Choosing Subjects

Rhodes is a Liberal Arts University which offers a wide range of subjects. As a visiting Credit-bearing or Study Abroad Semester student, you are free to take almost any combination of undergraduate subjects at Rhodes.

Subjects available fall under one of four faculties:

  • Law (for students from selected Universities under the Law exchange programme)
  • Humanities
  • Commerce
  • Sciences

Visiting students are not restricted to any one of these faculties. However, students wishing to take subjects in Law, Commerce and Sciences need to indicate their intention to do so in their application forms so that the relevant departments can pre-approve the subject choice.

Students may not at this stage be permitted to do courses in the following departments, kindly take note of the exceptions:

  • Journalism (unless students are from one of our partner Universities that have a Journalism exchange or student wish to take 1st- 3rd year subjects theory based subjects in the Journalism department and they have a Journalism background if they intend to do 2nd -3rd year courses.
  • Education (unless students are from one of our partner Universities that have an Education exchange).
  • Pharmacy.

Credits and Course Structure

A typical, fulltime Bachelors student at Rhodes will have the following course structure:

1st year

2 majors + 2 minors (All 1st year level)

2nd year

2 majors (continued from 1st year) + 2 minors (1st or 2nd year level subjects)

3rd year

2 majors (continued from 2nd year)


Courses at Rhodes are taken either for a whole year or for a whole semester. At the end of each semester, students write exams on all the courses taken during that semester. Although most courses consist of modules (usually two per semester), students at Rhodes can only enroll for a whole course and NOT for separate modules (except for History 3, Economics 3 and Management 3 modules). For example, a student enrolled for Anthropology 1 in the first semester will have to take both modules on offer for that semester.

The South African credit system is irregular and as a visiting Credit-bearing or Study Abroad Semester student, you will not need to worry about it. For the purposes of Credit-bearing and Study Abroad Semester programmes, the International Office recommends that Rhodes courses be seen as consisting of the following credit weighting per semester:

Course Level

US Credits


UK Credits

1st or 2nd year level




3rd year level




3rd year modules*




Total Credits per Semester


(Max 20; Min 12)


(Max 37.5; Min 22.5)


(Max 75; Min 45)


* It is possible to take separate modules of some courses at 3rd year level. These courses typically include only 3rd year level Economics, History or Management courses.

Visiting Credit-bearing or Study Abroad semester students may take any combination of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year courses each semester, provided that they fit within the maximum and minimum credit weightings in the above table.

Selecting Courses

Students applying to Rhodes University as Credit-bearing or as study abroad semester students will need to indicate on the application form, which subjects they are interested in.

Students only enroll for courses on the Friday before the start of the semester. They have the first two weeks to add any courses and may drop courses until the beginning of the week before exams start.

The course content for any given academic year is only determined in November of the preceding year. Course content can be obtained from the following sources:

Last Modified: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:27:14 SAST