Undergraduate qualifications

FAQs for undergraduate higher certificates, diplomas and degrees


Distance learning and Unisa


How do I know if I’m ready for distance learning?

Many of us do not know what it’s really like to study through distance learning because most of our schooling and post-school education was completed through contact or face-to-face learning. We have developed a number of videos to help you assess how ready you are for distance learning. Click here to watch the videos.


Is Unisa a correspondence university?

Unisa is an Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL) university. Open Distance e-Learning is a different way of learning - there is a physical distance between you and your university. For most of us, this means that our previous learning experiences will not have prepared us for the Unisa study journey. In distance learning, YOU are responsible for your studies. You don’t attend daily classes / lectures. You learn from a distance and you connect to the university mostly via the internet (eg a laptop, tablet, smartphone).
Visit www.unisa.ac.za/odl for more information.


Career and qualifications


What qualifications does Unisa offer?

Unisa offers different levels of qualifications:

I don’t know which qualification to choose.

Our careers are a work in progress and you continuously need to make career decisions, including what to study. Your starting point is to understand what kind of opportunities you want to prepare for. If you want to be a teacher, for example, you need to choose a qualification such as the Bachelor of Education degree to prepare you to be a teacher. If you want to be able to work in finance, you might choose to start with a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree to prepare you for finance-related opportunities.

The next step is to do research about yourself (your interests, values and skills) and career opportunities (by doing research on Google, job websites, talking to professionals in person and on LinkedIn, and doing job shadowing and volunteer work). This process will help you to understand what qualifications are more relevant to your career. Complete these career counselling activities to help you make a decision about what to study.


I know what I’m interested in, but am not sure what to study.

Your interests play an important role in sustaining your career and shaping specific career choices. Often, you are sure of what you like, but are not sure of what jobs are related to your interests. Click here to explore job titles related to specific interests.


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 applicants who previously applied for admission but were not offered a space.
  • Everyone completing a higher certificate must apply for admission to a follow-on qualification.
  • You must re-apply for admission if you previously applied for admission and received feedback, but did not register for any reason.
  • Everyone planning to enrol at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college under the Unisa-TVET agreement must apply for admission.


When can I apply?

Applications for admission to Unisa's undergraduate qualifications (higher certificates, advanced certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas & degrees) will be open from 10-31 May 2022.


I’m currently in Grade 12. When should I apply?

If you are in Grade 12 this year (2022), please apply for admission during August / September 2022 for the 2023 academic year.


How many qualifications can I apply for?

You can apply for a maximum of two qualifications. You may be offered a space based on the following: whether you meet the academic admission requirements for your qualification of choice, your minimum points score and the number of spaces available for the qualification for which you have applied.


How do I apply?

Visit the Unisa application website (www.unisa.ac.za/apply) and follow the 5-step process.

I’ve applied in the previous application period but did not upload the required supporting documents and / or pay the applications fee.  What can I do?

You will have to re-apply again online if your proposed qualification is available during semester 2 application period. If your proposed qualification is not available during semester 2 application period, you will have to apply when the 2023 application period open in August / September 2022.


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

Yes, please obtain this information from myUnisa and submit your academic record as part of the application process. Please note that you do not need to get this academic record certified, as Unisa can verify the information against the Unisa database.


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

Unisa will not accept any late applications or documents submitted after the closing date for applications. You will need to re-apply during the next application period.


Will I be able to change my proposed qualification after I have submitted my application (even for Grade 12 applicants)?

No qualification can be added or changed once an application has been submitted. You may apply for a maximum of two qualifications during the application process. You may want to consider applying for a lower-level qualification as your second choice.

Current or returning Unisa students who wish to change to a new qualification / specialisation may ONLY apply for this change during the relevant application period.


Fees and student funding


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

The non-refundable application for self-help and online applications is R125.00.

This application fee is non-refundable even if you decide not to study through Unisa or do not qualify for admission to Unisa .

Please note: No application fee will be accepted after the closing date for applications. No application will be processed until the application fee has been paid (for first-time applicants) and supporting documents uploaded.


Who must pay the application fee?

Only first-time applicants at Unisa have to pay the application fee. You do not need to pay the application fee if you have previously paid an application fee at Unisa.


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

No.


When can I apply for NSFAS funding?

Visit the NSFAS website for all information related to NSFAS funding.


After applying for admission

I’ve applied. What happens now?

  • Unisa will assess your application, which includes the points score system. You may be offered a space based on the following: whether you meet the academic admission requirements for your qualification of choice, your minimum points score and the number of spaces available for the qualification for which you have applied.
  • Please note that you will not automatically be accepted to study through Unisa even if you meet the above requirements for your qualification(s) of choice. Students will be accommodated on the basis of the number of spaces available for each qualification. Please note that the “first come first served” principle does NOT apply.
  • Unisa will inform you of the outcome of your application.
  • You must accept or decline Unisa's offer within the prescribed period of time.
  • First-time applicants to Unisa will be required to complete the First-Year Experience (FYE) MOOC (massive open online course) before you will be able to accept your offer and be able to register for the 2022 academic year. You will automatically be routed to the offer acceptance page once you complete the last activity in the MOOC.
  • If you accept Unisa's offer, you must register for the period for which you have been granted admission. Should you not register for the 2022 academic year, you will need to re-apply for admission during the next application period.


When can I expect feedback on my online application?

The verification of applications takes some time. You may only receive feedback from Unisa two to four weeks after the closing date for applications.


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

In exceptional cases and on receipt of a written request, an applicant may change the qualification for which he or she has applied. Unisa will consider such a request, but the outcome will be based on merit and the number of spaces available in the proposed qualification.


Accepting Unisa's offer

  • If your application for admission to semester 2 of the 2022 academic year is successful, Unisa will offer you a space for the period for which you have applied and will also indicate for which qualification you are being offered a space.
  • You must accept or decline Unisa's offer within the prescribed period of time (10 days from the date of the offer).
  • You may only accept one offer. This means that when you accept an offer for one qualification (irrespective of whether it is your first or second qualification of choice), the other offer will automatically fall away.
  • You will only be permitted to register for the qualification for which you have accepted the offer.
  • If you accept Unisa's offer, you must register for the 2022 academic year. If not, you will have to re-apply during the next application period.


Registration


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

You will need to apply for admission during the next application period. Please visit www.unisa.ac.za/apply for more information.

Last modified: 2022/05/12