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Qualifications offered

BEd Honours

Programme Convener

Dr Shaheeda Jaffer      


Please note that applications for the B.Ed Honours for 2021 is now CLOSED. Applications for 2022 will open in April 2021.

Classes start: Week of 15 March 2021

Timetable: Download timetable for 2020 (The 2021 time-table is not available yet).


This programme is designed primarily for students who wish to progress to an academic Master’s degree in Education. Educators who are primarily concerned with improving their practice or who have 4-year diplomas can follow the Postgraduate Diploma in Education. 

Admission requirements

Faculty requirements as set out under Rule FH3 (See 2020 Humanities Handbook) which state that:

A person shall not be admitted as a candidate for an Honours degree unless he/she is: 

(a) a graduate of the Faculty who has been awarded a Bachelor’s degree with the equivalent of a major in the subject in which he/she proposes to proceed to Honours, or has subsequently met the conditions which would have enabled him/her to be awarded the degree with that subject as a major subject, and has satisfied such other conditions as departmental rules may require; or 

(b) a graduate of any other faculty in the University who has completed courses accepted by the Senate as equivalent to those required under (a) above; or 

(c) a graduate of any other university recognised by the Senate for such purpose who has completed courses accepted by the Senate as equivalent to those required under (a). 

A person must comply with any additional admission requirements prescribed for the programme for which he or she wishes to be admitted as a candidate.

Specialisation requirements

  • a degree recognised for teaching purposes of this university or of another university recognised by Senate for the purpose, and a professional teaching qualification recognised by Senate with an average mark of at least 65%, or
  • a BEd degree with an average mark for the degree of at least 65%, or
  • a four-year, post-senior certificate, teacher's diploma or diplomas recognised by Senate, and a record in the final year of study of an average mark of 70%, and
  • a record of professional and academic work considered by Senate to be satisfactory for the degree.


Download 2020 Fee Book


  • NRF funding. If you have any further questions, please contact the postgraduate funding office (
  • HCI foundation bursaries.  Please direct any questions to HCI.  NB: Please do not direct funding queries to the department.


The programme comprises four courses, each of which must be completed. EDN4508W Doing Research in Education is a compulsory course.

Candidates may choose ONE of the curriculum options below.

  • Curriculum A:
    • EDN4506F, EDN4507S, EDN4508W and ONE approved specialisation   OR
  • Curriculum B:
    • EDN4506F or EDN4507S, EDN4508W and TWO approved specialisations.

With the approval of the Convener, students may register for one equivalent honours-level course in another department or faculty, provided the course relates to their teaching, or to some clearly defined aspect of education.

(a)   Compulsory course: 


(Convener: Associate Professor Zain Davis)

The purpose of the course is to develop students' capacity to design research in their field/specialism with a view to preparing them to conduct and report on independent research. In the first part of the course, students are introduced to the logic of research design and associated methods, with a particular focus on the relation between a research problem, a research question, a literature review, theory, data and analysis within a coherent design in their field/specialism. In the second part of the course, students will conduct and write up a small independent research study under supervision in their field/specialism.

(b) Elective courses: 


(Convener: Professor Azeem Badroodien)

This course addresses the foundations of education and professional studies in the South African context. It provides an overview of the education system and enables students to locate themselves within it, drawing on perspectives from history, sociology and policy studies. Within this broad framework, students will be able to deepen their interests in different strands of education theory and practice, covering Adult Education, Higher Education and different aspects of schooling, including classroom practice and educational leadership and management.


(Convener: Associate Professor Joanne Hardman)

This course investigates the interrelated issues of learning, teaching and cognitive change. It enables a deeper exploration of learning theories in relation to specific educational problems/challenges generated in the South African context, and in relation to broader questions of psychological change. It generates a view of learning and learners that negates the conventional isolation of educational issues from other psychological domains. 
The course is structured around three core issues: 
1.    Cognition: theories of learning
2.    Learning and identity: constructions of self
3.    Learning and development: possibilities for mediation

(b) Specialisation courses:


(Convener: Associate Professor Salma Ismail)

This course explores current debates around the relationship between work and learning. It takes as its starting point changes in the organisation of work under globalisation, and implications of these for adult education and training. It reviews current debates around new forms of learning and knowledge; the shifting relationship between formal education and the workplace; education for the informal economy; and social inequalities in work and learning. Students will reflect critically on their own experiences, and design new possibilities for learning at work.


(Convener: Associate Professor Ursula Hoadley)

The study of curriculum is the study of how dominant groups in society select and codify the knowledge they consider to be important for children to learn, the decisions that are made about how this knowledge is taught, and how it is assessed. The course focuses on issues of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment directly, as well as more broadly on the issue of social inequality and how this is reproduced or challenged through education. The course engages with a range of texts from sociological and educational literature, introducing students to major debates in curriculum studies. It moves from a macro focus on education and society to micro studies of curriculum, classroom pedagogy and assessment. The course also addresses the relationship between theory and practice, assisting students in moving between academic study and a consideration of professional practice. The intention of the course is to enable students to engage critically with curriculum reform in South Africa.


(Convener: Dr Kate Angier)

This course aims to engage students critically with current theory, research and practice in the field of history education, and to develop their understanding of appropriate classroom practices for teaching and learning history in schools. It explores key challenges and opportunities for the history curriculum in schools. It explores different philosophical and methodological approaches to the history curriculum; different curriculum models and their implications for history teaching; assessment; and materials development for history classrooms.


(Convener: Associate Professor Carolyn McKinney)

The course aims to develop students’ understanding of the language and literacy challenges in South African schooling; to develop students’ knowledge of conceptual resources for analysing and intervening in these challenges. This course explores key challenges in the field of language and literacy in schooling in South Africa. We focus on the complex possible relationships between language and failure in South African schooling from socio-political, socio-cultural and sociolinguistic perspectives. We examine the language of learning and teaching debate and the theoretical and empirical work underpinning this as well as the language policy and sociolinguistic context in South African education. In a second focus on literacy, we study writing and reading in education, developing the resources for understanding and intervening in key challenges around literacy in educational settings. We study literacy as sets of socially organized practices and skills and examine how aspects of social and linguistic diversity impact on the learning, teaching and assessing of the skills and practices associated with language, reading, writing and learning in education. We further explore dominant approaches to the teaching of literacy, analysing how reading and writing are conceptualised in these approaches.


(Convener: Dr Shaheeda Jaffer)

The aim of the course is to expose students to a range of theoretical and methodological positions in the field of mathematics education, concerned with aspects of the reproduction of mathematics in pedagogic contexts. Key areas of focus are: (1) the structuring of curricula for the teaching and learning of mathematics; (2) the reproduction of mathematics in curriculum texts, like textbooks, workbooks and software; (3) the teaching of mathematics and the notion of mathematics for teaching; (4) the learning of school mathematics.


(Convener: Associate Professor Rudi Laugksch)

The course aims to consolidate and deepen students’ understanding of the thinking, practice and research approaches in the specialist field of science education and thus engages with research on instructional strategies, content representations, student understandings, science practices and habits of mind associated with effective science teaching. Topics explored include the purpose of teaching science in South Africa and elsewhere; inquiry-based learning and its link to the nature of science and practical work in science education; as well as students’ conceptual change. Gess-Newsome’s model of Teacher Professional Knowledge and Skill is explored as a robust and predictive way to think about teacher knowledge and action.


(Convener: Dr Yunus Omar)

Through an examination of key concepts in leadership styles and managerial practices the course aims to focus students/practitioners on ways to improve teaching and learning in schools. There are two main areas of focus: 
1.    A consideration of different styles of leadership and how these might or might not contribute towards learner performance. 
2.    A focus on possible ‘managerial’ responses to improve this within the context of school culture and leadership. In particular, the course will examine learner performance in South Africa; leadership in challenging circumstances; the role that teachers as leaders can play, and the means to enact change. The emphasis here will be on examining what it is that schools and teachers can do rather than on what it is not possible to do.
Students are required to have a minimum of two years teaching experience to take this course. 


(Convener: Dr Warren Lilley: email:

Educational Psychology in Changing Context of South African Schooling examines children’s development and learning in South African schooling against the background of contemporary social and educational changes. Grounded on advances in psychological research on learning, pedagogical practices and human development, the course further explores the consequences that the changing sociocultural context of schooling in South Africa would potentially have on human development broadly, as well as on the development of specific psychological functions such as identity, personality, motivation and conceptual forms of thinking.  
The course will further examine the extant of literature in psychology and education; introducing students to the foundations of contemporary debates and research agendas in psychology and education, and explore the relevance of key concepts and models in educational psychology for the contemporary, emergent debates and topics within the changing context of education in South Africa. 

NB: Please note that this course does not equip you to pursue a Masters in Educational psychology. UCT does NOT offer any qualifications in educational psychology.


(Convener: Professor Dick Ng’ambi)

This module is premised on an understanding that theories and methodologies for evaluating and researching educational technology interventions are still evolving. It seeks to give students the intellectual tools to critically engage in these activities as practitioners and to understand what underpins it. The course orients students to the knowledge, values and skills involved in research and evaluation and makes use of authentic cases from a range of local contexts. The course draws on theories and frameworks used in the educational technology field as a means of researching and evaluating practice. We explore what it means to be a scholar in a digital world and how to better communicate and showcase our professional educational technology interests, skills and experiences.