University of the Witwatersrand Grading System

By | April 13, 2022

University of the Witwatersrand Grading System

University of the Witwatersrand Grading System – See Details Below:

Credit Conversion Guidelines – based on the Wits System

Please be advised that the university is unable to provide direct conversion of the Wits credit system into either the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) or the Grade Point Average (GPA). This document merely serves as a guideline.

Academic Year

The academic year at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits) runs from February to November 1. The year is further broken down into two semesters:

Semester 1 – February to June

Semester 2 – July to November

Term Dates (dates are subject to change annually)



Dates (2015 dates used as an example)


Tuesday 13 January – Friday 6 February

Orientation week

Monday 9 February – Friday 13 February

First teaching block

Monday 16 February – Friday 27 March

Mid-term Vacation/Study/Research break

Monday 30 March – Monday 6 April

Second teaching block

Tuesday 7 April – Tuesday 26 May


Friday 29 May – Friday 26 June

Winter Vacation/Study/Research break

Saturday 27 June – Sunday 19 July


Third teaching block

Monday 20 July – Friday 4 September

Mid-term Vacation/Study/Research break

Saturday 5 September – Sunday 13 September

Fourth teaching block

Monday 14 September – Wednesday 28 October


Monday 2 November – Friday 27 November

Summer Vacation/Study/Research break

Saturday 28 November

Wits Credit – Rating System

The South African National credit rating system rates 10 notational study hours as equivalent to one credit. Credits represent a measure of all the learning activities engaged in by the student and include, among other, contact time, self-study, Work Integrated Learning (WIL) assignments, projects and examinations.

Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor’s degree and Bachelor of Honours degree qualification types assume a 30 week full time academic year2. Master’s degree and Doctoral qualification types assume a 45 week full time academic year. An average full time equivalent student is expected to study for a 40 hour week, thus requiring minimum credit load of 120 credits per academic year for Certificates, Diplomas, and Bachelor’s degrees and 180 credits per academic year for Master’s degrees and Doctorates. On average, there are four 45 minutes lectures per week, per course. Attendance of tutorials and practicals is usually compulsory.

Wits Grading System (as reflected on academic transcripts)


Wits Percentage



75% and over


Upper Second

70% to 74%



60% to 69%



50% to 59%



0% to 49%


1Health Sciences programmes commence in January and finish mid-December

2Professional Clinical degrees in Health Sciences are longer than the assumed 30 week full time academic year.

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