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Master's & doctoral studies

General registration information for master's and doctoral studies 

This information should be read in conjunction with Unisa's Student Rules and the General Rules for Master's and Doctoral Students.

Do I have to renew my registration annually?

You must renew your registration annually. Register online and pay the prescribed fee for the academic year.

May I defer my studies to the next academic year?

If you wish to defer your studies to the next academic year, please apply online before the relevant closing date for re-registration. Deferments are only granted a year at a time and for a maximum of two years during the course of study for a particular qualification. No deferments will be considered once your registration for an academic year has been finalised. Any requests for deferments after your registration has been finalised will be treated as a request for cancellation.

May I cancel any modules once I have registered?

Once you have registered for a reasearch masterís or doctoral degree, you may not cancel your registration for the year concerned. Once your registration has been finalised, you remain liable for payment of the full fees for the year concerned even if you cancel your examination entry for one or more of your papers or modules (if applicable). In the case of coursework masterís degrees (for which fees are charged per module/paper), normal rules regarding the cancellation or reduction of modules apply - subject to the rules applicable to the specific degree. Note: Registrations for the research proposal module, short dissertation, dissertation of limited scope, dissertation or thesis may not be cancelled.

May I register for two or more formal qualifications?

No. You may not register for two formal qualifications at Unisa concurrently.

Is it possible to transfer from another university to Unisa?

Unisa accepts students from other universities, except if the student was excluded/suspended from another higher education institution on the grounds of misconduct. If you are transferring from another university, please provide Unisa with a declaration from the previous institution that you did not submit your masterís/doctoral dissertation/thesis for examination at that institution.

If you do not have a student number, you will not be able to continue with registration. Please first apply to Unisa to receive a student number in the next application period. You need to apply for admission once you have received your student or reference number.

Can I register with Unisa and another university simultaneously?

Unisa will accept you on condition that the modules for which you intend to register at Unisa are for non-degree purposes and that you have written permission from the other university allowing concurrent registration. You will be required to submit the written permission from the other university with your application.

May I register for modules for non-degree purposes (NDP) concurrently with a masterís or doctoral degree?

If you are registered for a masterís degree, you may also register in the same academic year for two undergraduate modules or for one honours paper or the corresponding number of modules on the same level for non-degree purposes (NDP). If you are registered for a doctoral degree, you may also register in the same academic year for two undergraduate modules or for one honours paper or one masterís paper or the corresponding number of modules on the same level for non-degree purposes (NDP).

You will only be allowed to register for an honours or a masterís paper/module(s) if you comply with the prescribed admission requirements for the honours or masterís degree concerned. An application for concurrent registration must be submitted online on the prescribed form at least three weeks before the closing date for registration for the NDP paper/module(s).

May I be exempted from study units?

Students may not be granted exemption from study units obtained on grounds of a completed qualification. Exemptions will only be considered for study units of incomplete qualifications on masterís level. No exemptions are considered for doctoral degrees.

What should I do if I need an academic record?

Send an e-mail to and request a copy of your academic record. Remember to include your student number in the subject line of all e-mails.