frameworks.

Some of the projects students are involved in falls within these categories:

  • Education ( mentoring)
  • Leadership and Lifeskills
  • Health promotion and awareness
  • Arts ( crafts and drama)
  • Sports
  • Environmental awareness

maties hands.png
The accredited course and community work of students are officially recognised by SU and is added to their co- curricular transcript.​

To find out more, or get involved, please contact ​Renee Hector-Kannemeyer.


Some 330 of the University's postgraduate students make use of University accommodation on the Stellenbosch campus. 

It is important to note that admission into an academic programme does not guarantee placement in a University residence. All students are required to apply for accommodation separately.

Accommodation is offered in two forms:

  • Those administered by the University – in the form of rooms in student houses and furnished flats/apartments. Students provide their own bedding and crockery, and no meals are provided. Computer network points are also provided in all units.
  • Those offered by agents or private owners.

Different accommodation (not managed by the university), can be found in various publications and online media:

  • Consult the classified ad section in the local newspaper (Eikestad News)
  • Visit the SU International website to view a range of letting agencies

International Students

During your postgraduate studies you have a number of options regarding accommodation; you may stay in rooms or apartments administered by Stellenbosch University International or in private accommodation. Stellenbosch University International tries to mediate on behalf of students and will assist you in obtaining acceptable housing as far as possible.

Contact Details
 Mr Grant ​Leukes​​​za
 021 808 4207​

South African Students

Prospective South African students wishing to be considered for a place in University accommodation have to indicate this in section E of the postgraduate application form when applying for admission. Note that all accommodation provided is self-catering.

Contact details
 Residence Placement Office​​​za
 021 808 9111​


If you are interested in exploring South Africa, or just going on a short outing, there are plenty of options for hiring a car in Stellenbosch or Cape Town, for a weekend or even longer. If you intend to stay in Stellenbosch for several months, it may be the less expensive option to buy a car and to sell it when you leave. You may rent a car if you are 21 years or older and in possession of a valid driver's licence.

Bus, rail and air travel

Although there is no bus service to travel between Stellenbosch and Cape Town, it is possible to travel by rail. For more information regarding costs and the train schedule, you can visit the website of Metrorail. Longer distances can be travelled by bus, train or airplane. With a student card the train will be the least expensive way of travelling, but it will take a lot more time than travelling by bus, or flying if it's a very long distance. There are a number of bus services and airline companies in South Africa, and you can find information about them and make bookings quite easily on the internet.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​