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Academic support services FAQ

Libraries

  • What services are offered by UCT Libraries?

    For essential information about library hours and services, visit the UCT Libraries website.

  • Do you have eBooks?

    You can Find eBooks or online textbooks in every subject via our eBook platforms or on Primo.

  • How do I access eBooks?

    Learn how to access eBooks with the eBooks Library Guide.

  • What are the opening hours of the libraries?

    To find out about when you can access the libraries, visit the UCT Libraries website for essential information about library hours and services.

    Our Virtual Library Service operates from 08:40 - 17:00, Mondays to Fridays.

  • How can I get help with using the libraries?

    You can Ask a Librarian or see the subject guides.

    We have useful resources for every subject area. You can also make a virtual appointment with one of our friendly librarians.

  • How can I contact the libraries?

    You can send an email to libraries@uct.ac.za.

  • How can I get referencing & information support?

    You can get referencing & information support from our Virtual Library Service (08:40 - 17:00, Mondays to Fridays).

Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS)

  • Do I need software or will UCT make it available to me for free?

    UCT will provide you with various software packages for free to enhance your productivity and learning for the duration of your studies. These include Microsoft Office 365 (which you can install on up to 5 devices), Nvivo, MATLAB, SPSS, McAfee antivirus, and more. For more information on what is available, visit the ICTS Software page.

  • Is printing available on campus? How much does it cost?

    UCT’s Managed Print Services (MPS) offer printing, copying, and scanning services to students across the various campuses. They also offer extended helpdesk support hours and a centralised online printing portal where you can manage your account. Find out more about MPS offerings and costs on their website.

  • What ICT support is available on campus?

    The ICTS Front Office on Upper Campus and ICTS-on-Main Walk-in Centre at 7 Main Road, Mowbray offer a range of services to staff and students, including:

    • assistance with changing your password
    • installing anti-virus software
    • setting up wireless connections on laptops and mobile devices
    • troubleshooting and other basic support requests

    They are, however, unable to fix personally owned hardware.

  • Will I get Wi-Fi?

    UCT students get free access to eduroam – our Wi-Fi service – both on campus (in classrooms and social spaces) and in residences. However, students must act responsibly by following the eduroam rules.

  • If I am not in residence, how much data do I need?

    While eduroam is provided both on campus and in residences, those living in private residences off campus ordinarily need to secure their own data. The amount you need will depend on your usage patterns – both for academic and private purposes.

  • Where are the computer facilities at UCT?

    UCT provides an extensive network of computers for students. All students are allocated a personal email address and have access to the University’s computer network as soon as they register. Wi-Fi extends across all campuses.

    Software available on campus ranges from basic word-processing to advanced statistical and design packages. In addition to the extensive network of computers available to all students in UCT’s library and faculty computer laboratories, several departments have their own facilities with specialised software to support teaching and learning in their degree programmes.

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only computer laboratories in the Health Sciences Faculty are currently open. Computers are also normally available for students to use in the UCT Libraries. View their Library Services during COVID-19 page to check which services and facilities are available/open during the pandemic.

  • Will I have access to recordings of my lectures?

    Most undergraduate lectures are recorded (where facilities exist in the classroom), unless lecturers opt out of recording. You can usually access recordings of these lectures within one working day of the class. Find out more about lecture recording at UCT.

  • Do I get a UCT email address or do I continue to use my personal one?

    All registered UCT students are provisioned with an email address in the following format: "studentnumber@myuct.ac.za". All official UCT communication will be sent to this address, so you should check it regularly. Your mailbox is hosted on Microsoft’s Office 365 Cloud and includes a free copy of the Microsoft Office suite for the duration of your studies.

    Your Office 365 email address is supported on Windows, Mac & Linux and is accessible via most available web browsers (i.e., Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox). Your myUCT email address is an "email address for life". This means that it will still be available after you graduate. (You will not retain your email address should you not graduate.)

    Please note: all Office 365 documents hosted in the Cloud must be e to another location when you leave UCT. Only your myUCT mailbox and its contents will remain available to you.

  • Where can I get more information about IT resources available at UCT?

    The ICTS website provides a detailed overview of all ICT services and products available to you as a student.

  • What laptop specifications does UCT recommend?

    A laptop with an Intel Core i3 or an AMD Ryzen 3 processor and 8GB of RAM laptop is recommended for most courses. If you are studying architecture, an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 laptop and 8GB of RAM is recommended for you to handle the software packages you will need to use.

  • Can you repair my computer if it breaks?

    Consultants at the ICTS Front Office on Upper Campus and ICTS-on-Main Walk-in Centre at 7 Main Road, Mowbray can do a basic assessment of what is wrong with the device, but are unable to fix personal hardware. You can either contact the hardware manufacturer, the shop you bought it from, or take it to a computer repair outlet.

Writing Centre

  • What is the UCT Writing Centre?

    The Writing Centre, located within the Language Development Group, is a student-oriented space which aims to provide mediation in the process of academic writing. Students from all disciplinary backgrounds as well as tertiary levels are encouraged to engage in the one-on-one consultancy service offered.

    At the Centre, we believe that all students have the capacity to improve their writing, whether you are able to skilfully construct an academic essay or whether you are struggling to string the separate parts of your paper into a coherent whole. Since writing is one of the primary means of assessment in the academic realm, it is important that there is an avenue available in which students are aided in ways that serve to improve their academic performance. The Writing Centre is one such avenue.

    Our one-on-one consultation sessions provide a haven in which students are able to discuss their writing with an attentive, critical but non-judgemental reader. During these conversations with consultants, students are able to explore new ideas, evaluate the clarity of proposed arguments, as well as work towards creating a better sense of the inner workings of academic writing.

    Furthermore, help is also offered for general academic conventions such as referencing, proposal formats, report writing and poster design. It is important to bear in mind that the Writing Centre does not provide an editing service. Rather, we aim to enhance understanding of writing as a process and encourage a thinking-through-writing approach.

  • How do I make a booking with the Writing Centre?

    The Writing Centre is located on the fifth floor of the Steve Biko building (just above the food court). You can book online. If you have any queries, you can contact us at writingcentre@uct.ac.za.

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