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).

Social Info

Daily Programme

All Events
11 Feb

Daily Programme

9:00 AM - 8:00 PM Barratt Lecture Theatre
12 Feb

Daily Programme

9:00 AM - 8:30 PM Barratt Lecture Theatre
13 Feb

Daily Programme

1:00 PM - 10:30 PM Virtual/Residences

Director Student Affairs' Welcome Message

Introduction to the Division of Student Affairs (DSA)

Through the different services offered by the Division, the University aims to ensure holistic development of our students. The University wishes to create an opportunity for growth and development in support of the academic project.

Academic approval

What is it? Our orientation programme offers a wide range of talks about what is on offer. Try to go to as many of these as you can before you finally decide which subjects to take. Keep an open mind, and talk to people about possibilities, so that you have a clear idea of what you want to study by Friday, and can present these choices for approval. When your curriculum is formally “approved”, you will first consult with a senior member of your Faculty (e.g. the Dean of Humanities, Science, Commerce) after which the particular subjects (e.g. English 1 or Economics 1) which will form the first-year curriculum of your chosen degree (e.g. a BA, BSc, BCom, etc.) will be recorded on the University’s system, and form an official record of your curriculum for the year.
*Click on heading for more info

Making Curriculum Choices

Making Curriculum Choices

In the course of Orientation Week, you will need to make decisions about the subjects you want to study in your first year. 

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’.  This is not true. What will 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 programme which leads you to careers in only one subject area.  You may well find that the area in which you think you want to study this week is actually very different to what you imagined.  You might also find that you absolutely love another subject and that this is what you want to study. Yet another advantage of a general formative degree is that it allows you to find a different way to attain your dream of graduating if you fail a subject.  The structure of the degree allows you to be guided by the Dean or another senior member of staff towards success if you do have problems along the way.

During Orientation Week, you will have the opportunity to think about what different groups of subjects can offer you by attending panel discussions where members of staff specializing in these areas and students from these areas will try to give you a taste of what they offer.  You will then have an opportunity to ask questions of the panel.

Please note that some subjects will appear in more than one panel.  

Remember, also, that you do not have to take only subjects from one panel area.  Unlike other places, Rhodes University offers you the opportunity to combine subjects in any way you like provided your timetable will allow it. This will even include taking subjects from different faculties if you want to. Believe it or not, a combination of Music and Musicology and Mathematics of Computer Science is not unusual!

So, enjoy the week. Go to as many panels as you possibly can and expose yourself to an entire new world of thinking and interest that has opened up to you now you are registered at Rhodes University!

Please refer to your booklet on the daily timetable.

What is registration?

Registration is the process through which you officially become a student at Rhodes University. As a student, you must register each year, so that we have a record of your progress. Your administrative registration ensures that the University has an up-to-date record of all your personal details, such as home address, local Grahamstown address, medical aid, car registration, etc. We also take a photograph of you for your records, which appears on your student card. Curriculum Approval - as distinct from the administrative registration discussed above - is the process through which you choose your subjects for the year (this is subject to various constraints). It takes place on Friday 12th February, at the end of orientation week, after you have had a chance to find out about the various courses which are on offer (see the Daily Programme for details).

Dr Sizwe Mabizela's Welcome Message

A journey of self discovery

It is with great delight that I welcome you, our new students, to Rhodes University. If you have been counting days to the start of your exciting new experience at Rhodes University, we have also been waiting expectantly for your arrival. Welcome! You are about to embark on an important and exciting