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An academic certificate is a document that certifies that a person has received specific education or has passed a test or series of tests. In many countries, a certificate is a qualification attained in the many various levels of education being Secondary school or Tertiary education.

Common Terms Applicants should note.


A programme is a curriculum package that consists of courses and leads to the award of a specific degree, diploma or certificate.


A course is an approved self-contained instructional package with a title, code number, stipulated contact hours and credit weighting.

Core (Compulsory) Course

A core or compulsory course is a course that a student is required to take and pass in order to graduate. There are four types of compulsory courses: University-wide compulsory courses, faculty compulsory courses, departmental compulsory courses and programme specific compulsory courses. A student who fails a compulsory course must repeat the course and pass before he/she can graduate.

Types of Core (Compulsory) Courses

University Compulsory Courses

Currently, they are the following:

  1. Communicative Skills
  2. General African Studies
  3. Information Literacy Skills
  4. Critical Thinking and Practical Reasoning
  5. Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation

Faculty/School Specific Compulsory Courses

These are Faculty/School specific courses that are required to be taken by students in the Faculty or School irrespective of their programmes of study, e.g. in the School of Biological Sciences there are foundation courses at Levels 100 and 200 taken by all students.

Departmental Compulsory Courses

The departmental compulsory courses are courses that are declared core by the department for students at various levels.

Programme Specific Compulsory Courses

These are compulsory courses specific to certain programmes

Elective Course

An elective course is a course which is freely chosen by the student within the context of the programme being pursued. The purpose of the elective course is to give the student the opportunity to construct a personal curriculum to meet personal, career or individual academic interests.

Cognate Course

A cognate course is a course in a related field that facilitates, reinforces, or enriches learning within a chosen area of specialization.

Inter-Faculty Course

An inter-faculty course is a course which a student takes outside his/her area(s) of specialization to broaden his/her academic outlook or enrich his/her general education. Such courses are taken outside the student’s faculty.

Pre-Requisite Course

A pre-requisite course is a course which the student must pass before he/she can be allowed to take a higher-level or related course.

Audited Course

An audited course is a course which the student voluntarily takes for zero credit. The course appears on the student’s transcript but will not count towards the computation of GPA.

Elective Subject

An elective subject is a subject, e.g. History, Geography or French, which a student is offered to read as per his/her admission letter (by virtue of his/her choice or entry background).

For one to be able to attain or be awarded a certificate for him / herself, the person should be unconditionally admitted to complete UCC undergraduate programs, individuals should possess a minimum of five (5) subjects at the GCE or CSEC level (including the mandatory English Language and Mathematics) at grades A, B, C or 1, 2, 3 respectively. A CSEC pass at level 3 must have been obtained since 1998.

A list of candidates who are deemed eligible as in requirement for graduation shall be laid before the Academic Board for approval. No award shall be confirmed unless the Academic Board is satisfied that the candidate has satisfied all the conditions for the award of a degree/diploma.

Certificates for programs pursued successfully shall be ready for collection at designated points on the day of graduation.

After the day of graduation, graduates may collect their certificates from the Office of the Director (Directorate of Academic Affairs) upon payment of the appropriate fees.

Certificates not collected five or more years from the date of graduation shall attract a special charge on collection.


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