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Master's & doctoral studies

Apply for a student number and apply for admission

Who should apply for admission?

You must apply for each new qualification even if you already have a Unisa student number.

Take note of the following before you apply:

  • You must have a valid e-mail address so that Unisa can communicate with you during the application process.
  • You must submit all the necessary supporting documents as part of the online application process. If you are unable to do so, you will not be able to submit your online application.
  • No application payments or documents will be accepted during the registration period.

Application dates


Applications open

Applications close

Online for all master's and doctoral qualifications

Monday 16 September 2013

Friday 15 November 2013

* Students applying for qualifications within the College of Science, Engineering and Technology - excluding Computing students - may apply for admission outside of the prescribed application dates. Please contact the Master's and Doctoral Qualifications Section (+27 12 441 5702; for assistance.

** Students applying for the Med in Education Management by coursework must note the earlier closing date of 15 October 2013. Please note that all admissions must be submitted online.

*** Selection degrees follow a different application process to Unisa's other master's and doctoral qualifications. Should you wish to apply for such a degree, please apply for a student number and ensure that you apply with the relevant department before the closing date specified for the particular degree.

The application for admission process

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 will be processed without a valid student number.

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 your identify document, passport or birth certificate.

*Some exceptions may apply.

How to apply for admission

  • Complete and submit your application online:
    • 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 were previously registered for a qualification, applied for a formal deferment and received formal approval, you do not need to re-apply for admission.
  • Submit all your supporting documents during the online application process:
    • Certified copies of all academic records stating all papers passed and percentages obtained.
    • Certified copies of your ID document, passport of birth certificate.
    • A research outline, CV and any additional documents as indicated in the admission requirements for the specific degree or on the relevant departmental website.
  • Please note that academic departments have different dates on which selection for master's and doctoral qualifications will take place.
  • No late applications will be considered.

Rules for uploading supporting documents

Unisa does not provide scanners or electronic devices. Please ensure your documents are in an electronic format (as stipulated below) before starting the application process.

  • Files cannot be larger than 2MB (2048KB) each.
  • Maximum number of files allowed: 5 (combine similar items as one file, eg all school certificates as one file).
  • 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)

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

What will Unisa do upon receiving your application?

Unisa will assess your application to ensure that you meet the necessary admission requirements. 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.

What happens next?

  • Successful application - Unisa will confirm this in writing and will also provide you with the contact details of a specific member of staff within the relevant academic department – please ensure that you make contact with this person.
  • Unsuccessful application - Unisa will inform you of this in writing.

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 application period.