These are the marks you need to study Computer Science in South Africa

Computer Science is an attractive career path for those who are interested in technology and computers, but it is also a challenging qualification that requires strong mathematical skills and a willingness to work hard.

Professor George Wells of Rhodes University previously told MyBroadband that matric results aren’t always a good indication of whether a student will succeed in the field of Computer Science.

“There is evidence to suggest that ability to succeed in Computer Science is determined more by aptitude than by formal school preparations,” said Wells.

Both Wells and UCT Computer Science lecturer Aslam Safla agreed that problem solving is one of the more important factors in the aptitude of a Computer Science student.

Safla also said that this skill should receive higher priority in the school curriculum so that students are prepared for the challenging Computer Science coursework.

Studying IT

Wells told MyBroadband that studying IT at school can help matric students, provided their teachers are qualified.

“If not, one has the difficult problem of trying to get students to unlearn bad practices and habits, as well as learn better programming techniques,” said Wells.

Safla claimed that private school IT students usually have a big advantage over their peers, whereas public school IT students have a much smaller advantage.

Despite this, admission requirements do not take into account whether the student went to a public or private school.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements for Computer Science vary, but many requirements at most top South African universities include at least 60% for Mathematics, as well as 60% for a science subject in matric.

Most degrees also require a basic level of language proficiency, which can be a minimum of either 50% for either a Home Language or a First Additional Language.

APS scores can be calculated using this tool.

The Computer Science admission requirements for seven of South Africa’s top universities are below.


Note: FPS is calculated by adding together your six best scores excluding Life Orientation, and doubling your scores for Mathematics and Physical Science (or Life Sciences or Information Technology if you don’t take Physical Science).

  • Guaranteed admission – FPS of 660 or above
  • Admission very likely – FPS of 620 or above
  • Admission possible – FPS of 550 or above
  • Mathematics – 70% or above
  • Physical Science/IT – 60% or above


  • APS – 40+ (38 or 39 may be placed on a waiting list)
  • English (Home Language or First Additional Language) – 60% or above
  • Mathematics – 70% or above


  • 65% aggregate
  • Mathematics – 70% or above
  • Afrikaans/English (Home Language or First Additional Language) – 50% or above


  • Automatic acceptance – 45+ points
  • Dean discretion – 38-44 points.
  • Required subjects – Physical Science or Life Science, and Mathematics

University of the Free State

  • APS – 30+
  • Language of instruction – 50% or higher
  • Mathematics – 50% or higher
  • Physical Sciences – 50% or higher

University of Pretoria

  • APS – 30 or higher
  • English or Afrikaans – 60% or higher
  • Mathematics – 60% or higher
  • Life Orientation – 50% or higher

University of the Western Cape

  • APS – 33+
  • English – 50% or higher
  • Secondary language – 40% or higher
  • Mathematics – 60% or higher
  • Physical Science or Life Science or Information Technology – 50% or higher

Now read: What to study to become a telecoms CEO

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These are the marks you need to study Computer Science in South Africa