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Open applications

We have changed our application model to be open and continuous. This means that applications will remain open throughout the year. Visit the application website for FAQs and regular updates: www.unisa.ac.za/apply

FAQs: Undergraduate qualifications, honours degrees & postgraduate diplomas

What do we mean by "open applications"?

It means that Unisa will accept applications throughout the year. This does not, however, guarantee that you will be able to register for the next semester or even the subsequent academic year. It will depend on, among other things, whether you meet the necessary admission requirements, whether the qualification is full (over-subscribed) and whether the registration period has commenced. It is also subject to the prescribed minimum tuition period of 15 weeks for semester modules and 30 weeks for year modules.

Is there a closing date for applications?

There is no closing date as such. However specific qualifications may be closed for applications when a qualification is full or at least two weeks prior to the start of the registration period.  

When should I apply for the next semester?

You can apply at any time for the next semester. You may be offered a space, but this will depend on, among other things, whether you meet the necessary admission requirements, whether the qualification is full and whether the registration period has commenced (eg for the 2020 first semester registration period, applications should be allowed only up to 24 December 2019). Applications received during the registration period will be considered for the next academic period (semester/year).

Once I have applied, how long will it take for Unisa to respond or make me an offer?

Unisa will make an offer as soon as possible. The final date for feedback will not be later than a week before the closing date for registrations.

How long do I have to accept or reject the offer?

You will have 10 days to accept or reject the offer. If you do not accept or reject the offer, the space will be given to another student.


How do I know if a qualification is fully subscribed (full)?

The application system will indicate to you if a qualification is full. You will then have to apply for the qualification for the following semester (if the qualification is available for the next semester), or another qualification.

Once I have applied and been given a space, when do I register?

Unisa will inform you about the registration dates in your acceptance letter. Unisa generally follows this registration cycle:

  • Registration for semester 1 takes place in January.
  • Registration for semester 2 takes place from mid-June to mid-July.
  • Registration for year modules takes place from January to March (some exceptions apply, such as the College of Accounting Sciences’ postgraduate diplomas and some honours qualifications).


FAQs: Master’s degrees (coursework)


What do we mean by "open applications"?

It means that Unisa will accept applications throughout the year. This does not, however, guarantee that you will be able to register for that academic year. It will depend on, among other things, whether you meet the necessary admission requirements, whether the qualification is full and whether the registration period has commenced. It is also subject to the prescribed minimum tuition period of 30 weeks for year modules. There are no second semester registrations for master's degrees by coursework, as all modules are year modules.

Is there a closing date for applications?

There is no closing date as such. However specific qualifications may be closed for applications when a qualification is full. Selections take place during December, January and February and you will be informed of the outcome of your application at least two weeks prior to the closing date for registrations. 

Applications received after selections have taken place will be processed. Acceptance will depend on whether you meet the necessary admission requirements, whether the qualification is full and whether the registration period has started (eg 2020 applications received will be processed and referred to the relevant academic department prior to the selection dates). Applications received thereafter will be referred if there are still spaces available. Once a qualification is full, it will be removed from the online application list until spaces become available which is dependent on the registration closing date.

Once I have applied, how long will it take for Unisa to respond or provide feedback?

Students will be accepted on the following criteria: (i) suitability and viability of the intended research, (ii) adequate supervisory capacity, and (iii) research expertise in the discipline or department. Selections take place during December, January and February. The final date for feedback will not be later than two weeks before the closing date for registrations.

How do I know if a qualification is fully subscribed (full)?

The application system will indicate to you if a qualification is full. The qualification will no longer appear on the list of available qualifications in the online application system. You will then have to apply for an alternative qualification or wait until your qualification of choice becomes available (it might be that it only becomes available for the next academic year).

Once I have applied and been approved, when do I register?

Master's degree students normally register from January to March of each year. Some qualifications have earlier registration closing dates, such as the MCompt, MBL, MBA degrees.


FAQs: Master's and doctoral research degrees (dissertation or thesis only)


What do we mean by "open applications"?

It means that Unisa will accept applications throughout the year. This does not, however, guarantee that you will be able to register for that year. It will depend on the academic capacity of colleges, which can only accommodate a certain number of master's and doctoral candidates. Students will be accepted on the following criteria: (i) suitability and viability of the intended research, (ii) adequate supervisory capacity, and (iii) research expertise in the discipline or department.

Is there a closing date for applications?

There is no closing date as such. However specific qualifications may be closed for applications when a qualification is full or when selections have already taken place and no spaces are available. Selections normally takes place during December, January and February and you will be informed of the outcome of your application at least two weeks prior to the closing date for registrations. 

Applications received after selections have taken place will be processed. Acceptance will depend on whether you meet the necessary admission requirements and whether there is still academic capacity in the college (eg 2020 applications received will be processed and referred to the relevant academic department prior to the selection dates). Applications received thereafter will be referred if there are still spaces available. Once a qualification is full, it will be removed from the online application list until spaces become available. It could be that the qualification will only become available for the next academic year.

Once I have applied, how long will it take for Unisa to respond or provide feedback?

Selections take place during December, January and February. The final date for feedback will not be later than two weeks before the closing date for registrations.


How do I know if a qualification is fully subscribed (full)?

The application system will indicate to you if a qualification is full. The qualification will no longer appear on the list of available qualifications on the online application system. You will then have to apply for an alternative qualification or wait until your qualification of choice becomes available (ie may only become available for the next academic year).

Once I have applied and been approved, when do I register?

Research master's and doctoral students normally register from January to March of each year. Please note that the DBL degree has an earlier registration closing date.   

Last modified: 2019/11/15