Master's & doctoral degrees
Apply for a student number and apply for admission
Who must apply?
- Everyone wanting to start a new master's or doctoral degree must apply for admission. This includes first-time Unisa applicants, applicants completing an honours or master's degree who wish to continue with further postgraduate studies, and Unisa students changing to a new qualification.
- You must re-apply for admission if you previously applied for admission and received feedback, but did not register for any reason.
Online applications: 12 September - 11 November 2016. No hard copy or self-help applications will be accepted.
What's new for 2017?
- You may apply for a maximum of two qualifications, ranked in order of preference (although you may only register for one should both of your qualifications be successful).
- Unisa will inform you of the outcome of your application and, if successful, the qualification for which you can register for the 2017 academic year.
- If your application for admission is successful, you must register for the 2017 academic year. Should you not register for the 2017 academic year, you will be required to re-apply in 2017 for the 2018 academic year.
1. Application for a student number
Who must apply for a Unisa student number?
- You must obtain a Unisa student number if you have never
before studied towards a formal qualification at Unisa. Student
numbers issued for Unisa's short learning programmes are not
valid for formal qualifications.
- No application or registration will
be processed without a valid student number.
- You do not need re-apply for a student number if you already have
a student number for a formal qualification.
How to apply for a Unisa student number
- Apply online for a student number and pay the non-refundable application fee of R100* (online payment by credit card is available when applying online).
- Your application for a student number will only be finalised upon receipt of the application fee. Please note the application fee is non-refundable even if you decide not to study through Unisa or do not qualify for admission to your qualification of choice.
- Upload certified copies of ID/Passport document.
* Some exceptions may apply.
Pay application fee
Pay the online application fee of R100,00 (online payment by credit card is available). This fee is non-refundable even if you decide not to study through Unisa or do not qualify for admission to Unisa. Unisa does not accept cash at any of its offices. You may deposit cash into the university's Standard Bank account:
- Payment information for students living in South Africa
- Payment information for international students
- International students must pay fees via SWIFT payment:
- Beneficiary: Unisa student deposits
- Standard Bank
- Account number: 011554622
- Branch code: 010645
- SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ
Please e-mail proof of SWIFT payment to email@example.com.
2. Application for admission
Who should apply for admission?
- First-time applicants for master's or doctoral qualification, including final year Honours or Master’s students (whether studying through Unisa or another institution).
- If you previously applied for admission to a master’s or doctoral qualification and did not register (for whatever reason), you must re-apply for admission to the qualification.
- If you are a previously registered Unisa student who did not register in 2015 but want to study in 2016.
- If you were previously registered for a qualification, applied for a formal deferment and received formal approval, you do not need to re-apply for admission.
Check your documents & confirm that you are ready to apply
I have prepared a research outline in line with the departmental focus area requirements (applicable to all qualifications except for coursework LLM qualifications). A research outline - this document describes your intended research and comprises a two to five page expression of interest essay describing the following:
I meet the statutory and college admission requirements for my qualification.
I have a valid e-mail address and I accept that Unisa will communicate with me during the application process using this e-mail address.
- Short literature review
- Potential contribution of the study
- Potential unit of analysis
- Access to the research context
t (include the method you plan on using)
- Personal motivation to pursue studies on this topic
- List of references (using the Harvard referencing method OR in the case of the Department of Psychology “APA”)
- CV and any additional documents as indicated in the admission requirements for the specific qualification under the departmental focus area requirements.
departmental focus area requirements.
Maximum number of files allowed: 5.
Files are not larger than 2MB (2048KB) each.
Only black and white documents may be submitted.
Only the following file types are allowed: PDF (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format file), DOC (Word document file) or TIF (image file)
Each document must be uploaded as a separate file.
How to apply for admission
- Complete and submit your application online.
- You must upload all the necessary supporting documents as as indicated above.
- Please note that academic departments have different dates on which selection for master's and doctoral qualifications will take place.
- No late or incomplete applications will be considered.
What will Unisa do upon receiving your application?
Unisa will assess your application to ensure that you meet the necessary admission requirements and that all required supporting documents have been uploaded online and received.
Your application will then be referred to the relevant academic department, where a selection process will take place. Please note that this selection process will only take place after the closing date for applications, during December 2016 and January 2017. The master's and doctoral administrative section will inform applicants during February 2017 of the outcome of their application.
What happens next?
- Successful application - Unisa will confirm this via e-mail and will also provide you with the contact details of a specific member of staff, normally your supervisor, within the relevant academic department - please ensure that you make contact with this person after registration.
- Unsuccessful application - Unisa will inform you of this via e-mail.
You must register online for your approved qualification during the prescribed registration period. If you want to change the qualification for which you have applied and received confirmation, you will need to re-apply for admission during the next academic year.