When considering accounting at the University of Cape Town, there are many questions that prospective students have, so we've rounded up the most commonly asked ones in one place for you to find the answers easily.
Here are frequently asked questions about undergraduate degrees in Accounting at UCT:
Applying to do Accounting at UCT
If I want to be an accountant, why should I choose UCT?
The College of Accounting has top quality lecturers and programmes and gives you your best chance of success! In addition, UCT has consistently achieved outstanding results in the national qualifying SAICA exams. We have one of the best track records within South Africa.
What are the entrance criteria for a BCom in Accounting?
You need to have a Faculty Point Score of 430, 60% for Maths and 50% for English HL (or 60% for English FAL), and an NBT score of Upper-Intermediate for AL and QL.
Can I get in if I have done Mathematical Literacy at school?
Unfortunately, not. You need pure Mathematics.
Do I need to have done Accounting at school?
No! We will teach you all the Accounting you need to know.
Studying Accounting at UCT
What is the difference between a BCom and a BBusSc, and why should I choose one or the other?
A BCom degree is 3 years, and the BBusSc degree is 4 years. If you know that you want to become a CA (SA) or another form of an accredited accountant, and you want to do it in the minimum amount of time, then choose the BCom. If you want to have a 2nd major in finance, and do a number of other business courses, and you can take an extra year with your studies, then choose the BBusSc. The BBusSc Finance with Accounting degree is offered by the Department of Finance and Tax.
When must I decide between a BCom and a BBusSc degree?
When you apply to UCT you’ll apply for a Commerce degree. At Orientation, there will be more information to help you decide which degree is right for you. The only difference between the two degrees in 1st year is that BBusSc has an extra maths course in the 2nd semester. So, there is still a chance to choose later on during 1st year, or even at the start of your 2nd year.
What is the difference between the BCom Chartered Accountant and the BCom General Accounting degrees?
The degrees are identical until your 3rd year, so you don’t need to choose between them until that stage. During 3rd year, you do a different financial reporting course (Financial Reporting III vs Financial Reporting & Analysis), and on the CA programmes you do one additional course required by SAICA (Business Analysis & Governance).
What can I do with a BCom General Accounting degree?
You can carry on to postgraduate studies in an accounting field (like public sector accounting, tax, finance and more), or you can continue your journey to be an accredited accountant locally through SAIPA, or globally through ACCA or CIMA.
What can I do with the BCom Accounting with Law degree?
The Accounting with Law degree offers you an introductory degree in both Accounting and Law. After graduation, you can choose to continue with Law and apply to do a 2 year LLB with the Faculty of Law (instead of the normal 3 year LLB). Alternatively, you can choose to continue with Accounting (and you would need to do a few additional undergraduate courses, and then continue your Accounting qualification).
Career opportunities in Accounting
What are my job opportunities as an accounting professional?
You will be able to work in financial reporting, tax, management accounting and decision making, auditing or corporate governance – or in the broader business. You can specialise and tailor your career. People who qualify as accountants may also later choose careers in senior management.
What does it mean to be a professional chartered accountant?
This is someone who has been ‘accredited’ at a particular skill level by a professional body. They have also had 3 years of monitored work experience. The College offers programmes that allow you to become an accredited accountant affiliated with SAICA, SAIPA, ACCA and CIMA.
How do I become a CA (SA) at UCT?
A CA (SA) is what you call someone who becomes a chartered accountant through SAICA. UCT offers 2 programmes that allow you to continue on the CA (SA) journey – the BCom Chartered Accounting degree and the BBusSc Finance with Accounting degree. After either of these undergraduate degrees, you will need to complete a 1-year Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, followed by a 3-year training contract and 2 qualifying exams (including an exam preparation course). The journey will take a minimum of 7 or 8 years, depending on which undergraduate degree you do.