Honours degrees & postgraduate diplomas

FAQs for honours degrees and postgraduate diplomas: application for admission

Applying for admission

Who must apply for admission?

Everyone wanting to start a new qualification must apply for admission.

This includes

  • first-time Unisa applicants
  • Unisa students changing to a new qualification and / or changing the specialisation (stream) of the current qualification
  • applicants completing an undergraduate qualification who wish to continue with postgraduate studies

You must re-apply for admission if you previously applied for admission and received feedback, but did not register for any reason.

Please note: If you were registered for the same qualification in the previous academic year, you do not need to re-apply for admission

When can I apply?

Unisa will accept applications for admission to the 2021 academic year from 1 September to 15 December 2020 (CTA programmes have an earlier closing date). Additional application dates may be announced if there are still spaces available for the 2021 academic year.

For how many qualifications may I apply?

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 applications be successful). Please ensure that you meet all the admission requirements before applying for your qualification(s) of choice.

How do I apply?

Visit the Unisa application website (www.unisa.ac.za/applyHONS) and follow the 4-step process. All applications for honours degrees and postgraduate diplomas must be submitted online. No hard copy applications will be accepted.

I studied previously through Unisa. Must I also submit my academic record?

If you previously studied through Unisa, you do not need to upload your academic record. If you, however, studied through another university or institution, please upload your academic record as part of the application process. Your academic record does not need to be certified.

Will I still be able to submit any outstanding documents after applications have closed?

No. Unisa will not accept any late applications or documents submitted after the closing date for applications.

Fees and student funding

Is there an application fee? If so, how much is it?

The application fee for online applications is R115,00.

Please note:

  • The application fee is only applicable to students who do not have a formal Unisa student number.
    * Student numbers issued for short learning programmes are not formal Unisa student numbers. If you have a student number issued by the Graduate School of Business Leadership, please ensure that you pay the application fee during the application process to receive a formal Unisa student number.
  • The application fee is a once-off fee. Once you have paid the application fee and received a formal Unisa student number, you do not need to pay the application fee again.
  • Use the student number you receive from Unisa AND the application fee reference number (ie STUDENTNUMBER 5370810030). Visit www.unisa.ac.za/paymentinfo for banking details and payment information.
  • The due date for the application fee is the closing date for the application period. Any application submitted without an application fee will not be processed. Please ensure that you keep a copy of your proof of payment.
  • This application fee is non-refundable even if you decide not to study through Unisa or do not qualify for admission to Unisa.

Is the application fee subject to a cooling-off period?


After applying for admission

I’ve applied. What happens now?

  • Unisa will assess your application according to the academic admission requirements for your qualification of choice and the final mark received for your major subjects at undergraduate level.
  • Unisa will inform you whether or not your application was successful and the qualification(s) for which you have been accepted.
  • If you accept Unisa's offer for the 2021 academic year, you may only register for the qualification and specialisation for which you received an offer. Should you decide not to register for the 2021 academic year for any reason, you will need to re-apply for the 2022 academic year.
  • Unisa reserves the right to withdraw any offer for admission to the 2021 academic year should it be found that you do not meet the statutory, college and/or minimum admission requirements for the qualification to which you have been admitted. In such a case, the university will refund any registration fees paid towards the said qualification.

When can I expect feedback on my online application?

The verification of applications takes some time. Applications follow a formal selection and approval process, which may take up to three months to be finalised.

I’ve applied for one qualification, but now want to change to another qualification. What should I do?

It is, unfortunately, not possible to change your qualification once you have submitted your application. You will need to apply for the new qualification during the next application period.

My application for admission to Unisa was unsuccessful. What can I do?

If your application for admission to a qualification or to both qualifications of choice is rejected, you may appeal the outcome of your application, either on the basis that you believe the decision was an error on the part of the university or that further supporting documents may result in a different outcome regarding your application for admission.

Please note:

  • You have 10 days from the date on which you receive the outcome of your application to submit an appeal on the prescribed form. Failure to file an appeal in the prescribed timeframe constitutes a waiver of the right to lodge an appeal.
  • Please note that not uploading required supporting documents during the application process is not grounds for an appeal.

This form should be submitted via e-mail.


What are the dates for the compulsory Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGD) study school at the SBL?

A one-week compulsory study school is planned for the second week of February 2021. More comprehensive information will be provided in the acceptance letter.

I want to register, but didn’t apply during the application period. What should I do?

Unisa will accept applications for admission to the 2021 academic year from 1 September to 15 December 2020 (this excludes CTA programmes). Additional application dates may be announced if there are still spaces available for the 2021 academic year.

Please note that most honours and postgraduate diploma modules are year modules and will not, therefore, be open for applications during the year. Normally, the Graduate School of Business Leadership's Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration is available for the second semester.

I have one or more undergraduate modules outstanding for my undergraduate qualification, but would like to register for some honours degree modules (concurrent registration). Is this possible?

To be considered, the following criteria apply:

  • You must have applied for the relevant honours degree during the prescribed application period.
  • The maximum of two outstanding modules may not be your major subjects for your undergraduate qualification. 
  • You must be currently registered for the outstanding undergraduate modules. 

I need to defer my studies (put my studies on hold). When and how can I do this?

Unisa's Admission Policy (par 4) allows a student to defer his or her studies for a maximum period of two years, except in exceptional circumstances determined by the Executive Dean of the College where the student is registered or the Registrar. A student who wishes to defer his or her studies must, before the closing date for re-registration for a particular year, submit a substantiated application to the Registrar using the application for deferment of studies form on the Unisa website. Such deferment must be recommended by the Chair of the Department and Executive Dean of the College concerned and, if granted, is for a period of one year only, after which a further application must be submitted. Deferment will not be granted more than twice, except in exceptional circumstances determined by the Registrar of the Executive Dean of the College. Periods during which a student is permitted by the university to defer his or her studies will not be taken into account when calculating a student's period of registration.