Home > CHED UNITS > Centre for Extra Mural Studies (EMS)

Centre for Extra Mural Studies (EMS)

About the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (EMS)

The mission of the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) is to contribute to the University's social responsiveness by supporting student success and by making the academic and knowledge resources of the University accessible to a wider range of participants. EMS provides a range of courses and learning opportunities for the general public, participants from commerce and industry, government departments, NGOs and local and overseas university students.

EMS coordinates several different initiatives including the annual Summer School, the LSE-UCT July School and the Fine Minds and Summer School Extension Lecture Series.

Summer School, Extension lectures and Winter School

The annual Summer School runs for two weeks in January each year and is the largest public education programme of its kind in South Africa, regularly attracting around 3, 000 people.

This public education programme offers courses on a range of topics from arts, humanities and current issues to the physical and environmental sciences and aims to make specialised knowledge accessible to a wide audience, regardless of educational qualifications. These courses are for non-degree purposes and do not involve examinations or certification, though written or practical projects and reading may be required.

The programme is available from October each year on the Summer School website. The sixty-ninth annual Summer School will run from Monday 15 January to Friday 26 January 2018.

Extra-Mural Studies provides ad hoc public lectures, short-courses and other programmes to Cape Town’s adult learners throughout the year, outside of the regular two-week Summer School programme in January. The Extension Programme includes a series of broadcasts, the Fine Minds Radio Lecture Series, in collaboration with Fine Music Radio.

Fine Minds logo

LSE-UCT July School


The LSE-UCT July School is an exciting intensive academic programme taught in English by world-leading faculty from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of Cape Town (UCT). It attracts students and professionals from leading institutions and organisations around the world.


This two-week summer school-style programme offers a range of exciting university-level courses considering the academic and policy responses to the major social science issues of the twenty-first century, all with relevance to Africa and its relations with the world today. Participants take one intensive course for the duration of the two-week July School, typically comprising four hours of lectures each morning and a 90 minute class each afternoon – a total of 48 contact hours. The courses are assessed, including a final examination, and successful students are awarded a certificate and transcript.

If you are interested in gaining a global perspective on the study of Africa, at the continent's top university, in a beautiful, cosmopolitan city, we hope that you will consider applying to the LSE-UCT July School.

Full course and programme information is available on the LSE website. 'Like' the LSE-UCT July School Facebook page for updates and to see highlights from 2016.

All information about EMS events can be found on the EMS website. Please also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

  UCT Summer School