Help! I’m a first-year student!

Posted on January 27, 2020

Welcome to the University of Pretoria, and congratulations on choosing UP!

Everything likely seems a bit overwhelming right now, so take a moment to familiarise yourself with the programme for all the different faculties on the Orientation Week web page. You can find more tips on how to make a success of your journey as a student and how to balance your workload here.

Orientation Week is compulsory for a very good reason! During this week, you will learn about all the different options and avenues for help and support that UP offers especially for you. You will be introduced to all the tools you need to navigate your UP journey right up until you graduate and become part of our alumni family. We are one of the largest universities in South Africa, and our vibrant campuses are always a hive of student activity. It’s going to get even busier when the senior students return!

At UP, we do everything we can to ensure you have all the resources you need to make your dreams and goals a reality. We provide a very high quality of teaching to ensure you can learn effectively, but we also ensure that you can always find extra notes and additional resources online, or learn by applying your knowledge through assignments, practical work and community volunteer work.

Be sure to pay attention to all the tips given during Orientation Week on how to manage your time and plan your studies. Choosing the correct subjects (where applicable) and maintaining a good average by working consistently will help to ensure that you graduate on time. This means that as a first-year student in 2020 you will be graduating from a three-year undergraduate degree in April 2023, or a four-year undergraduate programme the following year. Your degrees are designed to be completed within the timeframes allocated to them, but you need to work consistently to ensure that you reach the required academic goals.

Each faculty has its own group of Faculty Student Advisors, who are available to guide your academic success and provide the assistance you need to help you along your path to graduating on time.

As a UP student you will have access to our work-readiness and entrepreneurship training, which will equip you for life beyond university.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories and libraries across all our faculties. It is important that you attend the library training programme and attend anti-plagiarism training. You will be using these skills within the next few weeks for your assignments and research projects, and will need them for the rest of your academic journey.

If you feel lost, unsure or overwhelmed, you’re not alone! If you need help finding directions to a lecture hall or venue, or some direction on an administrative process, ask someone for assistance. Most senior students, lecturers, tutors, faculty student advisors or support staff will be able to guide you in the right direction. We’re all here to help you!

If you need specific help, keep this list of numbers from the Department of Student Affairs handy.

Professional Counselling

UP Counselling 012 420 2333


Support with studies

Faculty Student Advisors

Engineering, Built Environment, and Information Technology 012 420 6532

Natural and Agricultural Sciences 012 420 6740

Economic and Management Sciences 012 420 6743

Humanities 012 420 6963

Education 012 420 5968

Law 012 420 6830

Theology 012 420 6707

Veterinary Science 012 420 4009

Health Science 012 356 3351



Crisis Line 0800 006 428

UP Careline 0800 747 747


Urgent/Online Counselling

UP Careline (SADAG) 011 234 4837



Notify Campus Student Health Clinic 012 420 2500

Campus Security 012 420 2310 (this number is also on the back of your student card and can be used for any other emergency)


First Aid/Emergency help after rape (within 72 hours)

Medico Legal 012 354 1874

Thuthuzela Centres 012 801 4504



HIV testing and counselling 012 420 2500

Everything you do in the present has an impact on your future, so make today matter and make the most of learning all about your new environment during Orientation Week!

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